Paying for prescription medicine can be expensive and can sometimes create difficult choices. The Prescription Advocacy and Referral Service (or PARS) Program at the Social Development Commission helps income-eligible residents get those medicines at little or no cost. PARS can link residents to participating pharmaceutical companies to provide free or low-cost prescription medications. For more information on the PARS Program and eligibility requirements, click on www.cr-sdc.org/Programs/PARS.htm or call 414-906-2306.
The 2013 amended city budget approved today by the Milwaukee Common Council provides some property tax relief for residents, while holding steady on crucial city services.
The 2013 tax levy approved by the Common Council is $250.39 million, up 0.96 percent from 2012’s $248 million levy, and $20,878 less than the Mayor’s proposed 2013 budget levy.
The 2013 tax levy means the owner of an average Milwaukee home will see a $42 decrease in the city portion of their tax bill, which with a modest $17 increase in fees for solid waste and other services, provides $25 in relief to homeowners.
Alderman Michael J. Murphy, chair of the Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee, said that for the fifth year in a row, the Common Council has found ways to reduce the Mayor’s proposed tax levy, while still maintaining public safety and services.
“This level of fiscal prudence is vital, as so many of our constituents still face difficult economic situations,” Alderman Murphy said. “I’m very pleased that we are able to continue the trend of reducing the budget that is proposed by the Mayor.”
While the Council’s budget was originally slated to defund all aspects of a proposed intergovernmental agreement with Milwaukee County for public safety services, Alderman Murphy proposed a substitute amendment that would allow the city to negotiate with the county through the end of the year to try and reach a deal over which entity answers 911 calls from mobile phones. Currently, those responsibilities are split between the city and the county. But Alderman Murphy said the level of service could be increased significantly if a deal was reached where the county would pay the city to handle all mobile 911 calls.
The Council also approved changes to the Mayor’s proposed budget that increase the amount of overtime funding available to the Milwaukee Police Department by $350,000, and fund several more public health nurse positions with the goal of further reducing the infant mortality rate. With the urban forestry division facing a backload of tree stumps in need of removal and replacement, the Common Council increased funding for those services by $500,000.
Common Council President Willie L. Hines, Jr. said the Finance and Personnel Committee and the Council handled the 2013 budget with efficiency and responsibility.
By cutting funding for a police squad car and five police motorcycles, the Common Council was also able to divert $104,000 into a new Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative special fund. And in an effort to expand public safety and diversity in the Fire Department’s workforce, Council members signed off on an amendment that finds funding for 13 additional Fire Cadet positions, to start with the scheduled class in September 2013.
“The Council worked diligently to pass a budget that provides relief to taxpayers, while maintaining the level of services our residents deserve,” President Hines said. “That is no small feat, and I commend the leadership and guidance of Alderman Michael Murphy and the hard work of the Finance and Personnel Committee.”
Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs invites residents of all ages to a night of politically-charged poetry from some of Milwaukee’s well-known spoken word artists and politicians tomorrow night, November 1, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at City Hall.
The event is hosted by local poet Kwabena Antoine Nixon (IKAN), with music by Coredj Sherman and a special guest poet, U.S. Congressional Rep. Gwen Moore. Alderwoman Coggs, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton and Alderman Nik Kovac will also share poetry. Other poets will include Shelly, Jazzi, Joel Ramirez, Anita Bee, Fear & Fast Lane and more. Artwork will be on display from True Skool.
“The spoken word is a powerful force of self-expression and enlightenment,” Alderwoman Coggs said. “With the Politics & Poetry event at City Hall, we hope to do more than just entertain. We want to inspire participants to get involved and encourage their civic engagement, especially with this crucial election next week.”
In that vein, Alderwoman Coggs said attendees at the Politics & Poetry event can even cross the street to the Zeidler Municipal Building to participate in early voting, which continues until 7:00 p.m. every night this week.
Participants are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to benefit Feeding America.
The event is sponsored by Alderwoman Coggs, the Milwaukee Youth Council, the NAACP Young Adult Committee and the League of Young Voters.
What: Politics and Poetry
When: November 1st 2012, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: City Hall rotunda, 200 E. Wells St.
Milwaukee County Supervisors Nikiya Q. Harris, Russell W. Stamper II, and David Bowen are inviting residents of Districts 2, 5 and 10 to join them for a “Tri-District” Budget Listening Session at the Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet St., on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 from 6 to 8 p.m.
“Hosting a budget listening session in a central location, such as Washington Park, offers constituents another opportunity to share their concerns prior to the budget adoption,” said District 5 Supervisor Stamper.
District 10 Supervisor Bowen echoed the sentiment, adding, “I welcome this opportunity to give people who could not attend my town hall sessions another chance for their voices to be heard.”
Supervisor Harris, District 2, said, “Hearing the concerns of District 2 residents is a top priority of mine, and I’m pleased to host this ‘Tri-District’ Budget Listening Session with my colleagues and to hear the concerns of neighboring districts.”
The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to convene on Monday, November 5th to decide how they will revise the County Executive’s 2013 Recommended Budget.
Among the many voted changes, straight ticket voting is now banned
While the photo ID provision of the 2011 election reform law has been struck down, there are other parts other parts of the law that will go into effect and remain unknown to many Wisconsin residents.
From voter registration changes to new voting rules, for many November 6 may be a different voting experience than in the past, particularly if registering to vote with a new name or address.
Voter registration corroboration banned
If you don’t have an acceptable document that shows your name and address, you can no longer establish residency in a ward by having a registered voter vouch for you.
- What to do: Don’t wait until the last minute to dig up a document or set up a new bank account at your new address or under your new name after a marriage or divorce. You can provide a current, valid Wisconsin driver’s license or other official documents including utility bills and bank statements. For a full list: gab.wi.gov/node/2550
- No hard copy required: Establish your residence by showing a clerk or poll worker an acceptable document displayed on a computer or smartphone screen. An internet connection will not be provided.
- No home: Homeless people must obtain a letter from a social service agency specifying a shelter or other location, such as a park bench, as their residence.
New voting rules
- Where you vote: You are expected to vote in the ward where you lived on Oct. 9 — that is, 28 days before the election instead of 10 days under the old law.
- Sign on the line: You must sign a poll book when voting at the polls, unless you are handicapped.
- Ward boundary changes: Your voting district and polling place may have changed. (Go to myvote.wi.gov to check.)
- Straight ticket option gone: No straight party ticket voting. Choose a candidate race by race.
- Voter ID in limbo: You don’t need to show ID to vote, even though the 2011 law required it. A court overturned the requirement after one election. More appeals are pending.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. pushes for Milwaukee residents to vote early
Civil Rights leader and icon Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. was in Milwaukee Monday to unite and rally Milwaukee residents as they eagerly participate in this November’s presidential election. The activist was in town to help kick off early voting, which started that day, October 22. He’s pictured speaking to a group outside the campaign offices of Wisconsin Jobs Now, 2652 W. Fond du Lac Ave. He also made an appearance at MATC’s downtown campus, meeting with students in the rotunda of the Student Service Building, before they voted. Rev. Jackson is no stranger to Milwaukee, having previously visited the city on Election Day. He continues to keep the city on his radar as it consistently turns out the necessary votes in each election. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
An SDC GED graduate is congratulated by family members on her achievement at May 2012 ceremonies.
The Education and Training Program at the Social Development Commission (SDC) are now signing up students for their GED classes online. Prospective students are asked to use the internet method of sign-up for the classes that can earn them their degree instead of signing up in person as in the past.
Interested residents should go to the SDC website at www.cr-sdc.org, then click on the “Programs” page, then on the link to “Basic Skills” and finally on “Sign up for GED Courses online”. The residents are being asked to fill out and submit the application form, filling in all information boxes that are requested. A confirmation notice will be sent back when the completed form is received by the program.
Successful applicants will be contacted once they are accepted into the program. If you have questions, you can call the SDC Education and Training program at 414-906-2834.
Bulawayo Mayor Thaba Moyo told the BBC the “big flush” would keep pipes wet and so prevent them getting clogged up.
A severe drought and years of poor maintenance have meant Bulawayo residents often go without running water for three days at a time.
The first synchronised flush took place at 19:30 local time (17:30 GMT).
Council workers had visited townships warning people that they risked a fine if they failed to take part.
Mr Moyo said the lack of water in the sewage pipes had already led some to burst.
Many of the city’s million residents are believed to have flushed at the appointed hour.
“I made sure my wife and children flushed the toilet at 19:30 to avoid blocking our own toilet. So far, the flushing of toilets was a success here in Cowdray Park township,” one resident, human rights activist Dumisani Mpofu, said.
According to the Associated Press, the synchronised flush will now take place at the same time twice a week – on Mondays and Thursdays – though residents will of course be able to flush their toilets at other times too.
The BBC’s Thabo Kunene, in Bulawayo, says that most houses in the city, even in townships, do possess toilets which flush, unlike in many African countries.
But he says that due to a lack of water, many people have been using buckets of water instead.
The proposal has had a mixed reception in the city.
“Our leaders are a joke,” said Petros Ncube. “What they should be doing is finding money from donors to buy new sewer pipes,” he said.
Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Willie C. Wade and Alderman Ashanti Hamilton invited city residents to a housing resource fair on Saturday at the Department of Public Works field facility, 3850 N. 35th St. A number of key groups will be on hand to explain how to buy a foreclosed home, what resources are at your disposal to make home repairs, and what to do if you’re facing foreclosure.
“Our office gets a lot of calls about housing needs, repairs, and foreclosure concerns,” Alderwoman Coggs said. “This event is just one way we are trying to bring the resources to the people, and it is my sincere hope that as many people as possible come and learn more about the resources that are available.”
In addition to three free workshops, representatives from nearly two dozen organizations will be on hand to answer questions about housing repair, foreclosure help and more, in a no-stress, no commitment environment.
“The resource fair is an opportunity for people who might otherwise wait too long to seek help in avoiding foreclosure because of pride, fear or something else,” Alderman Wade said. “Real help is available at the resource fair, and it’s a perfect opportunity for people to find out how they might access the advice and assistance they need.”
The Neighborhood Improvement Development Corp. and city staff will also be available to go over current city programs and to offer guidance through the application process. You can learn more at the NIDC website, http://city.milwaukee.gov/NIDC.
“The most immediate impact we can have on stabilizing neighborhoods is in the area of housing,” Alderman Hamilton said.“I believe that by offering information about purchasing foreclosed homes, helping people avoid foreclosure, and directing them to resources to help with needed home repair, we can go a long way to help the city and its residents rebound from this economic downturn.”
The workshops available include: “How to Buy a Foreclosed Home,” at 10:30 a.m., “Home Repair Resources 101,” at 11:30 a.m., and “Facing Foreclosure 101,” at 1:00 p.m.
Organizations invited and expected to attend Saturday’s resource fair include: Habitat for Humanity; Select Milwaukee; City of Milwaukee Health Department, Department of Neighborhood Services; Career Youth Development; Riverworks Development Corp.; Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA); Another Hand Foundation; Summit Credit Union; Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council; Safe & Sound; WC-WI Harambee Community Center; Me2 Energy Efficiency program; US Bank; NIDC; Realty Among Friends; Community Warehouse; Social Development Commission; City of Milwaukee Real Estate; Housing Resources, Inc.; ACTS Housing; and Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee.
SDC Residential Services staff shows residents how to save energy costs for a water heater at an Energy Demonstration at Clarke Square Park in 2011.
Residents are invited to the free Energy Conservation and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Demonstrations Saturday, October 13 from noon until 4 pm at Journey House at 2110 W. Scott Street on Milwaukee’s Southside. The day will feature bi-lingual presentations on a new SDC program that helps detect and abate lead in homes with children present, energy savings tips, insulation, pest management, and the importance of property maintenance.