(Above photo) First Lady Michelle Obama address a crowd of 3,000 supporters during her recent visit to Milwaukee. The rally was held a Bradley Tech High School and encouraged supporters to grow the Obama for America grassroots network. (Photo at left) A supporter enthusiastically cheers during the rally. (photos by Yvonne Kemp)
National WIC Association and Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (MHSI) recently presented Congresswoman Gwen Moore with the 2012 Leadership Award at the MLK- Heritage Health Center location at 2555 N. MLK Drive. Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a national, mission-driven preventive public health nutrition program serving nearly 9 million mothers and young children, benefiting local communities and the nation. “The primary objective of this award is, to honor one of our leaders who has been and continues to be a champion for WIC during these uncertain times to help keep the program funded, so that it can continue to effectively improve the nutrition and overall health of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and their young children in communities like ours across the nation,” according to Angie Wilks-Tate, WIC Project Director at MHSI.
MHSI is a Federally Qualified Health Center partnering with WIC to prevent children’s health problems and improving their health, growth and development. The mission of MHSI is to provide accessible, quality primary and related health care services to Milwaukee residents, with the continuing emphasis on medically-underserved families and individuals. MHSI operates the Martin Luther King, Jr. Heritage Health Center at 2555 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Isaac Coggs Heritage Health Center at 8200 W. Silver Spring Drive and the MHS Convenient Care Clinic located in the Midtown Piggly Wiggly at 4061 N. 54th St.
Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs sent letters today to Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn and Fire and Police Commission Executive Director Mike Tobin (both attached) requesting status updates on the investigations into alleged illegal strip searches and body cavity searches by MPD personnel.
Alderwoman Coggs said public interest in the investigations has not waned, and residents are looking for information. “It has been months since the investigations were launched, and nothing has been shared with members of the Common Council or the public,” she said.
“I think it behooves Chief Flynn and Mr. Tobin to expedite the release of some information, so the public is not left thinking that nothing is happening,” Alderwoman Coggs said.
Soon after the troubling allegations surfaced earlier this year, a secret John Doe investigation was launched by Milwaukee County prosecutors. In April, the Council approved a resolution sponsored by Alderwoman Coggs requesting the Police Department and the Fire and Police Commission to report the findings of the investigations, highlighting the lessons learned from those investigations, within 30 days of conclusion of the investigations.
Wisconsin Congresswoman supports marriage for gay and lesbian couples nationwide
Washington – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a video ad featuring U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin for its Americans for Marriage Equality campaign. In the video, Congresswoman Moore states, “I’ve always fought for equality and justice in America, which is why I think it’s wrong to tell two people in love they can’t get married, just because they’re gay or lesbian.” The video can be viewed online at www.hrc.org/marriageequality.
“Rep. Moore is a great ally, and an incredible voice for LGBT equality in Congress,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We are proud to count her as a friend and advocate in our fight for marriage equality nationwide, and we’re grateful for her steadfast support for our community in the House of Representatives.”
Congresswoman Gwen Moore represents Wisconsin’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving since 2005, and is the first African-American to represent the state in Congress. Rep. Moore scored a 100 percent on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for the 112th Congress and is a co-sponsor of a number of pro-LGBT equality bills, including the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). She has also been a vocal supporter of including LGBT-specific provisions in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
This is the twenty-seventh release by HRC for the Americans campaign. Past videos feature Bryan Cranston, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Melissa Harris-Perry, fun.’s Jack Antonoff, Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, Stanley Tucci, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, Cybill Shepherd, Kristen Bell, Jason Mraz, Rossana Rosado, The Rev. Al Sharpton, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, Michael K. Williams, Aisha Tyler, Scott Fujita, Josh Charles, John Leguizamo, Julian Bond, Mo’Nique, and Mayor Cory Booker.
About 53 percent of the American public supports marriage for same-sex couples, according to a number of nonpartisan polls, including Gallup, CNN, and Washington Post/ABC News.
Americans for Marriage Equality is a public engagement campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married. The campaign draws from a cadre of supportive professional athletes, film and music celebrities, and political and civic leaders.
For more information on the campaign or to see the videos, visit www.hrc.org/marriageequality.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
The NAACP Milwaukee Branch will hold its annual Freedom Fund Dinner Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, 333 W. Kilbourn Ave.
A silent auction and reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will start at 7 p.m.
The theme of this year’s affair will be: “Reform, Restore, Refocus: Your Power, Your Decision–VOTE!”
“The Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP has always relied on our community to help fund the fight for justice,” said Branch President James Hall. In 1924, a group of Milwaukeeans met and formed the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP because of issues surrounding segregation, poor housing, lack of diverse communities, and inequality in education. These issues continue to plaque our community today.”
The NAACP is the oldest, largest and strongest civil rights organization in the United States. The organization’s principle objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of people of color.
For more information about the event, call 562-1000 or go to milwaukeenaacp.org.
by Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
A new era in Black Wisconsin politics was ushered in Tuesday as two old guard political figures were among the candidates who were replaced by a fresh cadre of office seekers to the state’s Assembly and Senate.
Incumbent State Rep. Jason Fields (11th Assembly district–1,206 votes, 32%) and State Sen. Candidate, State Rep. Beth Coggs (Sixth Senate district–4,445 votes, 33%), lost to challengers Mandela Barnes, a community organizer who received 2,589 votes (68%), and Milwaukee County Supervisor Nikiya Harris (6,373 votes, 48%) respectively.
The community also lost long-held Black representation in three Assembly districts to White candidates–State Representatives Sandy Pasch (10th Assembly district–3,678 votes, 61%) and Frederick P. Kessler (12th Assembly district–1,922 votes, 72%), and newcomer Evan Goyke (18th Assembly district–1,627 votes, 37%). Two of the three–incumbents Pasch and Kessler–are established legislators who ran in redrawn districts that were predominately Black and represented by African Americans.
Voters in the community–particularly in the three Assembly districts to be represented by White legislators–also rejected the “vote for individuals who look like us” mantra that was uttered by Coggs and supporters of Millie Coby (1,969 votes, 33%), an educator and activist who lost to Pasch.
Coby was one of five MCJ endorsed candidates who lost Tuesday. The other candidates the newspaper endorsed to lose were: Fields, Coggs, Fields’ brother, college instructor Jarett Fields, who lost to Goyke. Fields could only garner 803 votes, (18%). Community organizer Tracey Dent lost to LaTonya Johnson in the 17th Assembly district. He finished third collecting 1,071 votes (23%) to Johnson’s 2,048 votes (43%).
Political observers are anxious to see how fast the “fresh blood” that will be infused in Madison will make their presence felt tackling the myriad of issues facing the city’s Black community, from education to transportation and–more importantly–job and business creation.
With no opposition to worry about, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin cruised to victory Tuesday night. She will face-off against former governor and Republican Candidate Tommy Thompson, who won a closer than expected contest over businessman Eric Hovde. Thompson garnered 189,579 votes (34%) to Hovde’s 169,886 (31%).
Ryan Budget Endorsed by Romney Would Kill 1 Million Jobs in 1 Year
Madison, WI — MoveOn members will distribute 1 million pink slips across the country Thursday to inform voters about how Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans would cost 1 million jobs in just 1 year, and Madison and Milwaukee will be part of the action.
MoveOn members in Madison will meet at 4:30 PM at the State Street Mall on Thursday wearing pink and will hold signs and be available to the media before they split up to deliver pink slips to voters.
MoveOn members in Milwaukee will meet at 12:00 PM on the Bradford Beach Sidewalk on Thursday and will hold signs and be available to the media before they split up to deliver pink slips to voters.
The Ryan budget, endorsed by Mitt Romney, would end Medicare and slash public education spending and economic investment, by asking the middle class to pay more yet offering more tax cuts to the rich. The nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute projected this approach would kill more than 1 million jobs in 2013 and more than 4.1 million jobs by the end of 2014.
“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the 1%’s dream team, but they’d be a nightmare for the poor and middle class,” said Gene Lundergran a MoveOn member from Madison. “We’re distributing these pink slips so voters know just how much harm Romney and Ryan’s flawed trickle down theory would do to the economy, and how many jobs they would kill.”
MoveOn.org Political Action members across the country are organizing hundreds of events on Thursday in which they’ll deliver the pink slips to voters. MoveOn members and others will also be able share an online version of the pink slip with their friends and family members via email and social media.
WHAT: Sign-holding and media availability before distribution of Romney-Ryan pink slips
WHO: MoveOn.org Political Action members
WHEN: from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM Thursday, August 16, 2012
WHERE: On the corner of State Street Mall, 711 State Street and Lake Street, Madison, WI 53718
‘Mitt Romney Has Bigger Problem With Republican Base Than Anyone Thought,’ Says OWN
Madison — One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the failed record of U.S. Rep Paul Ryan and this morning’s announcement by former Bain Capital head Mitt Romney.
“Mitt Romney has been on both sides of every issue, but choosing Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate shows when it comes to rewarding the top one percent and corporations at the expense of seniors, students and the middle class, Mitt Romney is unwavering. The Romney-Ryan vision for America is tax hikes for the middle class to pay for even more shifting of wealth to millionaires and billionaires. The Romney-Ryan vision for American is an end to Medicare as we know it. The Romney-Ryan vision for America is bigger class sizes for kids and more outsourcing of manufacturing jobs overseas. And the Romney-Ryan vision for American is the next generations being virtual indentured servants to student loan debt. Mitt Romney must see he has a bigger problem with the Republican base than anyone thought to put the ideological spokesman of the Washington, DC tea party and his failed ideas on the ticket.”
One Wisconsin Now noted that Ryan was a loyal vote for the failed Republican policies that radically increased spending and put untold trillions of dollars on the nation’s credit card including:
Voting for eight straight Republican budgets that increase federal spending by 50 percent.
Providing the deciding vote for the $7 trillion unfunded Medicare Part D boondoggle.
Voting for two wars “off the budget books” that have cost the nation thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.
Paul Ryan’s eight consecutive budget votes hiking the federal budget by 50 percent:
FY 2000, H CON RES 68, 3/25/99
FY 2001, H CON RES 290, 3/24/00
FY 2002, H CON RES 83, 3/28/01
FY 2003, H CON RES 353, 3/20/02
FY 2004, H CON RES 95, 3/21/03
FY 2005, H CON RES 393, 3/25/04
FY 2006, H CON RES 95, 3/17/05
FY 2007, H CON RES 376, 5/18/06
[Source: U.S. House Roll Calls, 1999-2006]
The City of Milwaukee Election Commission would like to remind voters that the Tuesday, August 14 election is Wisconsin’s Partisan Primary. This election is scheduled to allow voters to select the candidates from their preferred political party for placement on the November General Election ballot.
The Partisan Primary ballot is divided into four sections or “party ballots:” Republican, Democratic, Constitution and Americans Elect. Each party section includes the same races for voting.
In a Partisan Primary, voters may only vote for candidates from one political party. If a voter selects candidates from more than one political party, only their votes for candidates from their
“The best approach to voting on Tuesday is to make sure you understand the purpose of a Partisan Primary before voting and inserting your ballot into the voting machine,” said Neil Albrecht, Executive Director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission. “Voters are encouraged to thoroughly read the ballot instructions.”
By carefully considering and following instructions, a voter can avoid a rejected ballot and being delayed at their voting site. Instructions on the ballot identify that:
You may only vote for candidates from ONE political party. You may not cross-party vote.
Although not required, if you select a Party Preference, you still need to vote for the individual candidates of your choice from that party.
If you select a Party Preference, and you vote for candidates from more than ONE party, your ballot may be accepted, but only your votes for candidates from your selected party will be counted.
If you do NOT select Party Preference, and vote for or write in candidates from more than ONE party, your ballot will be rejected, no votes will be counted, and you will need to vote a new ballot.
Partisan Primaries are not new and have been in effect in Wisconsin since the early 1900s. Election Inspectors, including bilingual staff, are trained and available to provide assistance to any voter with questions on the ballot. In addition, sample ballots are available and posted on the bulletin boards, and detailed instructions are posted in the voting booths. Voters should keep in mind that they receive three attempts to complete a ballot that is accepted by the voting machine.
Voting sites will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.
ELECTION WATCH 2012
Next week’s primary elections may be the most important in recent years.
In addition to the U.S. senatorial race, the elections will change the face of the state legislature, including, if predictions are correct, a 50% reduction in the number of Black state lawmakers
The elections will be the first since federally mandated reapportionment. Population shifts and partisan priorities weighed heavily in the redistricting process, creating several new legislative districts, and the merging of several others. As a result, the concept of ‘community of interest’ will be tested, as will the question of whether Black representation is still a priority of among central city voters.
That latter concern has played out in recent weeks as several past and incumbent Black representatives have encouraged Black voters to ‘vote for individuals’ who look like us. Others have challenged that philosophy, stating that voters should vote for whomever best represents our interests. Without getting caught up in that controversy, our endorsements reflect our steadfast decision to support candidates who prioritize the needs of the community above those of special interests, political party or campaign funding. We also base our endorsements on responses to questionnaires we provided to each candidate (published two weeks ago) and their community endeavors.
The Community Journal endorses…
Millie Coby–Candidate for Assembly Dist. 10 Seat
This has been the most watched race in this election, pitting three black candidates against a respected White lawmaker who is seeking to represent a predominantly Black district. Sandy Pasch is highly qualified, but we lean toward the candidate who has received the endorsement of some of Milwaukee’s most esteemed and respected Black leaders including former Mayor Marvin Pratt, political pioneer Vel Phillips and former State Rep. Polly Williams. Coby has an impressive record of community involvement, understands the issues and has shown a willingness to be open to new approaches to those issues besetting our community.
Jason Fields–Incumbent for Assembly Dist. 11 Seat
Fields epitomizes a steadfast pragmatic politician. He has been one of the most effective legislators during his tenure, as exhibited by the fact that he was the only lawmaker to shepherd three bills through during the last session, even while facing sometimes hostile Republican opposition. Fields has been attacked of late by a segment of the Democratic Party establishment for his independence and his penchant to put his ‘people before his party.’ We however, applaud him and strongly endorsement his reelection.
Tracey Dent–Candidate for Assembly Dist. 17 Seat
There’s an interesting field of candidates running in this open seat, most of whom would make excellent representatives. After careful analysis, however, we lean toward Tracey Dent, whose record of community service is unequaled. As late as Tuesday, Dent was orchestrating a prayer vigil for the victims of the racist attack at the Sikh temple. That was only the latest in a long line of similar efforts he’s put together to combat crime, press for educational accountability and employment opportunities for Black Milwaukee men, who lead the nation in joblessness. Dent is a proven community activist who will take his fight to Madison.
Jaret Fields–Candidate for Assembly Dist. 18 Seat
A fresh voice from a distinguished family whose life has centered on community servitude. We have decried nepotism in the past, but in this case, Fields’ credentials are unmatched as is his desire to bring fresh ideals and challenge the status quo.
Beth Coggs–Candidate for Senate Dist. Six Seat
Like Fields, Coggs is unafraid to question establishment politics and willing to put here neck on the chopping block to advance an agenda of benefit to our community. The field in this race is impressive, including Nikiya Harris, who shows great promise. But Coggs’ experience and political savvy—as county supervisor and state representative—would serve us well as the new state senator. No one can match her experience, and few come close to her unwavering commitment to remedy the myriad of problems that confront our community.
U.S Senate–There is no Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Herb Kohl. That means Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is guaranteed a place on the November ballot. Baldwin is an excellent choice for the Democratic nomination and her record as a strong supporter of President Obama and programs that positively impact our community is noteworthy.
With the absence of a Democratic presence on the ballot, many of our readers will cross over to vote on the Republican side, selecting a candidate from four Republicans, two of whom have sought statewide office in the past. One candidate sticks out, however, not only because he served as governor of our state for over a decade, but also because he is the only moderate in the group.
It’s interesting that conservative Republicans have targeted Tommy Thompson since he announced his candidacy. Is it because he supported institutions like OIC and the Private Industry Concil while governor?
Is it because he was the catalyst behind legislation that made the state responsible for paying two thirds of the cost of public education, a commitment that has been reneged upon by former Governor Jim Doyle and now Scott Walker?
Or is it because Thompson, as a Republican signed legislation for the strongest minority business participation program in state history?
That conservatives are attacking Thompson gives us reason for pause. Obviously, he’s the best of the lot.