Melanie Conklin

Vos Makes Appointments to Racial Disparities Task Force

This, after the speaker refused to hold a session on racial justice legislation.

By , Wisconsin Examiner - Oct 22nd, 2020 03:18 pm
George Floyd inspired protest on June 4th, 2020. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

George Floyd inspired protest on June 4th, 2020. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Seeking action on racial justice, disparities and policing in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police, the Legislative Black Caucus members worked with Gov. Tony Evers on a package of bills which he unveiled on June 19. After several months of no movement — and the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha — Evers again called the Legislature in to tackle those bills and the bigger issues.

Rep. Kalan Haywood II

Rep. Kalan Haywood II

Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos refused, gaveling in as a required procedure but taking no action, not even meeting. The Legislature has not met in more than six months on any topic, but yesterday Vos appointed members of a task force he is assigning to look at the issues of policing and racial justice.

On Wednesday he chose the task force members and announced it will be called the “Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities.” Previously, he had announced the chairs as Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) and Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison). The two additional legislators he added are Rep. Kalan Haywood II (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Robert Wittke (R-Racine).

The task force also includes a large number of  community members — a total of 28 — which is unusual. Vos said he had more than 100 people apply to be on it and spent a month interviewing applicants.

Majority Leader Jim Steineke

Majority Leader Jim Steineke

“We will now move forward with an unprecedented, community-focused group,” said Vos in a release. “The membership represents a diversity of experiences, backgrounds and geography of the state.”

An introductory meeting of the group will take place at 1 p.m., Oct. 28 in 412 East at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

The members of the Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities are:

Rep. Jim Steineke, Task Force Co-Chair

Rep. Shelia Stubbs, Task Force Co-Chair

Rep. Robert Wittke

Rep. Robert Wittke

Rep. Kalan Haywood II (D-Milwaukee)

Rep. Robert Wittke (R-Racine)

Rev. Marcus Allen, Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Madison and U.S. Army Veteran

Rev. Yao Yang, Pastor, The Cross Church, Wausau, Joseph Project Leader and Executive Director of The Gospel TLC

Tehassi Hill, Chair, Oneida Nation

Rep. Sheila Stubbs

Rep. Sheila Stubbs

Ricardo Diaz, retired former Executive Director, United Community Center, Milwaukee

Rebecca Burrell, Activist, Entrepreneur, Singer/Songwriter

Pastor Jerome Smith, Greater Praise Church of God In Christ, Milwaukee, Joseph Project Leader

Marty Calderon, God Touch Ministry, Milwaukee

Dr. Jeremiah Holiday, Chief Academic Officer, Milwaukee Public Schools

Fred Royal, President, Milwaukee NAACP

Keetra Burnette, Director, Stakeholder Engagement, United Way of Dane County and Urban League of Greater Madison

Dr. Eve Hall, President and CEO, Milwaukee Urban League

Ossie Kendrix, President and CEO, African-American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin

Theresa Jones, VP for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, Children’s Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Damond Boatwright, Regional President, SSM Health

Linda Fair, Academic Advisor, Blackhawk Technical College

Veronica King, Instructor, Gateway Technical College Instructor and Former Department of Corrections Social Worker

Ted Nietzke, CEO, CESA 6 and Former West Bend School District Superintendent

Tory Lowe, Co-founder and CEO, Justice of Wisconsin

Pam Holmes, Retired Milwaukee Police Officer, President of the National Black Police Association- Wisconsin Chapter

Tony Gonzalez, Founder and Co-Chair, Toward One Wausau

Patrick Mitchell, Chief of Police, West Allis Police Department

Danilo Cardenas, Secretary/Treasurer, Milwaukee Police Association

Jim Palmer, Executive Director, Wisconsin Professional Police Association

Nate Dreckman – Grant County Sheriff

Pastor Dannie Evans, House of God Church, Janesville, WI and Former Probation and Parole Agent

Steven Roux, Rice Lake Police Chief

Wayne Strong, Retired Lieutenant, Madison Police Department

Kalvin Barrett, Law Enforcement Instructor, Madison College

Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.

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