By Patricia O’Flynn Pattillo -MCJ Publisher
A winter day, banks of snow with more falling and two teen girls are walking Teutonia Avenue and Burleigh, mid-day! Scantly dressed for the weather, you wonder, are they what this Human Trafficking is all about.
Your mind quickly flashes back to the young woman who was raped, several years ago, by seventeen men, back to back, all varying ages, and the young woman was then diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Then putting it closer to home, you’ve heard the cries of parents when their teenager has left home, angry about rules that had to be enforced, and the fear of their whereabouts and safety were unbearable, until they returned….or in some cases, they never returned.
These are the symbols, the markers of the vulnerable, the youngsters most prone to be pulled into Human Trafficking. These are scars that penetrate lives, most often hidden, that represent the new slavery. Black Americans, in particular, have known or heard about the ravages of being taken, without permission, nor regard for person, and being made a human machine for the production of goods, revenue, and lifestyles of the “master”.
Milwaukee, this beautiful city on the lake, known for its beer, Summerfest, clean streets and progressive political predilections is now the city with the highest amount of Human Trafficking in the midwest region. How does this city get this acclaim? Simply stated entrenched poverty and teenage vulnerability.
The adolescent years are historically treacherous, turbulent, filled with emotion, hormones, over-exuberance in fashion, identity and personal confidence issues. In the best of families, traversing that period from age 12 to 21 years requires much family interaction, superior communication, early identification of relationships, activities and institutions that encourage self-actualization and adherence to family values, social boundaries and high expectations.
Young boys and girls need many positive role models to help them “ find themselves”. Supportive institutions, teachers, counselors, church family and neighbors who become the village binds them to successes and becoming contributing citizens. Higher education, volunteer activities and continuous applause for jobs well done are all a part of the success trajectory.
But imagine what happens when these growth-marks are absent and kids lead kids and rebellion festers because not only is there limited access but the role models can be unsavory characters who desire to lead them into venues that do not support personal success but rather success for themselves. That is the role of the pimp, the master, who applaud, entice, reward, initially and then enslave too many.
The academy award contender “ Twelve Years A Slave” is a graphic, riveting movie that
shows the pangs of slavery in the 18th century where a “free man” is invited to travel to a city for new musical and celebrity opportunities. After an evening of dinner and drinking, British Actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays the lead role, in the Brad Pitt, Steve McQueen, Academy Award contending epic, is bond in chains, held, and ultimately sold into slavery. His family is left to fare on their own, while he becomes a part of the slave trade, with no papers, no opportunities and total dictation of his life, his loves, his present and future by the slave-owner. No longer a person, he becomes chattel.
Some people of color have criticized the movie saying it is too graphic, too painful and it is…but so is life without control, today. And Human Trafficking is enslavement. It is not limited to Milwaukee, it is a global problem. In fact, some sources say that internationally over 30 million people are involved in Human Trafficking. Statistics reveal that 40.4% are Black; 25.6 % are White; 23.9% are Hispanic; 4.3% are Asian and 5.8% Other. The preponderance still remains Black. Another negative in the Black community, one we have to be more aware of and one we must fight, and win!
Over $32 billion dollars in profits is generated by Human Trafficking, internationally, each year. This is slave labor personified: prostitution, servitude and forced labor. Fifty percent of the Trafficking victims are under the age of 16 years, locally and worldwide.
Last year, the FBI reported that the problem in Milwaukee is real; it is one of the biggest issues facing our youth who are exploited by being promised false financial independence. Regrettably, they often end up being locked up, beaten and chained to dictated sex partners, according to Agent, Theresa Carlson.
Community awareness and continued advocacy for more employment opportunities for youngsters will discourage them from opting for questionable finances such as selling drugs or being lured into trafficking. This has to be a city-wide mission!
Black Nouveau recently did a superb expose on the problem in Milwaukee. That program # 2919 is worth reviewing again. The Milwaukee Task Force on Human Trafficking is working vigilantly to bring the issue before the community. Led by Chairperson Dana World Patterson, with support from other local leaders like community activist Martha Love, and Supervisor Peggy Romo West, the Human Trafficking Task Force meets every 4th Tuesday, monthly. Working closely with Career Youth Development through a Milwaukee County partnership, counselors who work directly with victims affected, are available to provide or channel victims to additional services designed to rehabilitate them.
Community Brainstorming, the tenured community think-tank, has addressed the trafficking conundrum several times and experts such Health Commissioner Bevan Baker, who oversees the City Office of Violence Prevention, and the Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, pledged city support in changing the statistics in the city of Milwaukee. Martha Love has been the moderator/organizer who brought superb experts together, consistently. Her face and voice on the issue have become synonymous with the demand for change in Milwaukee.
Other social services such as BASICS, a coalition of churches in the central city meet monthly to address the issue. Presently, they are working to fund and create the first complex to house and rehabilitate victims, with donations through their foundation.
Other local agencies include, “Rethink Resources: Youth in the Sex Trade” , with Claudine O’Leary; the “Human Trafficking Outreach Program” at Umos, with Gina Allende; the Sojourner Truth House Support Group, with Natailyn Runte.; plus “Healing Hearts”, a local group of parents, thought to be the first that deals with the pangs and suffering of parents affected.
We applaud these agencies and salute activities like the Daddy/Daughter Dance, given by the Department of Recreation and the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, recently at the North Division gymnasium. There a sold out crowd brought fathers, uncles, and brothers out with their daughters, sisters,nieces and cousins to show positive, healthy relationships. These events teach young women how a young woman should be treated. They become little queens and little princesses as their male dates protect them, reassure them that they are beautiful, just the way they are. Self image, self confidence, even self-protection begins early in life. Money will not be the master when a child has been made to believe that he or she is the master of their destiny.
Loving family members can re-enforce the rules: (1) no other male can offer you more love, protection or more stability than the people that love you most. This is equally important for the young males who look to other males for example. They too must be loved, protected, encouraged to grow into manhood and become good men who will learn to protect, love, and reassure their families, their women, their children.
Jobs, jobs and more jobs must be created…a child who earns through their own employment opportunities is less likely to look for an enticer, or listen to the promises of what “could be”, when they are encouraged by their family, applauded by the people who love them, and are supported openly in their endeavors.
“Human Trafficking is a crisis, and the statistics alone prove it. Our children are being stolen, rented and sold into sex and labor trafficking”, said Commission Bevan Baker.
“ The community component can help bring attention to sex workers, human trafficking, traffickers, drug houses, and all of that is very vital”, reminded, advocate, Martha Love.
Tomorrow’s meeting of the Common Council’s Public Works Committee will include testimony about the process for issuing
100 new taxicab vehicle permits – including a possible lottery for those permits if necessary.
The testimony will be heard when the Office of the City Clerk delivers a presentation about how it will be handling the
implementation of the city’s new taxicab ordinance when the committee meets at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, January 29,
2014) in room 301-B at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
Tomorrow’s meeting will be televised live on the City Channel (Channel 25 on Time Warner Cable in the City of Milwaukee),
and on U-Verse Channel 99. Online viewing is available by going to www.city.milwaukee.gov/Channel25.
The Council’s adoption of the new ordinance in November – a move to improve taxicab service and to better ensure taxicab
service availability throughout Milwaukee – established a system of affiliation that all (permittee) taxicabs in the
city are required to belong to. It also requires taxicab fleet affiliations to receive, maintain and report dispatch information, and to assure that affiliated permittees and vehicle drivers comply with requirements that include driver training, driver appearance standards, vehicle inspection standards, written plans to assure passenger and driver security and rear-seat credit card payment capacity.
The ordinance as approved also authorizes the addition of 100 new taxicab vehicle permits and provides for an annual review
of the need for additional permits. The ordinance also requires fleet affiliations to provide citywide service on a 24-hour basis.
Alderman Robert J. Bauman, chair of the Public Works Committee, said the ordinance takes effect on February 1 and
on Monday, February 3 the city’s License Division (Room 105 at City Hall) will begin taking notice of intent to apply taxicab
licenses and will also begin licensing certified taxicabaffiliations.
To participate in the process, applicants must obtain from the License Division (Room 105 at City Hall) a Notice of Intent to Apply with the possibility of a lottery (or if less than 100 a waiting list) and must complete the following:
* Submit to the License Division between February 1 and February 28, 2014.
* Submit by mail beginning February 1 or drop-box in the License Division Lobby beginning February 3; postmark is accepted as file by date.
* Include $100 fee (check or Money Order only) and be completely filled out and signed
Tomorrow the Public Works Committee will also consider a resolution approving the relocation of the General Douglas
MacArthur statue to the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center grounds.
The statue move – also requiring approval by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors – would be executed using donor
funds (no taxpayer dollars) and would relocate the statue to a specific site to be determined by Milwaukee County and the
board of the War Memorial Center.
General MacArthur’s father and grandfather were prominent figures in Milwaukee and Wisconsin in the late 19th century,
and the general lived in Milwaukee for a part of his life.
It is anticipated that a dedication ceremony marking the relocation would be held during MacArthur Memorial Week,
recognizing the “MacArthurs of Milwaukee,” which will take place June 3-7, 2014, in various events at the War Memorial
Center and the Marquette University Law School.
The magnificent, 9½-foot bronze statue of General MacArthur, sculpted by Robert Dean, was unveiled by Mrs. Douglas
MacArthur and dedicated in a ceremony on June 8, 1979 at MacArthur Square.
Milwaukee has made Jetsetter magazine’s list of top recommended travel destinations in 2014 – further validation that the
city is headed in the right direction on many fronts, said Alderman Terry L. Witkowski.
The Jetsetter article and posting, entitled “Where to go in 2014,” has Milwaukee at fourth on the list, behind only Riga, Latvia,
downtown Los Angeles and Glasgow, Scotland. Milwaukee, downtown L.A., and Crested Butte, Colo., are the only places on the list located in the U.S.
“We were recently named as one of the top art cities in the U.S., received a great write-up in the New York Times (“36 Hours in
Milwaukee”) and now we’re recommended in some very elite company for top 2014 recommended travel destinations – not too bad in my opinion,” said Alderman Witkowski, chair of the Common Council’s Public Safety Committee and a member of the VISIT Milwaukee board.
“The Jetsetter article is great reminder that Milwaukee has outstanding amenities and attractions that are drawing people here from around the world,” he said. Alderman Witkowski, who chaired the Milwaukee Image and Perception Task Force (issued final report in 2011) — charged with looking at ways of branding Milwaukee and of improving the city’s overall image to the world — said the panel found that Milwaukeeans need to be better at talking up and promoting the city.
“We (Milwaukeeans) know best just how special and vibrant our city is, and it’s important that we do a better job of sharing our
pride and our love for the city with others,” he said.
The article mentions the emerging restaurant and culinary scene in Walker’s Point, as well as positive mention of the Iron Horse
Hotel near the Harley-Davidson Museum and the new Brewhouse Inn & Suites located at The Brewery (the site of the former Pabst Brewing Co.). “On the banks of Lake Michigan, Wisconsin’s largest city is going through a quiet renaissance while hanging on to its Old World outlook,” the article states.
Go to http://www.jetsetter.com/feature/destination-2014?nm=linkbin&cl=1 to see the entire Jetsetter post.
Milwaukee to host first annual Suicide Prevention Conference Oct. 25 Strategically following National Suicide Prevention Month in September, the challenging topic is a recent memory for some. For others it’s a far off thought or even a daily worry. Suicide however, is a topic everyone should be learning about as it can affect anyone. Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee, a branch coalition of Prevent Suicide Wisconsin, along with Milwaukee County’s Behavioral Health Division, Dry Hootch, GLS, Mental Health America of Wisconsin, and UW-Milwaukee will be presenting a full day conference focused solely on Suicide Prevention. While providing extremely valuable information the planning committee set out to offer the conference at a low cost to insure the message was presented to anyone who was interested. The cost is $30 or $45 for those interested in the 5.5 continuing education credits. The training, conveniently located at the Milwaukee County War Memorial will feature Dr. Patrick Corrigan a licensed clinical psychologist providing services for people with serious mental illnesses for more than 30 years.
He was principal investigator for the Chicago Consortium for Stigma Research. It will also feature Dr. Jeffrey Garbelman who has worked extensively in maximum security settings, developing expertise in the area of suicide assessment. He will be training all who attend in the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) which will include a certification. There will be a panel discussion with Dr. Steve Dykstra, a licensed psychologist with Milwaukee County's Mobile Urgent Treatment team and Dr. Brian Fidlin a clinical psychologist at Children’s Hospital and nationally recognized speaker on the areas of pediatric brain development, substance abuse and dependency. Lastly, the audience will hear from Michael Orban the Author of the book “Souled Out: A Memoir of War and Inner Peace”. Michael is a war veteran who has 45 years of experience with combat PTSD.
Aimed at giving Milwaukee fathers the tools they need and providing some dads with a much-needed second chance, the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative Summit kicks off this weekend with resource fairs, informational sessions
and much more.
The theme of this year’s eighth annual Fatherhood Summit is “Changing Milwaukee through Male Empowerment.” The event will be held this Friday and Saturday, October 4th and 5th from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Destiny Youth Plaza, 7210 N. 76th St. Conference admission is free and includes all workshops, resource materials, parking and a light breakfast and lunch.
“A community with strong, responsible fathers in it is a strong community,” said Alderman José G Pérez, a speaker, guest and participant at the summit. “By providing dads with the information and resources they need to be good role models for their kids, we are empowering them to transform the next generation of Milwaukee citizens.”
One focus area of this year’s summit will be the federal Affordable Care Act that came online this week. Summit workshops and informational sessions will explain to participants how the new system works, what their options are and how they can enroll.
The summit will also feature a Health, Job and Resource Fair. Participants will have access to a variety of free health screenings, employers who are seeking to hire, and housing, education, job training, personaldevelopment and financial education programs and services.
To pre-register or learn more, visit cr-sdc.org or MilwaukeeFatherhood.com. Onsite registration will also be offered.
The County’s core services provide an opportunity to leverage contacts with the community into enrollment. Using existing resources and staff, County Departments will help clients they are already serving understand and enroll in the ACA.
Milwaukee County is also partnering with the Milwaukee Enrollment Network to educate and assist residents with enrollment. The network is made up of several organizations including the Milwaukee Healthcare Partnership, the State of Wisconsin, Covering Kids & Families and IMPACT 2-1-1.
“When the healthcare exchanges open, we know there will be a lot of questions. We’ve been working for months to make sure we can offer some help and clarity,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “Taxpayers should be assured that our efforts are focused on leveraging resources to benefit the community. We’re using our existing services and the cooperative relationships I’ve been building since taking office as a platform to expand enrollment.”
Numerous Milwaukee County Departments are taking part in the effort, including:
- The Disabilities Services Division has trained 60 staff members to help clients understand where to go and how to get services through ACA exchanges.
- The Behavioral Health Division (BHD) Community Services Branch has four staff trained as Certified Application Counselors, these staff members will provide individuals every opportunity to understand and enroll in insurance they may be eligible for under the ACA.
- Winged Victory, a program funded through BHD, was developed to assist people living with mental illness in applying for disability benefits and other entitlements available to them.
- The Behavioral Health Division has trained an intake service manager and two administration coordinators to help patients enroll. These staff members will provide individuals every opportunity to understand and enroll in insurance they may be eligible for under the ACA.
- The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is partnering with IMPACT 2-1-1 to provide people with accurate information about healthcare benefit options, and provide an over-the-phone screening to help make the most appropriate referral to an enrollment assistance provider, or directly to an ACA Marketplace website or call center.
- The BHD Community Services Branch is requiring all Central Intake Units to have trained Certified Application Counselors on staff to assist with enrollment into ACA exchanges or Medicaid.
- The Milwaukee County Department on Aging (MCDA) is providing training to senior advocates, staff and community service providers.
- MCDA is also partnering with SeniorLaw to provide information to people 60-64 years old on enrollment options.
- Milwaukee County is working with the Community Justice Council to pursue options for people in the criminal justice system to get enrolled.
“Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the door of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick-sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood…” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Aug. 28, 1963
In remembering the Great March on Washington, 50 years ago, we clearly remember the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — the greatest man of the 20th century. In remembering that epoch-making event, I also recall my two interviews of Dr. King.
The first was Jan. 28, 1964, with The Milwaukee Star staff at downtown’s storied old Schroeder Hotel. The second was in 1967, as a reporter with the Cleveland Plain Dealer. To my surprise, he recalled meeting me in Milwaukee. Both were highlights of my career.
Some of my most cherished memories of Dr. King are personal — especially when we met during his visit here to my hometown to address a fund-raising rally for his Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). It was an experience I’ll never forget.
That evening, as associate editor of The Star — a ground-breaking Black weekly newspaper — co-workers and I met his plane at Mitchell Field and were part of an airport news conference. I took the accompanying photo of Dr. King with Black police detectives Dewey Russ and Leroy Jones, who provided security during his one day visit.
After traveling in separate cars to the Schroeder, we crowded onto a couch in a VIP suite — with Dr. King and I seated side-by-side. These moments were captured by a staff photographer in a historic photo with him holding a copy of The Star that appeared prominently in our paper and others — and also accompanies this column. Sadly, everyone else in the photo has since passed away.
Ever the gentleman, Dr. King listened as everyone got a chance to talk. As lead interviewer, when I spoke of the positive role of the Black press, he responded firmly.
“The Negro press is vitally necessary to readers during this time of the American social revolution,” he said. “In fact, this has always been the case.” He added that “…issues important to our people can be objectively presented in the Negro press; issues the daily press frequently neglects…”
In the highlight of our interview from my point of view, Dr. King looked directly at me and began talking about the need for Black people to develop self-esteem
“It’s not just important that our white brothers and sisters respect us,” he said. “We’ve got to respect ourselves. Because with self-esteem comes the success of the mind.”
He then stared gently into my eyes and said, “Wouldn’t you agree, young man?”
Detectives Russ and Jones then led the way as the group — including the Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker, executive director of New York City’s SCLC — left for a rally in the Milwaukee Auditorium. There, a capacity crowd of 6,000 in Bruce Hall included Mayor Henry Maier and Second Ward Ald. Vel Phillips.
During the rally, Rabbi Dudley Weinberg said this of Dr. King: “Out of his devotion to the cause of the Negro, he serves my needs as a white man. Out of his Christian heart, he speaks to my Jewish heart.”
And then Dr. King, in a sonorous voice that had echoed across the land the previous summer from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, boomed out: “Racial discrimination is a national problem. No section of the country can ignore it. You must decide tonight that you will not be content until we are all brothers.”
The evening ended soon after and I saw him in person, and spoke to him for the final time, in a suite at the Sheraton-Cleveland Hotel in the autumn of 1967. On spotting me he said, “I know you, don’t I? Milwaukee a few years ago, wasn’t it?” Brimming with surprise, I recall saying, “Yes, that’s right. An interview with a Black weekly paper.”
But nothing could be more memorable than Dr. King’s inspiring message of hope 50 years ago — on August 28, 1963 — a sweltering summer day that was to become a pivotal point in the civil rights struggle. Yet today, despite electing our first Black president, much of the dream inherent in his sentiments has yet to be realized.
Dr. King’s 18-minute “I Have a Dream” speech is the most vivid memory of this special man most people retain. It also highlighted the first time a civil rights protest was aired live on national television as millions watched in living black-and-white and more than 250,000 people of all colors arrived from everywhere to demand an end to racism.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime tribute to the dream of racial equality — in the shadow of the Great Emancipator. It was from there Dr. King thundered out the phrases that have come to mean so much to so many. His eloquence was unforgettably captured by the TV cameras as his memorable words cut a swath through the heavy, late August air.
It was a day of celebration for the multitude — many chanting “pass it, pass it…” of President John F. Kennedy’s civil rights program before Congress. And it was a red-letter day on the small screen for millions who witnessed the historic event as it played out.
And 50 years later we remain justly proud of Dr. King — the first American since George Washington be honored with a holiday of his own. Rightly so, for his manner of man rarely walks among us. I am lucky for having had the opportunity to talk with him for the first, and best time, on a cold January day in my hometown of Milwaukee. Milwaukee native Richard G. Carter is a freelance columnist
On Wednesday, August 21, work began on a concrete road reconstruction project in Wauwatosa and Milwaukee that will create a significant traffic disruption along N. 100th St. between W. Grantosa Dr. and W. Ruby Ave. That segment of road has been the site of a substantial sewer project for several months.
For the duration of the project through its anticipated completion in mid- October, that stretch of roadway will be reduced to one-way traffic moving northbound only.
Milwaukee Alderman Jim Bohl noted that residents of the Cloisters Northwest condominiums and other single- and multi-family homes in the area will be impacted by this project.
The one-way traffic will also affect the traffic patterns of students, parents and staff arriving at or departing Divine Savior Holy Angels (DSHA) High School and Milwaukee Lutheran High School at the beginning and end of the school day.
The change will particularly impact DSHA visitors, who will only be able to approach the school on N. 100th St. from the south at Grantosa Dr., and will only be able to leave the school in a northbound direction.
In spite of the change in traffic direction, the City of Wauwatosa Engineering Division said that access to parking lots and residences on N. 100th St. will be maintained throughout the project. The City of Wauwatosa is managing the project, and will be maintaining two-way traffic between W. Glendale Ave. and W. Hampton Ave.
With a construction project already reducing traffic to one lane in each direction on nearby W. Capitol Dr., Alderman Bohl said the additional work on N. 100th St. will likely contribute to further traffic delays.
He noted, however, that staff and students at Milwaukee Lutheran High School can avoid contributing to problems by arriving and leaving the school via W. Grantosa Dr. and N. 92nd St
Milwaukee native Dr. Latricia Yvonne Donlow recently achieved her dream of becoming a pharmacist when she graduated Cum Laude with a Doctorate of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science (COPPS).
Florida A&M is a Historical Black College/ University (HBCU).
“I want to thank God for blessing me with family (and church family) who contributed tremendously to my future with their love, time, support and prayers,” said Donlow after receiving her degree. “I would also like to thank my FAMU COPPS family and friends who set a motto for all of the pharmacy students and expected “Exceptional Excellence Every time (E3).”
The daughter of Karen and Willard Donlow, and the granddaughter of Savannah Sledge, Donlow attended MPS’ Brown Street Academy, where her love for music and sports became evident immediately. She was also an honor roll student at Brown Street.
Donlow also attended Steuben Middle Schools and Rufus King International Baccalaureate High School. At both schools, she was an active student who maintained outstanding grades.
Donlow also participated in the Strive Media Institute, Top Teens of America and continued a legacy of family participation in the Milwaukee chapter of the AKA’s annual Debutante Cotillion.