Senator Lena Taylor
Senator Lena Taylor started her bid for Mayor in usual Taylor fashion, in the heart of the community with the community. Taylor held the petition party at her headquarters located at 4345 n 60th street, where supporters were greeted with a street team consisting of community leaders such as, Andre Lee Ellis. The aroma of southern cooking also greeted the noses of those who came in, as she set up the back of the office with free food and drinks. Taylor a 4th term senator hopes to challenge Mayor Barrett, and the other known competition that is Alderman Tony Zielinski. This is an important race for our city, so no matter who you support get out and vote!
Compiled by MCJ Editorial Staff
Recalling the Milwaukee she knew growing up and the sense of unity and neighborhood that shaped her—and wants to reconnect to—state Sen. Lena Taylor announced her candidacy for mayor of the state’s largest city in 2020.
Making the announcement during a news conference in front of her Capitol Drive home as family, neighbors and supporters looked on, Taylor said Milwaukee is at a crossroads and cited what she sees is a lack of action on the part of the presumptive incumbent mayor, Tom Barrett.
Barrett has not officially announced if he plans to seek re-election.
During the news conference, the four-term Democratic senator recounted fondly her childhood in a Milwaukee which, today, is a far cry from her early years.
“I could play double-dutch on the block. We could play hide-and-go seek. We could run in the neighbor’s yard,” Taylor said. “We could get apples and pears off the trees—and we had birthday parties with each other. That’s the Milwaukee I know. That’s the Milwaukee that made me. That’s the Milwaukee that I demand.”
Taylor said she is a child of Milwaukee—and not unique in her childhood experiences. “I am the Milwaukee that I know. I’m not (Tom) Barrett’s Milwaukee. I am the Milwaukee that allowed me to grow up and have access to opportunity. I think every child should have access to opportunity.”
Taylor, 53 and an attorney, has been critical of the mayor on a variety of fronts, charging that he is “disconnected” from the voters on issues of race, job creation, concerns over police conduct, income inequality and issues at the city’s health department.
Born and raised in the city, Taylor was first elected to the state Assembly in a special election in 2003 and was elected to the state Senate the next year.
She ran against and lost to Scott Walker in the 2008 Milwaukee County Executive race. In that election, Taylor carried the city by 5,000 votes.
When Walker was elected governor, she was one of several Democratic senators who fled the state in an effort to block a vote on Act 10, Walker’s legislation that limited the power of public employee unions.
Taylor will join a growing list of candidates vying for the city’s top job. Among the announced candidates is city Ald. Tony Zielinski and Alderman and Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton. Though he hasn’t yet formally announced his intentions, Hamilton has filed papers to run for the position.
It’s not clear whether Taylor will abandon plans to seek re-election to the Senate in the fall of 2020.
Sources for this article: MJS, WITI Fox6News, Fox11online.com
Milwaukee County Supervisors Deanna Alexander and Felesia Martin with support from the Office on African American Affairs will co-host a town hall event to discuss racial equity, history and quality of life on Tuesday, August 13 at Berea Lutheran Church.
Last year, Milwaukee County leaders including Supervisors Alexander and Martin were able to hear from the YWCA’s experts on racial equity. This year, a racial equity training program has been implemented for all County employees.
In an effort to give the public an opportunity to hear some of the same information presented to County leaders and employees, the Supervisors have invited the same experts from the YWCA to attend and present at their co-hosted town hall. A time for Q & A is part of the program.
The racial equity training is part of Milwaukee County’s ongoing efforts to address racial disparities. This year, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee County Supervisors Marcelia Nicholson, Supreme Moore Omokunde, and Deanna Alexander sponsored a resolution declaring that racism is a public health crisis.
Local elected officials expected to attend include Senator Lena Taylor and Representative LaKeshia Myers.
WHAT: Town hall on racial equity, history, and quality of life
WHEN: Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
WHERE: Berea Lutheran Church, 4873 N. 107th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53225
WHO: Supervisors Deanna Alexander, Felesia Martin, Senator Lena Taylor, Representative LaKeshia Myers.
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.
As chestnuts roast on an open fire and Jack Frost nips at our noses, the city is decorated with lights and trees every where you look. Houses are illuminated by Santa Claus figurines; shopping malls are crowded with thousands of patrons looking to catch seasonal sales. I have been in and out the malls myself, while enduring the shopping madness (long lines/ sold out items etc). I was not as bothered by those things as I was by a young mother I had seen. The African American woman was in the mall with her 2 children, who were asking about pictures with Santa, and what they were getting for Christmas. She responded “it is too expensive come on” as they raced to the bus stop.
Indeed the cheapest pictures I found in the city were $10 dollars per child, not to mention the time and money it takes to get to most shopping malls if you are on the bus. With children’s toys getting pricier the year, “expensive” is an understatement. It is because of these reasons that the two events I will mention were so important in our community.
On Saturday December 15th from 11am to 1pm, Alderman Chevy Johnson and Senator Lena Taylor paid host to a toy drive at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center. Children received teddy bears, hats, scarves, mittens and toys at the drive only costing them a smile. It was the 2nd annual holiday event hosted by Johnson who has been heavily involved with the neighborhood. Combined with his commitment and Senator Taylor’s natural ability to connect with children and her warm smiles, the children felt at home.
After that event from 2 pm to 4pm at Pete’s Market hosted “pictures with Santa”. Not only is the location unique, but Santa himself was played by an African American man, something rarely seen. The pictures were also free, saving parents at least 10 dollars per child.
Both events were a success helping to serves well over 100 families. I am not sure if the mother from the mall made it, but the events helped so many like her. Thank you to all who have done something to help those in need.