Archives for January 2012
Community leaders, members show up ready to answer call
by Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
A panel representing civil rights, religion, education, health, government and business discussed ways to bring about a more inclusive and prosperous Milwaukee during a NAACP sponsored town hall meeting Saturday at MATC.
The meeting, held in the college’s Cooley Auditorium, was part of the civil rights organization’s “One MKE (Milwaukee)” initiative, the goal of which is to unite the community by collaborating and pooling resources across the entire community.
In doing so, a specific calendar of goals with measurable outcomes will be set, thus achieving greater impact and moving towards “One MKE.”
James Hall, president of the NAACP Milwaukee Branch, told those in attendance the initiative was created to address disparities that were identified in its report on the state of Milwaukee’s Black community.
The report noted several negative factors that impact the quality of life for the city’s residents: Joblessness and job creation, the widening achievement gap in education, the need for better transportation to jobs outside the community, public safety and how all of these have been affected by cuts in the state’s budget.
“We can’t go on like that,” Hall said. “We need to turn frustration into action. This meeting can’t be just another ‘feel good’ moment. A commitment is needed from all of us to change Milwaukee into one Milwaukee for all.”
The panel consisted of Hall, representing civil rights; Ralph Hollmon of the Milwaukee Urban League representing business, Rev. Willie Briscoe, president of MICAH (Milwaukee Inner City Churches Allied for Hope) representing the faith-based community, Curtis Marshall of the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, State Senator Lena Taylor representing government and Milwaukee Public School Superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton representing education.
The panel answered questions submitted by the audience via text messaging, as well as questions created by members of the NAACP’s Young Adult Committee, which moderated the panel discussion.
Thornton noted that many MPS high school graduates leave Milwaukee and Wisconsin because “they don’t feel that anyone has their back” when it comes to opportunities for jobs and career growth.
“We must keep our promises to youth, adults and seniors to make this city better for all,” Thornton said.
Admitting there is a tremendous amount of frustration regarding the problems faced by the community, Hollmon urged the audience not to throw in the towel and quit.
“(We can’t) stop trying to improve things. ‘One MKE’means equal opportunity, valuing diversity and making sure all individuals have a good quality of life to support themselves and their families.
“Then it would be much easier to handle the issues and challenges that confront us.”
Saying we are in a fight not for the Black, Latino andWhite race but for the Human Race, Briscoe said the “cancer” of social problems confronting the city would soon spread to the suburbs and the entire state.
Marshall pointed to the possible closing of Sinai Samaritan Hospital the city’s only remaining downtown hospital within easy reach of the community-as an example of the health disparities and problem with access to care for those on assistance or receiving Medicaid.
Taylor stressed the need to forge an agenda with goals and a timetable that they can present to the community and extract a commitment to address those issues it outlines.
Said Thornton: “We must put our egos and need for recognition aside and focus on getting things done that benefit the community positively.”
Rep. Young Calls for Sensible Gun Laws
Madison – Representative Leon D. Young (D-Milwaukee) called today for sensible gun control legislation after six Milwaukee homicides in the first ten days of the year.
“The startling number of homicides to start the year must prompt elected officials to re-evaluate our approach to gun crimes,” said Rep. Young. “Allowing more citizens to carry weapons creates situations where arguments turn into homicide.”
Through January 10, there were six homicides in the city of Milwaukee, two of which were domestic in nature. Five of the six homicides were the result of gun crimes.
Washington, DC — Today, President Obama called on companies across the nation to invest in America at an “Insourcing American Jobs” forum at the White House.
The forum focused on the increasing trend of insourcing – where companies are bringing jobs back to the United States and making additional investments here in America. The President, Vice President, members of the Cabinet and other Senior Administration Officials will lead a discussion on ways to encourage companies across the country to insource American jobs and help rebuild our economy for the future.
In the coming weeks, the President will put forward new ways to encourage
American companies to seize this opportunity to increase investment here at home and bring jobs back to America.
The President will put forward new tax proposals to reward companies that choose to invest or bring back jobs to the United States, and to eliminate tax advantages for companies moving jobs overseas.
“Today I am meeting with companies choosing to invest in the one country with the most productive workers, best universities, and most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the world: the United States of America,” President Obama said in prepared remarks.
“That’s exactly the kind of commitment to country we need – especially now, at this make-or-break moment for the middle class. And I’m calling on those businesses that haven’t brought jobs back to take this opportunity to get the American people back to work. That’s how we’ll rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded – and a nation where those values live on.”
“Since day one, this Administration has been focused on encouraging investment and job creation here at home,” *Vice President Biden* added.
“The business leaders coming here from across the country today have looked at the facts and concluded what the President and I have been saying all along: that America is the best place in the world to do business and create jobs,” Biden said. “We’re calling on other companies to follow their lead and bring jobs back to America—jobs that provide middle-class families not just with a paycheck, but with a fundamental sense of dignity.”
In conjunction with the forum, the White House today released a report that details the emerging trend of “insourcing” and how companies are increasingly choosing to invest in the United States.
For example, real business fixed investment has grown by about 18% since the end of 2009. In the past two years, 334,000 manufacturing jobs have been created, while manufacturing production has increased by about 5.7% on an annualized basis since its low in June of 2009, its fastest pace in a decade.
In addition, continued productivity growth has – as several outside analysts have noted – made the United States more competitive in attracting businesses to invest and create jobs by reducing the relative cost of doing business compared to other countries.
While other countries often advocate at the national level for business investment, the United States has historically left this activity to the states.
The President launched the *SelectUSA program in 2011 to address this critical gap, creating the first federal program to promote and facilitate U.S. investment in partnership with our states.
To build on early success, the President will propose, in his FY13 Budget, $12 million in new resources to increase SelectUSA to 35 full-time employees. An expanded SelectUSA will: build investment programs and support more investment cases.
As a part of the administration’s ongoing “We Can’t Wait” efforts, the administration also announced several common-sense steps it has taken to incentivize insourcing, inclusive of: building use of Small Business Administration’s Trade Loan program to support small businesses seeking to insource; launching a partnership between Commerce and the State
Department to promote investment in 10 priority countries through the
Foreign Commercial Service supported by the U.S. Embassies; and increasing support for states’ efforts to promote investment through federal officials in Export Assistance Centers (USEACs) in more than 100 cities.
A program that helps men become better fathers for their children celebrated their achievements with a special night. The Healthy Relationship and Marriage Enhancement Program of the Social Development Commission (SDC) held its Reading, Eating and Activities with my Dad Graduation.
In the ceremony held at Heartlove Place, the SDC program celebrated classes the fathers had successfully taken during the previous year. In those sessions, the men learned about the vital role they play as a father, a mentor in the community and as a man in improving their relationships.
The program for the ceremony included Megan Grabowski and Bango of the Milwaukee Bucks reading to children. The Bucks along with Sam’s Hope Literacy Foundation were on hand to distribute free books to the children. Drummer and Storyteller Teju Ologboni also entertained and educated at the graduation while fathers were able to enjoy a variety of art projects with their children.
The SDC Healthy Relationship and Marriage Enhancement Program offers relationship education for single persons as well as unmarried and married couples. The classes feature a fun, interactive format that fosters group discussions and activities. For more information on the program, visit the SDC website at www.cr-sdc.org, click on the “Programs” page and then on the healthy Relationship link.
The Guest House of Milwaukee, together with the Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation, recently kicked off its 30-year anniversary of aiding homeless individuals in the Milwaukee area. Helping Guest House officials set up cots for homeless men to sleep on at the facility were the Brewers’ Racing Sausages and (left to right): Cecilia Gore, executive director of the Brewers Community Foundation; Cindy Krahenbuhl, executive director of Guest House; Janel Hines of the Milwaukee Foundation and wife of Common Council President Willie Hines; and James Shauntee, case manager at Guest House. A “Grand Slam Sponsor” the Brewers Community Foundation granted the Guest House $30,000 toward its efforts in the community, with the potential for other partnership opportunities throughout the year. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is funding the “overflow” shelter during the winter months. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)