Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Nothing substantive has changed, and nothing substantive will change

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan September 9, 2013

By - Sep 9th, 2013 11:48 am

If I sound frustrated, it is because I am.

It is because a quiet Sunday evening in my aldermanic district was violently interrupted by deadly gunfire yesterday, as one man was killed and another man injured in a shooting near S. 20th and W. Mitchell Streets.

So far this summer, in my district, I’ve been to the scene of a triple shooting near 23rd and Orchard, and before that, another fatal shooting near S. 22nd and W. Burnham. These shootings just keep coming, and they are happening across the City of Milwaukee. The violence is like a cancer, spreading into more areas and shattering the lives of innocent, hard-working people across our city.

And if you think the current situation will change, I have some bad news for you: It will not change as long as the incumbent in the Mayor’s Office is sitting there, offering no plan whatsoever to stem the steady beat of deadly violence.

The mayor has been saying for years that “There’s nothing to see here, folks — crime is down, crime is down.” Well, I’ll tell you what’s up – the number of prostitutes and vagrants is up. The number of vacant, closed businesses and foreclosed homes is up. The number of drug dealers and armed robbers is up. The number of bullet-riddled homes and buildings is up.

And what will the mayor and his supporters say about my honesty on this issue? They’ll likely call me names such as “alarmist” and “demagogue.”

This past weekend I cannot tell you how many people came up to me at a very popular south side church festival, imploring me to do whatever it takes to stop the shootings in Milwaukee (and telling me to keep up the fight against the streetcar). In reality, the mayor is taking no action, and taking no leadership role in the face of the violence, and I understand very well that people are looking to me in that regard.

As long as the mayor is merely content to see his role as going to all the right funerals (for the right people), and walking in all of the appropriate parades, and being a fixture at ribbon cutting events, then nothing in Milwaukee will change.

Mr. Mayor, what family (with limited resources) would willingly move to S. 20th and W. Muskego? What’s more, why would a business owner willingly move to that neighborhood?

In my opinion, the worst part of it all is that the mayor is offering NOTHING substantive to address our deadly violence problem over the long haul. Nothing he is saying or doing gives people any level of confidence that things in Milwaukee will improve rather than deteriorate.

If he was serious at all about addressing this most pressing issue facing Milwaukee, he would abandon his downtown trolley project and instead start paying attention to the fundamental realities that affect the citizens of Milwaukee on a daily basis.

I’m sure there will be a flood of police officers in the area near 20th and Mitchell that will last several days, and there might even be a street roll call. But again, the mayor offers nothing concrete, no specific plan to address our growing deadly violence.

He has no plan, and he has no clue. The enormous responsibility of his high office has found him out.

With him in office, sadly, nothing will change.

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