Alderman Khalif J. Rainey will host his Community Office Hours First Saturday TOMORROW – Saturday, April 6 and ALLinterested 7th District residents are invited to meet with him informally in a non-meeting setting.
Tomorrow Alderman Rainey will meet informally with residents to discuss neighborhood and city issues from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at the Sherman Phoenix (3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave.). The attached flyer contains the full First Saturday schedule for 2019.
“There is no set list of topics and there is no formal meeting scheduled – just residents stopping by to meet with me to discuss the district and city issues or concerns that are most important to them,” Alderman Rainey said. “I encourage everyone to connect with me at tomorrow’s First Saturday community office hours.”
What: Community Office Hours in the District with Ald. Rainey
When: Saturday, April 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Sherman Phoenix (3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave.)
Business owner and educator wants to bring transparency, accountability to Brown Deer Trustee Board
By Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
Accountability, support, and collaboration.
Those are the three things Nakia Spencer would focus on if elected to the Village of Brown Deer Trustee Board April 2.
A Milwaukee native who grew up in the city’s 53206 zip code area, the 39-year-old business owner (Pristine Clean Custodial Services) and UWMilwaukee instructor in African American studies and English, says she’s running to not only be a part of the political process in the village, but to “represent.”
“Brown Deer is one of the most diverse communities in the state and I’d like to see that same kind of diversity represented in the governing body,” Spencer said in a recent interview, adding she feels the board is stuck in the past, that the village does not reflect the diversity it has within its boundaries.
Spencer said her age makes her more appealing to millennials in the village, who see her as someone who offers fresh ideas that would be attractive to younger individuals.
If elected, Spencer would be the second African American on the trustee board. The lone Black member currently is Wanda Montgomery, director of community partnership for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and president of the board of directors for National Black Child Development Institute—Milwaukee Affiliate.
Montgomery is now running for Brown Deer Village President.
The position Spencer is running for is the equivalent of being a big city alderman. The duties entail handling the village’s finances and making sure residents of the village are provided basic municipal services.
There are six elected trustees and one elected village president. Each member of the board is elected to serve a three-year term. Every year, two trustee seats are up for re-election. The board is also responsible for appointing the village manager, who serves as the chief administrative officer in the village and oversees the day-to-day operations.
Spencer is running against three other candidates: two incumbents, Jeff Baker and Gary Springman, and one other challenger, Laura Grisson.
If elected, Spencer will be the youngest woman on the trustee board. “I know I will be the youngest compared to the men on the board,” Spencer said glibly.
A resident of the village for two years, Spencer said she’s running because she cares about the community she lives in and wants to help make it more progressive and attractive to new businesses, while retaining established ones. The candidate said the village must develop a business plan that promotes a more welcoming spirit.
“There are a lot of empty business spaces that are wasted and are an eyesore,” Spencer said. “You can’t attract new businesses when you have businesses closing down. You shouldn’t have to go outside Brown Deer to work, play, and start a business.”
Spencer wants to create an atmosphere of transparency as it relates to how the village government operates, something she says is currently lacking.
“People need to know where to go to be heard,” Spencer said. “To know that something will be done about their concerns and issues.
“Residents shouldn’t have to come to board meetings three or four times to have their problems addressed in an urgent and thoughtful way.”
Having attended board meetings before deciding to run, Spencer noted they often looked like closed congressional hearings. Spencer said she would work to make the board more transparent in its deliberations. She even suggested live-steaming the meetings for those who can’t attend.
Spencer would also champion greater collaboration between the village board and the Brown Deer school board. She would like to see the creation of a liaison position to bridge the current divide she sees and foster greater cooperation in order to solve the problems within the school district.
Local Black businesses have opportunity to garner a sizable portion of the $200 million that would be spent during convention
Compiled by MCJ Editorial Staff
Working-class values beat out the glitz and glam of Miami, and the cowboy mystique of Houston Monday to become the host city for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The official announcement was made by Mayor Tom Barrett and Democratic Party Chair Tom Perez at the Fiserv Forum, which will be the official site of Democratic delegates from July 13 to 16 next year.
It’s at the Forum delegates will choose its nominee for the presidency of the United States.
In a statement, Barrett said it was a great day for the city and the state of Wisconsin. “Milwaukee is a first-class city, and we are ready to showcase the city on one of the largest stages in the world.”
Milwaukee will be the first major Midwestern city, other than Chicago, to host a national political convention. It was the city’s location and the state’s role as a key swing state in the coming 2020 election which boosted it over the other two finalists.
Noted community leader Martha Love, who was a member of the host committee that put together the winning bid proposal and worked one-and-a-half years to secure the convention, said she’s absolutely excited about having the DNC gathering in Milwaukee at the Fiserv Forum.
“I’ve been to nine DNC conventions; and to go to the 10th and have it in the city where I’ve lived all my life is so exciting,” Love said in an interview about Milwaukee’s selection.
Love said with the spotlight on them when the city steps upon the national and international stage in the summer of 2020, the city will be able to showcase its richness and diversity, as well as shed its dubious notoriety as the setting for such 80s sit-coms as “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley.”
“We’re now a city of festivals, rich neighborhoods and culture,” Love boasted. “There will be press from all over the world and they will take our story back to their countries in the form of news reports.”
Love hopes the media attention will help attract more businesses to Milwaukee, as well as young professionals looking to live in a progressive city with educational, employment and cultural opportunities that make it ideal for starting and raising a family.
It also wouldn’t hurt, she hinted, if the attention also shows young native Milwaukeeans now in college and job training programs there are opportunities in their hometown and will stay.
But Love was mindful of the city’s challenges. “We have our problems and we’re trying to deal with them to the best of our abilities.
“But there are a lot of people doing some great things. I don’t think we have any more negatives than anywhere else. I choose to focus on the positive.”
Love noted approximately 50,000 people: delegates, political figures, Democratic members of Congress, security personnel, and news media will descend on Milwaukee and the metro area, which will generate approximately $200 million in estimated revenue for its coffers, as well as for businesses, hotels, restaurants, museums, and many others.
“I’ve been to nine DNC conventions; and to go to the 10th and have it in the city where I’ve lived all my life is so exciting…”
—Martha Love, member of host committee that put together the city’s winning bid
Black Milwaukee businesses could garner $50 million of the $200 million if they apply to the DNC organizers for the multitude of vendor opportunities that will be available for a wide variety of goods and services that will be needed.
Interested entrepreneurs and business owners can register to become vendors for the convention at: Milwaukee2020.com. They can get registered in their Supplied Registration Portal. Love said the host committee is look for all shorts of businesses to get involved and they are committed to ensuring the work is spread throughout Milwaukee.
Individuals interested in being part of the convention as a volunteer should also register at Milwaukee2020.com. Approximately 12,000 civic minded people are being sought.
The city learned of its historic selection early morning as Barrett was delivering his “State of the City” address at the new arena.
And it was at the Fiserv Forum the official announcement was made by Barrett and Perez. They were joined by Gov. Tony Evers, and other local political, business and party movers and shakers who helped make the selection of the state’s largest city possible.
In a joint statement, the Milwaukee Common Council said the news of the political convention coming to the city is “absolutely some of the best news our city has ever received.”
The council statement notes the agreement approved Monday includes protections for the city and zero taxpayer dollars.
“This event will be transformational for Milwaukee, bringing an economic impact that we want to be shared across the entire city and in every neighborhood,” the council statement read.
“We will be working closely with the Host Committee to follow through to make sure the convention will have the beneficial impact it so clearly promises – not only during those special days in July 2020 – but for years afterward as well”
By Dwayne Muhammad
Several state Republican legislators held a news conference recently to announce eight proposed bipartisan bills totaling $3.7 million to help address the homeless issue in Wisconsin.
That’s the good news.
The bad news: no African American or Latino Democratic state legislators were invited to the news conference to help share the good news, including state Sen. Lena Taylor, which didn’t set well with her, especially since the announcement was made—unbeknownst to her—in her fourth senate district at the offices of Pathfinders, 4200 N. Holton Ave.
“If we want to be bipartisan, where are the Milwaukee legislators? It is unacceptable,”
Taylor said after “crashing” the news conference with the Original Black Panthers upon learning Republican state lawmakers had “hijacked” her district to make the announcement.
The senator ripped the GOP legislators for their lack of transparency. “Don’t act as if I’m up in Madison or my (Democratic) colleagues, and the Black Milwaukee caucus—and we (aren’t doing) the work.”
Taylor went on to explain to those present at the news conference she’s been working on the homeless issue since the last state budget cycle, but in a way that is more comprehensive.
“Individuals (in the legislature) looked at the motion and looked around and didn’t move it forward,” claimed
Taylor. “So here were are and you move something forward without us.”
In a press statement released later that same day of the news conference, Taylor said she was glad the issue of homelessness was finally on the GOP’s radar. “I am encouraged that some of their plans include similar language or concepts to those we have suggested in the past,” the senator’s statement read. “We need real dollars and not cosmetic funding to tackle this problem.
“We lag behind so many other states in the money, programing and necessary legislative commitment to change homelessness in the state. I look forward to finding common ground and action on these issues.”
But King Rick, the head of the Panthers, was a little more blunt at the news conference.
“How dare you come into our community and don’t inviteour legislators!” King Rick said. “This is an insult to us. I see nothing but Republicans here. Where are the Democrats? The Republican Party doesn’t care about Black people or Brown people. (If you did) you’d have Senator Taylor up there (at the podium with them) and other African Americans up there.”
Like Taylor, the grass roots organization found out through the grapevine about the news conference and came to make their presence known and blast the GOP lawmakers for the clandestine way they announced legislation that would have a major impact on Black and Brown communities. The Black Panther leader even asked the GOP legislators why they refused to have Colin Kaepernick on the state’s Black History Month resolution?
A former NFL quarterback who played for the San Francisco 49ers—leading them to a Super Bowl appearance, Kaepernick created national controversy and discussion in 2016 when he began kneeling during the National Anthem before games to protest racial injustice, especially the fatal shootings of African Americans by police officers.
Three weeks ago, state Republican legislators forced Black Democratic legislators to remove Kaepernick’s name from the resolution, which honored prominent Black Americans. The majority numbers Republicans hold in the Assembly and Senate gave them the leverage to block passage of the resolution until the former quarterback’s name was removed. Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee.
“Homelessness is a problem,” King Rick continued, “but so is the socio-economic conditions that plague Black people and Brown people. You aren’t addressing that. The GOP is the problem, because you don’t respect people of color. The GOP cares about Republicans. You don’t choose our leaders. We choose our leaders.”
Before Taylor and King Rick confronted them, the Republican lawmakers outlined the contents of the bills— from eight state agencies—would give the homeless an advocate and a “spot” at the table. Republican State Rep.
Jesse Rodriquez said the legislation will also help the homeless find employment. “When people find employment, they are significantly less likely to be homeless,” said Rodriguez, who stressed the ultimate goal is ending homelessness in Wisconsin, adding the state Assembly and Senate were “doubling our investment,” and cited that Gov. Tony Evers is willing to work in this area.
Rafael Acevedo, Jr., a member of the statewide council on homelessness, said the bills would allow the homeless in Milwaukee and throughout the state to find permanent housing. “Permanent housing ends homelessness,” he said.
Tim Baack, president and CEO of Pathfinders acknowledged Wisconsin has a “very poor track record” when it comes to making a meaningful investment of funding and resources to address the issue.
The Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Caucus made the following statement regarding the proposed creation of the Redistricting Advisory Commission within the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau:
“This proposal is the only fair and equal way to ensure adequate representation of every voter inWisconsin. For far too long, redistricting has been nothing more than a political tool that allows politicians to choose their voters, rather than the voters choosing their representatives.
“We must act now to ensure the future of fair elections in our state. Allowing the voice of thepeople to be heard through the electoral process is not only morally right, but the cornerstone of democracy.
“In the last election, Assembly Democrats got 54% of the total vote, but took only 36% of theseats. This rigged electoral process is indicative of a political party whose ideals have been rejected by the majority of voters, but are intent on clinging to power by any means necessary. We owe it to Wisconsin voters to unrig this system – for either side – once and for all.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined a group of lawmakers, led by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA), in introducing the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act to protect federal workers and their families from foreclosures, evictions and loan defaults during a government shutdown.
“The Trump shutdown is punishing federal workers, and contractors who are serving without pay. This legislation will protect these workers as their families face economic uncertainty and insecurity,” said Senator Baldwin. “We should be respecting their hard work and it is simply wrong that they are victims of President Trump’s shutdown. Both Democrats and Republicans agree we should end his shutdown and have a vote in the Senate to pass bipartisan legislation to reopen the government.”
“While the President and Senate Republicans struggle to get their act together, real people are suffering,” said Senator Schatz. “Right now, thousands of federal workers and their families are struggling to pay rent and make ends meet. It’s absolutely unacceptable. Our bill will protect federal workers and make sure they aren’t harmed because of a political stunt.”
“Across 800,000 kitchen tables today, hardworking people are trying to figure out how to pay bills and provide for their families without an income,”said Representative Kilmer. “Federal workers are public servants, they deserve better than being treated like pawns in a negotiation. This shutdown is wrong, and it’s time to reopen the government – but until that happens, it’s Congress’ responsibility to help out the families most affected. This bill gives them some much needed relief.”
“People who took an oath to serve their country as federal employees should not have to worry about being evicted, having their car repossessed or going further into debt because of a government shutdown,” said Tony Reardon, President of the National Treasury Employees Union. “I want to commend Sen. Schatz and Rep. Kilmer for having the foresight to introduce legislation that would protect the nation’s federal workforce, many of whom are suffering after nearly three weeks without pay. The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act would give frontline federal workers a reasonable amount of time to catch up on their bills once the shutdown ends and their income is restored. Federal employees around the country are grateful that there are members of Congress who are looking out for them in their time of need.”
“The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) applauds Senator Schatz and Congressman Kilmer for authoring this critically important bill. This legislation will provide much needed relief to federal employees who may be facing civil actions against them due to a lapse in pay that has resulted because of the government shutdown. It is truly unfortunate that President Trump is using these civilian workers and their families as political pawns to achieve a political goal. The real life ramifications on these working Americans are hard choices between feeding their families, and meeting other financial obligations. The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act will provide impacted workers additional time after a shutdown to meet their financial obligations that would otherwise result in actions against them such as eviction, foreclosure and other civil claims. IFPTE endorses this bill, and urges all Senators to support it,” said Paul Shearon, International President of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers.
The bill addresses the real threat of federal workers losing their homes, falling behind on student loans and other bills, having their car repossessed or losing their health insurance because they have been furloughed during a shutdown or required to work without pay. Modeled after theServicemembers Relief Act, the legislation will prohibit landlords and creditors from taking action against federal workers or contractors who are hurt by the government shutdown and unable to pay rent or repay loans. The bill would also empower federal workers to sue creditors or landlords that violate this protection. The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act would safeguard workers impacted by a shutdown from the following:
· Being evicted or foreclosed;
· Having their car or other property repossessed;
· Falling behind in student loan payments;
· Falling behind in paying bills; or
· Losing their insurance because of missed premiums.
The protection would last during and 30 days following a shutdown to give workers a chance to keep up with their bills. The partial government shutdown, now in its third week, hurts more than 800,000 federal workers in all 50 states.
Cosponsors of the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act include U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). Kilmer will introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives with the following cosponsors: U.S. Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Susie Lee (D-NV), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA).
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee 2020 Democratic National Committee Convention Bid Committee announced today the Co-Chairs of the Milwaukee DNC 2020 Host Committee –Mayor Tom Barrett, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Governor-elect Tony Evers, Lt. Governor- elect Mandela Barnes, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, and County Executive Chris Abele.
Milwaukee is currently a finalist, along with Houston and Miami, for hosting the convention to be held July 13-16, 2020.
“We want the world to know that the leadership in Wisconsin is committed to doingeverything we can to bring the Democratic National Convention to Milwaukee in 2020,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “Milwaukee has so much to offer and this would be a great opportunity to highlight our city to the nation.”
“There is no better place to showcase the Democratic Party’s vision for the future than in Wisconsin,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “The Midwest is a critical battleground and will be key to securing a better future for America.”
“The convention represents an immense opportunity for Milwaukee and Wisconsin to beshowcased on the world stage,” said Governor-elect Tony Evers. “This is the chance to show off Wisconsin in a way that’s never been done before as a great place to live, work and visit.”
“Milwaukee does not view the Convention as just a four-day event, we view this as a year and a half long opportunity to promote our wonderful city,” said Congresswoman Gwen Moore. “When the eyes of the world are on Milwaukee, we will shine.”
“The DNC Convention presents a tremendous opportunity to build on Milwaukee’s rich
history of diversity, inclusion, and innovation,” said Lt. governor-elect Mandela Barnes.
“Our local entrepreneurs and strong neighborhoods are among Milwaukee’s greatest
strengths, and a successful Convention that includes these diverse partners will help
communities throughout southeast Wisconsin thrive.”
“More people should know that Milwaukee County is an incredible place to live, work and play, and I’m excited for any opportunity to highlight the strength of our people, facilitiesand community,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “When it’s also anopportunity to feature Milwaukee as a place that respects and values all people, a core belief of the Democratic Party – that’s an event I’d be thrilled for us to host.”
Representatives from the DNC recently conducted a second site visit to the City of Milwaukee. A decision is expected to be made in the first quarter of 2019.
Lisa Mascaro, AP Congressional CorrespondentPublished: 03 January 2019 (repost from The Skanner)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House and Senate gaveled into session Thursday swathed in history, returning the first woman to the speaker’s office and ushering in a diverse class of Democratic freshman lawmakers ready to confront President Donald Trump in a new era of divided government.
The 116th Congress is poised to be like none other. There are more women than ever before, and a new generation of Muslims, Latinos, Native Americans and African-Americans in the House creating what academics call a reflective democracy, more aligned with the population of the United States. The Republican side in the House is still made up mostly of white men, and in the Senate Republicans bolstered their ranks in the majority.
In a nod to the moment, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, was broadly pledging to make Congress work for all Americans — addressing kitchen table issues at a time of deep economic churn — even as her party is ready to challenge Trump with investigations and subpoena powers that threaten the White House agenda. It’s the first new Congress to convene amid a partial government shutdown, now in its 13th day over Trump’s demands for money for a wall along the U.S-Mexico border.
A House for The People
“This House will be for the people,” Pelosi was to say in remarks after winning the gavel, according to excerpts released ahead of time, “to lower health costs and prescription drugs prices, and protect people with pre-existing conditions; to increase paychecks by rebuilding America with green and modern infrastructure — from sea to shining sea.”
Pelosi vowed “to restore integrity to government, so that people can have confidence that government works for the public interest, not the special interests.”
The day was unfolding as one of both celebration and impatience. Newly elected lawmakers arrived, often with friends and families in tow, to take the oath of office and pose for ceremonial photos. The Democrats planned to quickly pass legislation to re-open the government, but without the funding Trump is demanding for his promised border wall.