NEWaukeean of the Week

Leana Grimm

"We have this humble innocence in our city that makes it one of a kind."

By - Jul 13th, 2015 03:55 pm
Leana Grimm. Photo courtesy of NEWaukee.

Leana Grimm. Photo courtesy of NEWaukee.

What is your job and its responsibilities?

I am the Creative Director of the OutSquad Cheerleading Team for the organization Outlet: Plugging People In, Inc. We are a non-profit designed to empower teens through volunteer opportunities throughout the city. I also work closely with other non-profit organizations. I balance this with being a college student,  going after a BA in Fine Arts with a minor in Politics. I am also a film actress and a musician with styles ranging from opera to jazz. I am a motivational speaker and am considered a “life coach” or advisor to many individuals that I help, although I don’t like those titles. Most rewarding of all callings and titles, I am an honored to be a wife of three years and mother of three — two boys and a recent baby girl. Oh, and I am Mrs. Wisconsin, preparing for my journey to Mrs. America!

What have you seen in other cities that you’d like to see in Milwaukee?

Visiting other cities always is super exciting and such an adventure for my family and I. However,  sometimes, when I visit our neighboring big city, Chicago, it saddens me how hectic it is and how rude and distant people seem. In our city I feel people aren’t perfect, but they manage to still show kindness. But I feel our ‘Grand Avenue’ looks like it belongs in Detroit and our Downtown is turning into a slum of homelessness and random crimes.

What is the one thing you’d like to change about Milwaukee?

For starters, we need to figure out ways of really improving our downtown attractions.

Is there an issue you believe all Milwaukeeans should turn our attention to?

I wish people would start speaking up about real issues in Milwaukee such as violence and the abuse and the factors that may lead up to such as unemployment. I’m tired of hearing about racial issues and sexism issues (which I find to be more filled with ignorance than anything else; when there is bigger fish to fry such as what to do to better our economy, stabilize taxes and fairness for all, etc.). I went 18 years being physically, mentally, and emotionally abused and no one knew of it. And if there were teachers that might have suspected it, I felt that they felt conflicted about what to do. When I read about innocent kids dying from a random gunshot wound, my outer being dies more and my inner being grows stronger because I want to do something about it. There is this perception of not snitching in certain communities on criminals that need to be punished by the justice system. Witnesses that either are victims or saw something need to be reporting it ASAP no matter what they “think” could happen to them. One thing I’ve learned is to always fear God and not man.

Where do you see Milwaukee in five years?

Thriving. Because although our city may be decreasing in population, there are still plenty of creative minds and amazing people that truly love all that Milwaukee offers and the diversity and beautiful excitement that is still here. I feel like we still have this humble innocence in our city that makes it one of a kind.

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