Houston— Los médicos se sentían optimistas respecto a las probabilidades…
By Robert Miranda Editor’s Commentary
Milwaukee – Alderman Jose G. Perez recent vote to support the downtown streetcar was just one of nine votes that gave Mayor Barrett the green light to spend $124 million dollars to build a tourist train in the heart of downtown.
Opposition to the streetcar in the south side of Milwaukee was arguably strong.
Nevertheless, Alderman Perez ignored the opposition and supported the streetcar. Before the vote Perez even went so far as to organize a community information session on the streetcar in Alderman Bob Donovan’s district.
Alderman Bob Donovan of the 8th Aldermanic District stated he was never informed by the Mayor’s office or by Alderman Perez that they were invading his district to conduct a streetcar public briefing.
The public briefing clearly had a large opposition force in attendance, but that did not sway Alderman Perez from supporting Mayor Barrett.
After the Common Council voted for the streetcar by a 9 to 6 vote, Mayor Barrett held a signing celebration. In attendance, were the nine aldermen who voted for the streetcar, including Perez.
However, Perez has yet to provide the public with a written statement as to why he voted for the streetcar.
Alderman Perez has not responded to emails requesting a statement giving his reason for supporting the streetcar.
Perez released a 2014 fall newsletter and in it he gives no indication of his support for the streetcar. In addition, Perez office has not issued a press release outlining why he was supporting the downtown streetcar.
Perez silence on this matter is disturbing. His vote to spend $124 million to support a train that serves only the downtown area should be explained to the constituents of the 12th Aldermanic District.
We should know why the Alderman voted for the mayor’s train because after all, we’re being asked to pay for it.
Milwaukee – Earlier this month, Alderman Terry Witkowski of the 13th Aldermanic District in Milwaukee’s south side, was one of two out of five south side aldermen who voted for the Milwaukee downtown streetcar, Alderman Jose G. Perez of the 12th district was the other who voted to support the mayor.
Recently, Christopher Wiken, 45, announced his candidacy to run for the 13th District aldermanic seat, currently held by incumbent Terry Witkowski. The district includes General Mitchell International Airport, much of the 27th Street business corridor and the southernmost edge of the City of Milwaukee.
“The voters of the district deserve an elected official who represents their interests, understands the needs of their community, will listen to them and not be bullied by outside interests,” said Wiken.
Wiken’s is seen as a strong candidate, he is second-generation owner of Milwaukee’s famous The Packing House Restaurant, a very popular family owned restaurant in the district.
“The streets in Milwaukee are cratered with potholes, our fire department is faced with brown-outs risking injury and loss of life, our public school system is not producing enough graduates and Milwaukee was just rated the second poorest city in the nation, right behind Detroit,” said Wiken. “The people of Milwaukee need to take back their city or risk succumbing to the collapse of all the hard work and effort of people like my parents who built a wonderful business, provided good jobs and were proud to be part of the fabric of Milwaukee.”
Wiken has selected Mark Borkowski, who currently represents the 11th District on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, to be his campaign treasurer. Borkowski is the longest tenured supervisor on the current board having served 22 years.
MADISON — Workers from all trades and parts of Wisconsin rallied at the Wisconsin state Capitol this week, pushing back against a fast-tracked right-to-work bill backed by Republicans and Gov. Scott Walker.
The gathering paled in numbers and intensity to the protests seen four years ago when Walker pushed through his measure that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers. Rallies then lasted for weeks and grew as large as 100,000 people.
Walker, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, over the past four years has said that right-to-work wasn’t a priority, wouldn’t come up this session and was a distraction from his agenda that could lead to protests again that would hurt the state’s economy.
Republicans made the surprise announcement last week that they were moving ahead with the law, Walker said he would sign the bill. He has been a longtime backer of right-to-work and had proposed it as an Assembly member in 1993.
“We need to make Wisconsin more competitive and this certainly does that,” said Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, the bill’s sponsor.
Fitzgerald and other supporters argued in the hearing that a right-to-work law would raise wages, give workers freedom to choose whether to pay union dues and improve the economy.
Opponents said the measure will lower worker pay and allow non-union members to benefit from protections and benefits negotiated by the union. Unions have to represent both members and nonmembers in workplace grievances and in other situations.
The NFL Players Association issued a statement opposing it as well, saying right-to-work would hurt union workers at Lambeau Field where the Green Bay Packers play.
The right-to-work debate comes in the wake of the 2011 fight over Walker’s law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers. That law also prohibited the automatic withdrawal of union dues for public workers, like the right-to-work measure would do in the private sector.
Madison – Students from 16 Wisconsin high schools will advance to the State Bar of Wisconsin’s 32nd Annual High School Mock Trial semifinal event on Saturday, March 7 at the Dane County Courthouse in Madison.
Each team will have a chance to make their case before a panel of volunteer attorneys and judges during the two-day event, beginning with four trials on Saturday and concluding with the top two teams competing in a final round on Sunday in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The winning team will go on to represent the state at the National Mock Trial Championship in Raleigh, N.C.
The Mock Trial program provides high school students with an opportunity to act as attorneys and witnesses in a court case that has been developed by State Bar members. This year’s students – in teams of 6 to 12 – unravel a criminal case.
The case, which was drafted by members of the State Bar Mock Trial Committee, prompts students to prepare and present their arguments based on the following scenario:
Jamie Covington, a third year law student, shot and killed their roommate, Dallas Lawson, when Lawson was entering the apartment through a bathroom window. Did Covington shoot Lawson in self-defense or was there an ulterior motive?
All teams finishing first in each region will compete in the semifinals, along with four second place teams that were randomly selected from all second place finishers. The teams advancing to the semifinals are:
Xavier Team 1
Appleton West High School
Eau Claire Region
First place: River Falls High School Team 1
Superior High School
Green Bay Region
First place: Green Bay East High School
Bay Port High School
Oregon High School
First place: Lodi High School Team 2
La Crosse Region
First place: River Valley High School
First place: Middleton High School Team 1
Second place: Madison Memorial
First place: Shorewood High School Team 1
First place: Franklin High School
First place: Brookfield Academy Team 2
First place: Rhinelander High School Team 1
Wisconsin Rapids Region
First place: Lincoln High School Team 1
KENOSHA – WISN – 12 reports that a former Kenosha teacher faces up to eight counts of child enticement in Kenosha.
According to the report police arrived on February 6 at the Kenosha Indian Trail Academy to investigate the conduct of a staff member.
Jeffrey Spencer a 25 year old member of the staff was the target of the police investigation.
The report goes on to say that a search of Spencer’s home by police last weekend revealed electronics seized by police show Spencer inviting “one student to his home to cuddle and kiss and told a second girl: ‘(You) need to study your anatomy.'”
According to the police search warrant, Spencer kissed one of the girls on two occasions in his coach’s office.
Tonya Ruder of the Kenosha School District said last week that Spencer, resigned his position Feb. 9, according to WISN.
Prosecutors plan to file criminal charges this week. Spencer has no prior record.
By Robert Miranda Editor Wisconsin Spanish Journal, Chris Johnson, Editor KINGFISHmke.com
Recent reports by local media have once again obfuscated how Milwaukee’s proposal to pay for the streetcar will affect the funding of education and delay any potential property tax relief for Milwaukee taxpayers.
Failing to illustrate Tax Incremental Financing districts (TIF) and Tax Incremental Districts (TID), the media continues to confuse taxpayers on how education funding and any possible property tax relief is impacted by the downtown streetcar.
While we agree that payments of debt incurred by the streetcar will be paid primarily from TIF districts, our contention, and we have remained consistent on this when we first brought this matter forward, is that the funds paid out by the TIF will be funds coming from TIDs that have become “donor” TIDs to the downtown streetcar project.
Last week at a last minute, borderline secretive, Joint Review Board (JRB) meeting, made up of the city’s five taxing entities including the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, MPS, MATC and MMSD, the board approved the financing of the downtown streetcar along with amending the TID (#56 – Erie/Jefferson Riverwalk) to further use property tax revenues to pay for the downtown streetcar.
Since then we have learned that there is yet another TID that was amended back in 2013 TID (#49 – Cathedral Place) that has also been amended to pay for this downtown streetcar.
Since the passing of the streetcar project by the Common Council, we have found that there are two TIDs providing property tax revenues, in the form of “donor” TID’s, to pay for the downtown streetcar to go along with the newly created TID (#82 – Streetcar) for a total of three TIDs.
We do know that the two donor TIDs, which provided property tax revenues to pay the debt incurred to finance other projects, met their debt obligations and could have been terminated. But because the City of Milwaukee moved to amend these TIDs and reclassify them as donor TIDs to the downtown streetcar TID (#82), the revenues from the two donor TIDs will now be tied up to pay streetcar debt instead of going to the taxing entities of the city. In a word, those funds will be deferred away from MPS and MATC.
The argument made by downtown streetcar supporters that these deferred property taxes will not increase MPS revenues is technically true as result of the MPS revenue cap imposed by the state. However, what these downtown streetcar supporters intentionally fail to tell the public is that if these “donor” TIDs were terminated those property taxes would go to the taxing entities, including MPS, and there would be less need for property taxes from taxpayers to fund MPS. Additional property taxes from terminated TIDs would also go to MATC, which could further reduce the need of property taxes from homeowners.
Continuing to amend TIDs to be donor TIDs shifts the burden of funding MPS from the TIDs to Milwaukee taxpaying homeowners, thus preventing any potential property tax relief.
We are not saying the reports by the local media are inaccurate; we are however, stating that they are incomplete.
THE DOWNTOWN STREETCAR IS DEFERRING MONEY AWAY FROM MPS AND MATC.
Streetcar as an economic development tool
In addition, the mayor on a number of occasions has stated that TIDs support economic development in Milwaukee. To some degree the mayor is correct.
However, a recent study was released exposing the myth of streetcar economic boon.
The new study by the Metropolitan Council entitled, “Streetcar Policy Development: Case Study Report” reveals, among other things, detailed analysis and sobering findings on the contributions streetcars will have in the future economic development plans of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul) Minnesota. http://www.metrocouncil.org/METC/files/20/20532879-d6b9-4dc8-9376-ef08d375441b.pdf
The report talks about nine cities with streetcars, but highlights the streetcar system in the City of Portland, Oregon, as the national model many “urban planners, city officials, and local politicians throughout the United States” look to as the system that makes an impact on economic development of that city.
Many of these leaders see streetcar investments as a “strategy and tool to help revitalize communities, to support new development, and to provide more transportation options to serve the mix of residential, commercial, and retail markets,” according to the report.
The Metropolitan Council report cites a 2008 study prepared by the City of Portland in which the city “estimated $3.5 billion in new investment within two blocks of the City’s starter line,” a widely referenced argument repeated by streetcar supporters around the nation.
And while everyone is mesmerized by the positive projects and outlooks for having a streetcar, the reality of all this pipe dreaming by the urban planners, city officials, and local politicians, according to the Metropolitan Council report, is that “measuring the actual impacts of streetcar investments on the local economy versus other City policies and development incentives is elusive, and debatable.”
Allow us to say that again. The report states that streetcars as a tool for economic development is at best “debatable,” and at worst “elusive.”
Indeed, the Metropolitan Council’s report tells the leaders of the Twin Cities that “there is no universally accepted methodology for estimating the economic benefits of streetcars in isolation from other public and private initiatives aimed at creating vibrant and sustainable urban areas.”
Which begs the question: What methodology for estimating economic benefits that streetcars would bring to Milwaukee did the mayor and his staff use to argue that the Milwaukee streetcar would be a boon for Milwaukee?
Guesswork does not guarantee a sound investment and economic growth.
New Berlin — Christopher Foley, coach of the New Berlin West boys basketball team was arrested last week for possession of marijuana.
The case is being reviewed by the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal prosecution. Foley has a previous marijuana violation.
Police have yet release information on how much marijuana was allegedly found or where it was located.
A letter to New Berlin West parents by Jordan Napoli, the athletic and activities director, was released stating:
“Last Friday evening, New Berlin West administrators suspected a staff member was in possession of illegal substances. We immediately contacted the New Berlin Police Department. The individual, whose responsibilities were as a special education assistant and boys basketball coach, was arrested Friday evening.
We are extremely disappointed in the alleged activities of this individual. The School District of New Berlin is committed to employing staff members who serve as positive role models for our students. Illegal substances have no place in our schools or by any staff member.”
The individual has been placed on administrative leave until further action is taken by the school district.”
Foley was replaced as head coach by Brandon Mattox.
Milwaukee – The Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin, in conjunction with the Seminole Tribe who own Hard Rock International, offered $220 million towards a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. In exchange, they want approval to build a new Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha.
However, it didn’t take long for the Walker administration to reject the Menominee tribe idea of paying $220 million to cover the taxpayers’ share for a new downtown Milwaukee Bucks arena, in exchange for approval of its proposed Kenosha casino.
Gov. Walker’s top negotiator on the project said the issue is no longer open for discussion.
Menominee Chair Gary Besaw made the announcement at separate news conferences in Milwaukee and Madison Tuesday, saying the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has assured him Gov. Walker still has until February 19 to reverse his decision.
Gov. Walker announced on January 23 he was rejecting the Menominee casino project, because it left Wisconsin taxpayers exposed to $100 million or more in liabilities caused by the Potawatomi Nation stopping its annual revenue payments to the state.
The Governor is concerned the Potawatomi would file a lawsuit arguing the establishment of a casino in Kenosha violates the gaming compact they have with the state, because it is less than 50 miles from their Milwaukee casino.
The $220 million offered by the Menominee is equal to the amount Gov. Walker included in his budget proposal for the arena project, which he wants to pay for with state bonding.
Milwaukee – After months of debate, and in the midst of a petition drive seeking a referendum, the controversial streetcar project was approved by the Milwaukee Common Council this week by a vote of nine in favor to six opposed.
Of the five aldermen who represent the South side of Milwaukee, two South side aldermen joined Mayor Barrett and seven others, to make up the majority vote the mayor needed to get the streetcar project started.
The South side Aldermen who voted against the streetcar were: 8th Aldermanic District, Alderman Bob Donovan; 11th Aldermanic District, Alderman Joe Dudzik and 14th Aldermanic District, Tony Zielinski.
The South side Aldermen who voted for the streetcar were: 12th Aldermanic District, Alderman Jose G. Perez; 13th Aldermanic District, Terry Witkowski.
Before the vote, Zielinski and Donovan continued to voice their opposition by noting financial issues facing the city of Milwaukee, the future costs of the streetcar and its expansions and allowing for a referendum so that the citizens of Milwaukee can vote on the matter.
“This is a Pyrrhic victory, and I just wanted to state all of this stuff on the record because when you-know-what hits the fan – and it will; one day, sooner or later, this will come out – you can’t say that you didn’t know,” Zielinski said in his statement.
“It’s rather disingenuous of the mayor and some of the proponents of the streetcar to be continually talking about where it’s going to be expanding to without ever mentioning how we’re going to pay for it,” said Donovan.
Green Bay-A starting Green Bay Packers defensive lineman has been arrested on drug charges.
Defensive tackle Letroy Guion was arrested in Starke, Florida.
The officer who pulled over Guion for a traffic stop said he could smell marijuana.
After backup units arrived, the officer searched Guion’s truck and found a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and 357 grams of marijuana.
The officer said Guion became “extremely uncooperative and hostile.” The officer reported that Guion “kept coming towards the vehicle several times saying, ‘Hey man, my money is in there. Don’t let him take my money.'”
The officer found $190,028.81 in a black bag in the truck.
Guion’s also charged with possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The Green Bay Packers said in a statement, “We are aware of a serious matter involving Letroy Guion.”
Guion signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Packers last March.
Milwaukee – A bronze statue of the late César E. Chávez, the founding leader of the United Farm Workers, will be unveiled sometime this summer, according to an article in the Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA). The Chávez bronze statue will be placed in an area near the El Rey Grocery Store at the 900 block of S. César E. Chávez Drive.
Olivia Villarreal, Corporate Secretary of El Rey Holdings, Inc. (El Rey Food & Grocery store chain) is quoted by HNNUSA, stating “that her family is honored to have donated $10,000 to the bronze man size statue of César E. Chávez and would be responsible for any extra landscaping needed for the statue”.
Milwaukee County Supervisor, Peggy Romo-West, a founding member of the Cesar Chavez Drive Committee in 1995, stated “Bid 38 is doing great work in that area and the Villarreal family and everyone at El Rey is to be commended for their efforts to make Cesar E. Chavez Drive a Milwaukee attraction in the Latino community.”
In the early 1990s, Supervisor Romo-West and the late Marshall Vega teamed with former Alderman Jim Witkowiak to create Cesar E. Chavez Drive Committee.
The renaming of 16th street materialized when efforts were blocked by Hispanic leaders to stop the renaming of South Division High School to Cesar E. Chavez Bilingual University High School.
“History revisionists say that racist white South Division alumnus blocked the name change at South Division High School, but in reality, it was several Hispanic community leaders who blocked the name change, forcing the committee to change direction and rename 16th Street to Cesar E. Chavez Drive’, said Robert Miranda a founding member of the Cesar E. Chavez Drive Committee in 1995. “The funny thing is, many people thought we were talking about Cesar Chavez the boxer. We’ve come a long way since then”.
Miranda says that the early years to rename 16th Street met a lot of resistance and took tremendous effort to achieve because of the heavy racist attitudes.
“Peggy and others who walked the streets met with many door slams and insults in those days to get the job done”, said Miranda.
HNNUSA reports that the “Chávez bronze statue is part of a three year FARM Project to promote small business economic growth” designed to bring out the rich cultural environment needed to attract tourists, increase consumer retail, food and art base of the Latino community.
The Chávez bronze statue is projected to cost $40,000. The Chávez statue is being built by designer Geno Passara and his partner, according to HNNUSA.
There is funding campaign still going on. Contact the office of Alderman Jose G. Perez and ask about the Cesar E. Chavez Bid for more details.
By Robert Miranda
There has been a lot of discussion in recent days about Mayor Barrett’s downtown streetcar proposal. In fact, the mayor showed up in Alderman Bob Donovan’s district to peddle his streetcar Kool aid.
Discussions about who will actually benefit from this city-wide taxpayer funded project, who is being overlooked and left out from participating in the planning, construction, and use of the streetcar and which neighborhoods are deliberately or in deliberately being excluded from planned extended map routes, in particular on the north and south side were brought up.
However, the most most vigorous discussion is centering around how the proposed downtown streetcar proposal will be financed, in particular whether or not Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) future revenues will be sacrificed to finance the downtown streetcar was all but ignored during the mayor’s presentation.
The heated debate regarding funding the streetcar project resulted in a retraction from the City of Milwaukee Legislative Research Bureau (LRB) of three memos that the department released in the last month, drawing attention to how much future tax property revenue would be “deterred” or “transferred” from MPS to pay for the streetcar financing. A retraction from the City of Milwaukee research department has been called highly irregular and extraordinary.
The position that Mayor Barrett’s administration, downtown Ald. Bauman and eastside Ald. Kovac has adopted that no MPS future funds will be used to finance the downtown streetcar is simply not true or factual!
Let’s begin with where the majority of the financing for the proposed streetcar is to come from, Tax Incremental Districts (TIDs) #56 and #82. TID #82 is a newly proposed district supported by Mayor Barrett, downtown Ald. Bauman, eastside Ald. Kovac and other north side alderpersons.
The #56 TID was originally created to extend the Riverwalk along the east bank of the Milwaukee River between North Broadway and the Harbor. This TID (56) has already made all of their debt obligation payments and has reimbursed all of the costs related to that project, which normally results in the TID being terminated and the property tax revenues going back to the taxing entities (MPS, MATC, MMSD, City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County).
That never occurred with #56 TID, the Common Council along with the City of Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority and the Joint Review Board amended the #56 TID to become a “donor” TID. A “donor” TID may allocate increased, or incremental, property taxes to another TID for up to 10 years.
This is one of the ways in which Mayor Barrett’s downtown streetcar is deferring money away from MPS. Those property tax revenues from TID #56 are now proposed to go to finance the streetcar, instead of going to the taxing entities, which includes MPS. THE STREETCAR IS TAKING MONEY AWAY FROM MPS BECAUSE OF THIS.
The establishment of the downtown streetcar TID is another obstacle against moving the South side community away from poverty. It becomes another impairment to MPS because TIDs that have been established in the past, by and large, have been used as “donor” TIDs to support other TIDs in the city that really doesn’t need them.
The results of these actions by the mayor, his networks and the status quo is clear. Poverty in the South side community continues to grow in areas where poverty never had a foothold in the past, thus destroying South side neighborhoods because the status quo have not allowed TIDs to terminate. By not allowing most of these TIDs to terminate, the South side community becomes the casualty of this economic policy because those revenue streams, which should be freed up to support economic policies that would address and begin the process of fighting back poverty in the South side, are now tied up again for years supporting other TIDs as “donor” TIDs for project like the streetcar.
So in essence, the mayor is taking money away from MPS and from our community, when he and the Common Council prevents TIDs from terminating and uses them to be “donor” TIDs to support projects like his choo-choo train.
The cost to the economic life of the South side community by these practices is of no concern to the city’s status quo as illustrated by the fact that Milwaukee is a leader in segregation, Black male unemployment, neighborhood deterioration and other social factors that are compounded by poverty.
Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke says that the NAACP was out of line for blaming police for shooting a black man in Oklahoma. The outspoken sheriff says that the problems facing our streets rest in homes with single mothers.
Sheriff Clarke was speaking of an incident where body camera recordings showed a Muskogee police officer in Oklahoma fatally shoot a fleeing suspect.
The Tulsa, Oklahoma NAACP chapter President told KTUL NEWS Station in Tulsa that the shooting was part of a “shoot first and ask questions later” mentality in the police.
“I think emphasis should be placed on trying to take those people alive,” said the NAACP president.
On a segment of Fox & Friends, Sheriff Clarke argued that the NAACP should be focusing on black men instead of the police.
“This once proud organization that was a force for good has relegated itself into irrelevancy, and I challenge anybody to name the last significant accomplishment that the NAACP has achieved in the United States for people of color,” Clarke opined. “This organization has become nothing more than a political propaganda entity for the left.”
The sheriff said that the NAACP should start a discussion in the black community about “the behavior of our young black men.”
“The discussion we need to be having and the NAACP can lead it — stay off the police — is why is the stuff happening, and what are we going to do about it,” he continued. “The number one cause of this is father-absent homes. So what are we going to do in terms of having more effective parenting, more role modeling, more engaged fathers in the lives of these young black men so that we don’t have this behavior.”
Brian Kilmeade, the host of Fox News pointed out that the assailants mother said that officers did not have to shoot her son as he ran away.
“Well, what did his dad say?” Clarke laughed. “You know, we always hear what his mom says. You know, look, mom loves her son, we all get that. But shoot first and ask questions later — anytime a law enforcement officer is in a situation where a gun is introduced by a suspect, yeah, it’s shoot first, stop the threat, and then ask questions later.”
“And also, when you run from the police, I’ll tell you right now, you’re headed toward a very dark place where things are not going to go well for you,” he added. “That doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to be shot and you should die. But the fact is, that is one of the most dangerous situations an officer can be involved in.”
Clarke said the shooting was “unfortunate,” but he added that the NAACP needed to “focus on the behavior of our young black men, and not the police.”
He was charged by the District Attorney’s office with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree attempted homicide.
The criminal complaint says that Garcia went in a rampage when he saw a video posted online showing one of the victims playing with his daughter.
Garcia and the mother of the daughter broke up because Garcia was abusive toward her during their relationship.
According to the complaint, Garcia wanted to get back together, when she refused, Garcia pulled out a knife and began stabbing her.
Police said Garcia stabbed two men who were also in the house. One of the men, Paul Kucharczyk, died as a result of the attack. The medical examiner said Kucharczyk was stabbed 44 times.
Court documents say that Garcia then pleaded with the woman to come out of the bathroom. When she refused, police said Garcia entered a bedroom and stabbed his 5-month-old daughter six times.
The baby, Alexia Dailey, died at the scene.
Garcia faces life in prison for each of the homicide charges, and 60 years in prison on each of the attempted homicide charges.
An article published in Urban Milwaukee entitled, “Streetcar Responses Shows Wide Support”, illustrates clearly the lost opportunity being ignored by Black elected officials to show the power they have as representatives of their community.
The number of responses that Black alderpersons received in a survey published in this article about the streetcar, clearly shows that if these black elected officials were truly dedicated to standing against the current conditions of hypersegregation, poverty and high rates of incarceration of Black people that exist in Milwaukee, now would be the time to make that statement.
In addition, a January 5, 2015 Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) memo showed that Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), Wisconsin’s largest public education system where the students attending are predominantly Black, will be on the hook for about $40 million tax dollars to help pay for the streetcar. However, the city took exception to the memo releasing their response to the LRB memo on January 8, 2015 arguing that the LRB misinterpreted the tax that will be taken.
Still, whatever tax formula or interpretation the city wishes to argue about what type of tax that will go towards paying for the streetcar, one thing is certain, tax dollars are being spent on building the streetcar, not going towards educating Black children.
So you see, while the mayor wants to bet on Milwaukee’s future, he is doing so using tax revenue once earmarked to educate Black children, risking their future as he places his bet.
And what are Black Alderpersons getting in return for their streetcar vote? What’s the pay off for the Black community to allow the mayor to syphon off education money from the city’s predominately Black public school system?
That’s why now would be the time to tell the mayor and all the developers supporting this streetcar that business as usual in Milwaukee cannot continue.
The time to strike would be now. Voting against this streetcar is the strongest possible message to send to the status quo covert segregationists that economic apartheid against Black people ends.
Now is the time to strike by voting against them for the years of incarcerating black people for minor drug charges and unchecked police brutality.
What other opportunity presents itself in the future than now? Voting to end their profit from the construction of the streetcar unless they present a twenty year plan of prosperity for the Black community is fair trade for the Black vote.
Unless, Black elected officials are in it only for themselves, then doing the mayor’s bidding for a favor in return later makes sense. Shame.
KENOSHA – WISN 12 reports that a new compact with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin has been reached. The compact carries the signature of tribal leaders, as well as Gov. Walker.
An understanding in the compact was reached in which that the Menominee Tribe would pay the state 7.5 percent of its net winnings from a Kenosha facility, according to a memo to the assistant secretary of the interior for Indian affairs.
Walker said, “The State of Wisconsin recently negotiated a compact amendment with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin in an effort to help define the potential economic and fiscal impact of the proposed Kenosha Casino.”
WISN 12 News first reported the news Monday that a tribal spokesperson told Kent Wainscott that an agreement had been reached in principle and that signatures were being gathered. The compact also states that the tribe would make up any budget shortfall caused by a reduction in payments from compacts with the Forest County Potawatomi.
The Potawatomi tribe issued a statement, saying, “It’s clear that this compact amendment does not remove the risk that a Kenosha casino could put a substantial hole in Wisconsin’s budget.”
The Menominee believe the compact provides a clear path for the governor to approve the casino. The amended compact now heads to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for approval. The Potawatomi are preparing a lawsuit.
Walker has until Feb. 19 to approve or reject the casino.
Milwaukee – A crowd was on hand at Milwaukee City Hall to observe the Common Council ‘s vote on a downtown streetcar plan the mayor is trying to move forward.
The streetcar plan calls for four miles of track. It would loop the lower east side and the Third Ward, with stops downtown and at the Intermodal Station. The estimated cost of the project is $124 million. Federal money would cover 45 percent; special financing districts would provide the rest. The proposal has both supporters and detractors on the Council and in the business community.
Some Aldermen are opposed to the streetcar project, including Alderman Tony Zielinski. He says the project would not reach areas of the city in desperate need of development.
“The thing that especially causes concern for me as we have the highest, if not one of the highest African American unemployment rates in the entire country. And where do we stick this investment that according to our opponents is going to spur development not in the central city, instead downtown instead of providing it for the neediest people,” Zielinski says.
Zielinski adds, that downtown is already in the midst of a building boom.
Common Council voted to pass the streetcar measure however Zielinski sought and got a reconsideration.
Requiring three members of the Common Council, the reconsideration was a procedural move to delay a decision until February 10. This move was intended to help streetcar opposition to collect enough signatures to force a referendum.