On Sunday October 13th, 2019 the Milwaukee Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity held their 2019 Kappa League Kick off. The parents and kappa league members were invited to a social kick off at Lisa McKay kitchen 944 N. 33rd st on the Potawatomi Campus. It was well attended and the young men had and opportunity to meet their mentors and learn about the program for the 2019 fiscal year. The Kappa League program is a year round program consisting of nine two-hour sessions that emphasize Leadership, critical thinking, social action for social good, academic success, and so much more designed for young males 6th to 12 grade. If you are interested in joining contact the Kappa League chairman Kim A. Robinson at 414-322-1927 or email [email protected]you can also visit our national website www.kappaleague.com to learn more about the program.
Yesterday, (Tuesday, October 15) the Common Council voted unanimously to approve legislation directing the executive director of the Election Commission to place a non-binding referendum on the April 7, 2020, ballot asking voters whether the City of Milwaukee should request the Wisconsin Legislature to pass a law establishing a non-partisan procedure for drawing legislative district maps.
Alderman Cavalier Johnson, the primary sponsor of the legislation (Common Council file #190826), said it is critically important to allow citizens to have a voice when it comes to creating legislative maps following the upcoming 2020 Census.
“The Wisconsin State Legislature has the opportunity to establish a non-partisan redistricting procedure for drawing legislative maps that can create a sense of fairness in 2020 and beyond,” Alderman Johnson said.
“The current redistricting process is such that it benefits the members of the Republican-controlled Legislature as demonstrated in recent elections, and will require significant political pressure to change. Adding a referendum on the April 7, 2020, ballot gives the citizens of Milwaukee a chance to weigh in on this issue and show their support for establishing a non-partisan procedure for creating new legislative maps,” he said.
Following the 2010 United States Census, the Wisconsin Legislature established new legislative maps for the state and the partisan procedure by which the Legislature prepared new legislative maps in 2011 was controlled entirely by its Republican members.
Alderman Johnson said the implementation of those 2011 legislative maps has granted an advantage to Republican candidates for office in Wisconsin in each election since. In 2012, Republican candidates won 60 of the Wisconsin Assembly’s 99 seats, even though Democratic candidates won a majority of the statewide Assembly vote. I n 2018, the Republican party won 27 more Assembly seats than the Democratic party, even though Democratic candidates received 203,373 more Assembly votes statewide than Republican candidates.
In 2016, a federal court found that in preparing the new legislative maps in 2011, Republican members of the Wisconsin Legislature employed partisan gerrymandering techniques known as cracking and packing to split or concentrate Democratic votes in particular districts in an effort to dilute the voting power of Wisconsin’s Democratic electors and to entrench Republican control of the Legislature. While the federal court found that Wisconsin’s Democratic voters were burdened by the discriminatory effect of the new legislative maps in both the 2012 and 2014 state elections, the U.S. Supreme Court, in another gerrymandering case, ruled that partisan gerrymandering claims, like those at issue in Wisconsin, cannot be decided by the courts but instead must be resolved through the political process.
Yesterday, the Common Council approved legislation designating the second Monday of October each year as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in the City of Milwaukee.
The legislation (Common Council File # 171304), was authored by Alderwoman Chantia Lewis and co-sponsored by Alderman José G. Pérez , Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Cavalier Johnson, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderman Nik Kovac and Council President Ashanti Hamilton.
“The Native American community has meant so much to Milwaukee, and I’m grateful for all the support of my colleagues to help establish Indigenous Peoples’ Day every October. This is truly a great way to celebrate the history, culture and positive impact that indigenous people have had in our community throughout history. It is also a nod to their strength and perseverance during times of discrimination, oppression and injustice,” Alderwoman Lewis said.
Several communities throughout the U.S. have recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day, including the City of Madison in 2005 and again in 2016, and Milwaukee County and Dane County in 2017.
The legislation notes how Native Americans have existed in Wisconsin for more than 10,000 years and how they continue to play an important role in Wisconsin’s communities, culture, and economy. The state is home to 11 Indigenous tribes and 86,000 Native Americans, and each tribe positively contributes to local and state economies, including the Chippewa, Menominee, and Potawatomi in Milwaukee.
Oct. 16 celebration features speeches from Mayor Tom Barrett and Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, premiere of the ERC’s new impact video
MILWAUKEE – Broadway musical Rent told the world to measure the 525,600 minutes that make up a year in love. For the Equal Rights Commission, that love measures 39,420,000…the 75 years ERC has served the Milwaukee community.
“The current ERC mission statement is to promote and protect equality, equity, and human rights, through education, enforcement, and community engagement,” said Chez Ordoñez, acting chair of the ERC. “It’s much more than an enforcement agency or a watchdog…it’s a community partner. It’s a protector, it’s counsel, it’s a friend, and then, when need be, it’s someone to actually have your back.”
The ERC’s genesis came in 1944. While the country was recovering from World War II, then Milwaukee Mayor John Bohn was founding theMayor’s Committee on Inter-Racial Relations. Bohn’s purpose in forming the committee was to examine community issues, make recommendations on how to improve those issues, and support policies that would make those improvements possible. In short, ERC was the door through which inclusivity could enter the city.
As the city continued to evolve, so did the ERC to more broadly encompass Milwaukee’s people and better address its challenges. ERC’s evolution is apparent in the name changes it underwent in its 75-year history. Just five years after its founding, the Mayor’s Committee on Inter-Racial Relations became the Milwaukee Commission on Human Rights. Community relations, fair housing, employment, and neighborhoods would make their way into the commission’s name and into their ever-expanding areas of focus.
The Equal Rights Commission as it is known today was made official in 1994. Initially serving as the first point of contact for concerns and complaints of unfair treatment, ERC soon grew to take greater action as well as include more and more protected categories from race and sexual orientation to housing and employment.
Making an Impact
ERC has been behind the scenes and on the front lines of many initiatives to make Milwaukee a more inclusive city. In response to an increase in discrimination complaints in the early 1990s, the ERC partnered with local organizations to fight issues like unfair employment and housing practices. That fight included media campaigns to raise awareness, organizing and facilitating community meetings and forums, contributing resources to investigations, and public opposition to policies and practices that could foster discrimination.
In 2007, the ERC worked with the Common Council to amend protected categories to include gender identity or expression, past or present membership in military service, and familial status. In 2017, ERC worked again with the Common Council to recreate that ordinance to include domestic partners, victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault, HIV-positive persons, and homeless individuals. The recreation even provided protection on the basis of genetic identity. A current initiative that ERC is working on is to expand its power to better enforce anti-discrimination as well as better engage communities.
How to Measure 75 Years
Under the rotunda of Milwaukee’s historic City Hall, ERC will mark a milestone. Those 75 years can be measured in 8 commission names, 7 mission statements, 4 major ordinances, 12 major initiatives, and, of course, love for the nearly 600,000 people of Milwaukee.
To celebrate, ERC will host a special anniversary event:
WHAT: City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission 75th Anniversary
WHEN: October 16, 2019 at 3 p.m.
WHERE: City Hall
200 E. Wells Street
First Floor Rotunda
Milwaukee, WI 53202
WHO: Tom Barrett, Mayor
Ashanti Hamilton, Common Council President
Chez Ordonez, Equal Rights Commission Acting Chair
WHY: To reflect on 75 years of promoting equality, protecting civil and human rights, and looking at a future where everyone is counted, represented, and celebrated.
In addition to commentary from public officials and even an anniversary cake, the ERC will debut a brand-new video encapsulating those 39,420,000 minutes of dedication to diversity and inclusion.
And as for the next 75 years?
“The future I envision for the ERC is big,” Ordoñez said. “I think these big visions and big goals are what people need, especially throughout Milwaukee. It is a fully funded equal rights commission. It is active complaints that we are investigating, that we are determining where we need to be able to get involved. It’s educating the community, not just on equal rights matters, but on how one community can interact with another, how we’re not so different from each other. That’s the ultimate goal and vision that I see with the Equal Rights Commission.”
Council President Ashanti Hamilton invites the community to attend one of two sessions on improved community–police relations and police reform to be hosted by The Milwaukee Collaborative Community Committee.
The Milwaukee Collaborative Community Committee (CCC) was formed by Council President Hamilton and Council members when the effort to reform the Milwaukee Police Department was cancelled by federal officials. The committee was founded in early 2018 and is chaired by Markasa Tucker, director of the African American Roundtable. Throughout 2018, the CCC held several community hubs to encourage residents to speak about their own experiences with police and share what they’d like to see from law enforcement.
The public is invited to attend the two sessions, on the city’s North and South Sides.
The sessions will be held at the following locations and food/refreshments will be served:
- North Side session, Wednesday Oct. 16th, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Wisconsin Black Historical Society, 2620 W. Center St.
- South Side session, Oct. 17th, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., St. Joseph Center, 1501 S. Layton Blvd. (enter at 29th St. parking lot)
“I encourage every Milwaukee citizen to attend one of these sessions to hear the Milwaukee CCC’s findings and recommendations, and to provide feedback,” Council President Hamilton said.
The Zoning, Neighborhoods, and Development Committee yesterday (Tuesday, October 8) recommended approval of legislation that would authorize the sale of Redevelopment Authority owned land at the Century City Business Park to Strauss Brands, LLC, in the 7th Aldermanic District.
The legislation – Council file #190878 – was authored by Alderman Khalif J. Rainey.
Strauss Brands is a leading producer of specialty meats including American grass-fed and organic beef, as well as veal and lamb. Strauss supplies a mix of retail and food service customers throughout the United States. Established in 1937 and based in Franklin, Strauss has been family owned and operated for 82 years.
“I am excited for Strauss Brands relocation to the City of Milwaukee. This new development at the Century City Business Park will not only help the development of Century City, but will boost the city’s economy through job growth as well. ” said Alderman Rainey, chair of the Zoning, Neighborhoods, and Development Committee. Strauss Brands, LLC, offered to purchase approximately 20 acres of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee owned property at 3025 W. Hopkins St, in order to develop a 170,000 square-foot headquarters and food processing facility.
The property is part of the Century City Business Park that is being prepared for development by the City of Milwaukee to promote business growth and job creation in the 30th Street Industrial Corridor. Initially, Strauss Brands move to Century City will provide 250 jobs for the City of Milwaukee and upon future expansion, that number is expected to be increased over time.
The legislation is expected to be taken up by the full Council when it meets on Tuesday, October 15 at 9 a.m. in the third floor Council Chamber at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
The full Council meeting on October 15 will be televised live on the City Channel (Channel 25 on Spectrum Cable and on AT&T U-Verse Channel 99) in the City of Milwaukee. It can also be viewed via streaming video on the City website at milwaukee.gov/Channel25.
The Milwaukee U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, along with Milwaukee Area Technical College and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, will host a naturalization ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at MATC’s Downtown Milwaukee Campus in Cooley Auditorium on the second floor of the M-Building, 1015 N. 6th St.
A total of 132 individuals representing 43 countries will take the Oath of Allegiance and become U.S. citizens. A federal judge will preside.
A free, public panel discussion and luncheon addressing challenges facing the Milwaukee Hispanic community will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at in the Cyber Café at the Milwaukee Area Technical College Education Center at Walker’s Square, 816 W. National Ave. A question-and-answer period will follow.
The event is hosted by the MATC Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force, and sponsored by MATC’s Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Committee. It is part of the college’s Hispanic Heritage Month activities.
Maria Monreal-Cameron, retired chairperson of the Milwaukee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will moderate the discussion. Other speakers include Wilma Bonaparte, MATC Mequon Campus executive director; Andres E. Gonzalez, vice president, chief diversity officer, Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin; Julian Adem Diaz de Leon, consul of Mexico in Milwaukee; Darryl Morin, president, Forward Latino; Arturo Martinez, director of the MATC Education Center at Walkers Square; Lupe Martinez, CEO, UMOS, and state director, LULAC; Teresa Mercado, executive director, Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation; Jose
Perez, alderman, Milwaukee District 12; Alex Ramierez, inspector, Milwaukee Police Department; and Nelson Soler, president and CEO, Latino Chamber of Commerce.
RSVP to [email protected].
Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of
southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. Nearly 35,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 150 academic programs; transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 35 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the national standard for academics and student services.
On Sunday, September 22, 2019, 25 community leaders and/or organizations were honored at the 3rd Annual Milwaukee Treasure Awards held at No Studios – 1037 W. McKinley Avenue. For the last 3 years, Saved and the City Christian Network has quietly honored over 100 of Milwaukee’s finest in a self-less effort to “shine light on organizations and individuals doing the work to change the sometimes negative narrative surrounding the City of Milwaukee.”
Saved and the City Christian Network was founded by Brandi Iberia Austin in 2017 with a mission to provide “Kingdom solutions for real world issues”. She has done this by creating a media and entertainment platform that has garnered national attention through her talk shows, community content and efforts. Milwaukee Treasures began as a segment on the popular talk show Saved and the City and expanded into a standalone series; later becoming an actual awards ceremony.
Among this year’s honorees were Pastor Gregg Lewis of Pastors United, Mildred Coby of Employ Milwaukee, Vanessa Benton, a Writer for the hit series “How to Get Away with Murder”, Pastor Brian McKee of City of Light Church, and community leader, Nurse Mahdi. Former honorees include Ossie Kendrix, Dr. Lester Carter, Senator Lena Taylor, Tracy Dent, Ajamou Butler, Andre Lee Ellis, and Dasha Kelly – Hamilton. Every year is an anticipated time of love, hope, and inspiration for all those in attendance.
Public Invited to Share Their Priorities
MILWAUKEE – The Board of Supervisors will hold its annual public hearing on the Milwaukee County budget on Monday, November 4, at 6:00pm. The hearing will take place at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St., in Milwaukee.
Members of the Board of Supervisors will be present to listen to constituents as they weigh in on the County Executive’s budget proposal and share their priorities for the 2020 Milwaukee County budget.
The public is encouraged to attend the hearing and share their input directly with the Board.
The Finance and Audit Committee, chaired by Supervisor James “Luigi” Schmitt, has scheduled several days of open meetings in October to hear from department heads and consider budget amendments offered by supervisors.
The full schedule of “Finance and Audit – Budget” meetings is online now at www.milwaukeecounty.legistar.
WHAT: Annual Public Hearing on the County Budget
WHEN: November 4, 2019, 6:00pm
WHERE: Marcus Center, 929 N. Water St., Milwaukee
WHO: Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors