by Robert Miranda
Milwaukee – State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa seeks to return to Madison but she first has to get past Laura Manriquez who is challenging Zamarripa for the fourth time.
Manriquez last three attempts were thwarted by extraordinary events beyond her control.
Manriquez first go around was stopped when a couple of weeks before the election Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, Georgia Pabst wrote an article that incorrectly identified Manriquez claiming she had not paid her taxes and was facing a warrant from the State. The false report was retracted and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel issued a correction and apology for the error.
Manriquez however was unable to repair the damage done to her reputation and Zamarripa went on to win the election becoming the first bisexual female Hispanic to hold state office.
The second time around Manriquez suspended her campaign after the death of one of her sons during the middle of the campaign.
Two years ago, Manriquez ran again but fell down a flight of stairs hitting her head suffering life threatening injury. The campaign was again suspended.
Manriquez has recovered and says she feels great. Her community work has been focused on fighting for lead-free water and safe/drug free neighborhoods in the 8th Assembly District.
Rep. JoCasta Zamarippa has been championing immigration rights and has been the leading voice in the State Assembly advocating for LGBTQ issues since taking office.
In a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, Zamarippa cited as one of her accomplishments “…the passage of a bill she co-authored allowing local distilleries to distribute small samples of their products to consumers as an important win allowing small businesses to compete with national brands”.
Manriquez states that such accomplishment is not particularly the kind of jobs plan she’d pursue; stating that since the passage of this bill, Zamarripa’s accomplishment appears to not be generating jobs, just more drinkers.
Zamarripa’s argument that giving free samples in order to compete against national brands so that jobs can be created is completely unfounded. Zamarripa’s bill may contribute to increase sales and competition with distilleries, but that by no means implies more jobs will be created.
This is because the store would continue to ring the cash register without adding new workers until such time the volume of people or sales were to be so large that it requires more workers, which has not been estimated.
Further, more sales could mean using up current inventories without having to increase production of liquor. So current staffing levels at producing facilities are not shown to increase. More sales could actually be associated with more alcoholism which Zamarripa appears to have not even considered.
Currently, there is no evidence showing this bill has created significant job growth in her district, let alone Wisconsin.
Zamarripa most likely supported this under pressure from the store liquor owners of the south side under guidance from the Tavern Association.
Zamarripa has been a vocal champion for gender neutral bathrooms for individuals who identify as a certain gender, despite not physically being the gender they identify with. A Republican led initiative will most likely be brought to the Assembly in the next session calling on bathrooms to remain traditional. Zamarripa has stated that she is ready to fight against any Republican effort that does not allow for gender neutral bathrooms.
Zamarripa has also been fighting for immigrant rights.
In sum, Manriquez states that her priorities will be to seek funding to remove 70,000 lead service lines poisoning water in Milwaukee. She intends to fight for resources to repair our roads, improve safety on our streets and support anti-drug addiction programs.
Zamarripa will continue to champion the immigration cause, fighting for the rights of immigrants and the undocumented. In addition, her passion to stand against Republican efforts to block the rights of individuals seeking to use gender neutral bathrooms and advancing LGBTQ rights, will be at the top of her priority list if reelected for another term.
Disclaimer: the writer is a supporter of Manriquez