The first of at least two public listening sessions has been scheduled for next week (November 12) to discuss the preliminary report of the City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force.
Alderman Michael J. Murphy, co-chair of the task force, said community members are encouraged to attend the listening session set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12 at South Division High School, 1515 W. Lapham Blvd.
The 15-member City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force began meeting in April in an attempt to tackle the festering reckless driving epidemic in Milwaukee. Late last month the task force released its preliminary set of recommendations on how to make Milwaukee’s streets safer for drivers and pedestrians.
The preliminary report offers an initial set of recommendations to change behavior from a three-pronged approach: Engineering Solutions, Accountability and Enforcement, and Prevention and Education. With this comprehensive strategy to tackle reckless driving, decision makers can be better equipped to collaborate in a coordinated and comprehensive fashion while working on changing reckless driving behavior.
Alderman Murphy, the primary sponsor of the Common Council legislation creating the task force, said input received during the listening sessions will be taken into account before a final plan is adopted. “We want to hear from citizens, stakeholders and anyone who has ideas and input to share. It seems nearly everyone knows someone affected by reckless driving in Milwaukee, and we need a collective voice to formulate possible solutions,” he said.
Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, chair of the task force’s Prevention and Education Subcommittee, said the second listening session will be announced soon and details will be made public.
“I strongly encourage residents to review our preliminary report and to seize this prime opportunity to participate in one or both of these public listening sessions,” she said. “There is urgency and purpose in our work, and we will be bringing a unique but critical proactive input component to each session that will make attendees know that their contributions are valued and appreciated.”
Alderman José G. Pérez, a member of the Public Safety and Health Committee whose district includes South Division, is urging concerned citizens to attend Tuesday’s listening session.
“Reckless driving is a personal matter to me. I lost a friend to a reckless driver just two years ago,” Alderman Pérez said.
“The Task Force has done a great deal of work leading up to these meetings and I want to do whatever I can to make sure residents hear its recommendations. More importantly, I want the Task Force to have an opportunity to hear from citizens about how these behaviors affect them and what they think should be done to prevent them,” he said.
For Tuesday’s session there will be Spanish and American Sign Language interpretation services available.
The task force has been working steadily during the past six months to shape the policy recommendations. The body is composed of experts from the Common Council, Mayor’s Office, Health Department, Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s Office, Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Milwaukee Municipal Court, the Milwaukee Youth Council, community organizations and the general public.