Wisconsin News Briefs

Mayor Cavalier Johnson to Sign Resolution Approving Gathering

MILWAUKEE, WI  Mayor Cavalier Johnson will sign Common Council file #211710, a resolution approving the City of Milwaukee’s Gathering Place Feasibility Study and Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (CORP). As President of the Common Council, Mayor Johnson worked with City departments and local stakeholders to create the Gathering Place Feasibility Study that will help grow Milwaukee’s network of publicly-accessible gathering spaces and amenities.

As March 31 is Cesar Chavez Day, the Mayor will mark this legislative achievement at La Placita public plaza. A sculpture honoring Cesar Chavez is part of this neighborhood gathering place that serves residents and visitors in the heart of Milwaukee’s Latinx community.

Wisconsin Historical Society Announces Design Team for New Wisconsin History Center

Madison, Wis. – The Department of Administration and the Wisconsin Historical Society have selected Continuum Architects + Planners in association with SmithGroup as the design and engineering team for the new Wisconsin history center, which will replace the existing Wisconsin Historical Museum on the Capitol Square in Madison. SmithGroup is one of the nation’s preeminent integrated design firms and brings decades of award-winning experience in the design of cultural institutions.

“We’re excited to partner with Continuum Architects + Planners and SmithGroup in developing a history center that will be recognized as a one-of-a-kind national attraction,” said Christian Overland, Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO of the Wisconsin Historical Society. “This is a pivotal moment in bringing our vision to life and for the future of history. The center will serve as a hub of inspiration and exploration where people and communities connect to one another, across time, through the lens of both Wisconsin history and our shared American experiences.”

Important moment as POTUS signs the Emmett Till Antilynching Act

I am pleased that yesterday at the White House President Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, named for the black teenager whose brutal murder in Mississippi in 1955 helped spark the civil rights movement.

The historic legislation, which designates lynching as a federal hate crime, was passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate earlier this month, and was passed by the House of Representatives with overwhelming support in February.

We as a city have been on record in support of this legislation: In July 2018, 14 members of the Common Council voted to approve File # 180538 (which I authored) – Resolution supporting H.R. 6086, sponsored by U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush, to specify lynching as a federal hate crime act.

Some 4,400 African Americans were lynched between 1877 and 1950, according to the Equal Justice Initiative. Those who participated in lynchings were often celebrated and acted with impunity, and white mobs would often torture lynching victims in unspeakable and inhumane ways.

It is sad that we need this legislation, but recent increases in incidents of racial bigotry and violence – and in the memberships of white supremacy organizations – make it necessary to help protect African Americans.

As President Biden said yesterday, “Racial hate isn’t an old problem – it’s a persistent problem. Hate never goes away. It only hides.”

I thank President Biden and the members of Congress who supported the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, and I sincerely hope it never needs to be cited in a case here or anywhere else, for that matter, in the U.S.