Edgar Mendez

Recent Articles

MANDI Finalists Are Celebrated

MANDI Finalists Are Celebrated

12 finalists chosen for Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation.

Special Report: Opioid Crisis Hits City Hard
Special Report

Opioid Crisis Hits City Hard

County’s huge increase isn’t just suburban whites, city and minority residents hurt, too.

Bill Targets Evictions, Housing Discrimination

Bill Targets Evictions, Housing Discrimination

1 in 8 families evicted every two years. Rep. Crawley’s bill aims at problem.

Milwaukee Helping Victims in Puerto Rico, Mexico

Milwaukee Helping Victims in Puerto Rico, Mexico

South side Latino groups, residents, businesses lead the way.

Demonstrators Rally to Save DACA

Demonstrators Rally to Save DACA

800,000 immigrant “Dreamers" threatened by Trump’s cutoff of program.

Webster Secondary School to Close

Webster Secondary School to Close

MPS cites declining enrollment. School board will make final decision.

New City Tax Needed, Officials Say

New City Tax Needed, Officials Say

Reacting to new report, area legislators say Milwaukee needs sales or income tax.

YWCA Program Replaces GED

YWCA Program Replaces GED

20-week program for adults certified by state DPI has 85% success rate.

50 Years After the Marches: Residential Segregation Still A Problem
50 Years After the Marches

Residential Segregation Still A Problem

Other than Brown Deer and Glendale, suburbs are overwhelmingly white.

Impact of Bus Rapid Transit in Milwaukee

Impact of Bus Rapid Transit in Milwaukee

$48 million high-speed bus line projected to carry 10,000 riders daily by 2035.

Municipal Court Gets Creative

Municipal Court Gets Creative

Court holds "Warrant Withdrawal Wednesday” at church on northwest side.

Passing Rate on GED Plummets

Passing Rate on GED Plummets

Local students struggling to pass newer, tougher GED test.

Workers Urged to Use JobLines Buses

Workers Urged to Use JobLines Buses

Freeway lawsuit got $13.5 million settlement; two bus lines to suburban jobs created.

Will Cheaper Price Save Domes?

Will Cheaper Price Save Domes?

$18.6 million estimate for repairs and “National Treasure” designation by group.

The Story of Welford Sanders Lofts

The Story of Welford Sanders Lofts

How the $21 million building on MLK Dr. that honors him was created.

An Oasis In Junk Food Land

An Oasis In Junk Food Land

North Side complex offers healthy food at Juice Kitchen, Outpost Foods, Fondy Food Center.

Walnut Way Fires Its Executive Director

Walnut Way Fires Its Executive Director

Growing North Side non-profit fires Vernon after 6 months, acting director hired.

Revival in Harambee

Revival in Harambee

Riverworks executive director Darryl Johnson leads redevelopment of Harambee.

Black Firm To Build Bader Headquarters

Black Firm To Build Bader Headquarters

Black-owned construction firm creating new Bader foundation building on MLK Dr.

Local Activists Join Dakota Protest

Local Activists Join Dakota Protest

They join Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to oppose North Dakota oil pipeline.

Program Expunges Juvenile Records

Program Expunges Juvenile Records

City partners in program for young adults in public housing to remove job barrier.

Muni Court “Warrant Withdrawal” Draws Thousands

Muni Court “Warrant Withdrawal” Draws Thousands

Special one-day clemency program a success, but treatment of indigent questioned.

Special Report: The Problem of Prostitution
Special Report

The Problem of Prostitution

Greenfield Ave. is the city’s hub for sex trade, where prostitutes, residents are victimized.

Blacks Slammed by Municipal Court Fines

Blacks Slammed by Municipal Court Fines

73% of municipal court fines hit city’s African Americans, totals $23 million over four years.

The Growth of Journey House

The Growth of Journey House

South-side non-profit rescues building, creates place for youth aging out of foster care.

City’s Lead Water Lines At Issue

City’s Lead Water Lines At Issue

Activist group demands more action, replacing all service lines could cost more than $700 million.

City Helps Low-Income Homeowners

City Helps Low-Income Homeowners

Program started in 2014 provides no-interest deferred-payment loans to finance repairs.

Tropical Dome Reopens at Mitchell Park

Tropical Dome Reopens at Mitchell Park

Long-term future of Domes still unclear.

Concerns Over Lead In Drinking Water

Concerns Over Lead In Drinking Water

Freshwater for Life Action Coalition calls for a moratorium on partial lead service line replacements.

Coders of the Future

Coders of the Future

Pilot computer coding class helps prepare students for tomorrow’s careers

Mural Honors 50-Year Legacy of UMOS

Mural Honors 50-Year Legacy of UMOS

Artist Raoul Deal and students will create mural celebrating non-profit’s service to Milwaukee Latinos.

New Film Series Explores Latino Culture

New Film Series Explores Latino Culture

Milwaukee Film’s new series, Cine Sin Fronteras, will capture Latino community’s diversity.

Workers Recovering From Cargill Inc.’s Shutdown

Workers Recovering From Cargill Inc.’s Shutdown

Menomonee Valley company’s closing displaced some 600 workers, who seek other training.

The Future of Walnut Way

The Future of Walnut Way

New director LaShawndra Vernon continues work to transform area near 16th and North.

Youth Group Leader Gets National Coverage

Youth Group Leader Gets National Coverage

Marcus Drake, head of Club Kids 414, wins honors, TV coverage on BET Awards Show.

Fathers Pledge to Reduce Violence

Fathers Pledge to Reduce Violence

With speeches by Ald. Hamilton and others, 500 Fathers United initiative urge a stand up against neighborhood violence.

Green Space Project on Forest Home Avenue?

Green Space Project on Forest Home Avenue?

El Rey’s owners have donated land. Community planning has begun.

Founder of Innovative Alliance School Steps Down

Founder of Innovative Alliance School Steps Down

Tina Owen, who started one of "nation’s most innovative" schools, will pursue Harvard doctorate.

Artwork Brightens Blighted Property

Artwork Brightens Blighted Property

South Side youth transform blighted building with inspirational artwork

Two New Playgrounds Opening

Two New Playgrounds Opening

Park-like play areas for kids among 12 funded by $1.9 million raised by Ald. Murphy.

Seeking Kidney Donor to Save My Life

Seeking Kidney Donor to Save My Life

Jonathan Morales, 30, MPS paraprofessional, will eventually die without a kidney transplant.

Statue of Cesar Chavez Unveiled

Statue of Cesar Chavez Unveiled

Hundreds gather to celebrate new statue of legendary labor activist, located on Cesar Chavez Dr.

Point-Counterpoint for Three Council Races

Point-Counterpoint for Three Council Races

The views (or non-views) of aldermen Bauman, Donovan and Perez — and their opponents.

Aldermanic Candidates Address Key Issues

Aldermanic Candidates Address Key Issues

Quizzing candidates in four districts, including big battle of Chevy Johnson vs. Sherman Morton.

Blacks Bear Brunt of Pot Arrests

Blacks Bear Brunt of Pot Arrests

New study shows blacks are 39% of city’s population but 72% of arrests for marijuana possession.

Affordable South Side Lofts a Success

Affordable South Side Lofts a Success

72-unit complex on 16th and Pierce has 3-year waiting list for its $450-$500 units.

Moody Park Enhances Amani Neighborhood

Moody Park Enhances Amani Neighborhood

$2 million renovation of park is among several changes helping north side neighborhood.

SDC Tax Assistance Program Saved

SDC Tax Assistance Program Saved

United Way grant assures that free tax assistance program can serve thousands.

SDC Could Make More Program Cuts

SDC Could Make More Program Cuts

Needs to raise $40,000 by year's end or must cut its income tax assistance program.

Interim Director Named at LISC Milwaukee

Interim Director Named at LISC Milwaukee

Laura Bray's departure caught board off-guard, search for new leader could take months.

LISC Milwaukee Director Laura Bray Resigns

LISC Milwaukee Director Laura Bray Resigns

Leaves just four months after replacing longtime director Leo Ries at neighborhood improvement group.

Program Will Improve Riverwest Park Snails Crossing

Program Will Improve Riverwest Park Snails Crossing

It's one of 12 parks and playgrounds being upgraded by private-public MKE Plays Initiative.

County Senior Meals Program Has Big Impact

County Senior Meals Program Has Big Impact

Serves nearly 600,000 meals -- and conversation -- at 26 sites per year.

City-County Plan Creates Municipal ID Cards

City-County Plan Creates Municipal ID Cards

Can be used widely but not to vote in elections.

UCC Finally Makes Pledged Payment to County

UCC Finally Makes Pledged Payment to County

Group had promised to pay $20,000 for improvements in Walker Square playground.

The Future of Walker Square?

The Future of Walker Square?

New DCD plan calls for bike lanes, greenery, diverse tenants on National Avenue.

How SDC Helps Seniors Maintain Independence

How SDC Helps Seniors Maintain Independence

Last year, its program made 12,009 visits to 280 clients.

United Community Center to Fulfill Promise

United Community Center to Fulfill Promise

UCC begins process of making good on $20,000 pledge to Milwaukee County Parks

$20,000 Pledge For Park Still Unpaid

$20,000 Pledge For Park Still Unpaid

United Community Center fails to follow through on $20,000 commitment to rebuild park

New Arlington Heights Park Opens Soon

New Arlington Heights Park Opens Soon

Ribbon cutting set for first MKE Plays playground at Arlington Heights Park

New School Opens in Silver City Neighborhood

New School Opens in Silver City Neighborhood

Escuela Verde, charter school authorized by UWM, has new campus on 36th and Pierce.

Moody Park Finally Reopens

Moody Park Finally Reopens

$2 million spent on north side park builds new community center, basketball courts and a splash pad.

Art, Baseball and Civil Rights

Art, Baseball and Civil Rights

Arts @ Large exhibit explores history of civil rights and baseball.

The Legacy of Welford Sanders

The Legacy of Welford Sanders

Community leader and developer helped improve MLK Drive, other neighborhoods.

Removing Employment Barriers for Men

Removing Employment Barriers for Men

Ald. Jose Perez talks about barriers he once faced at summit for unemployed men.

Moody Park to Open in Late August

Moody Park to Open in Late August

Officials promise revamped Calvin Moody Park will open August 20th.

Impact of City Reduction in Marijuana Fine?

Impact of City Reduction in Marijuana Fine?

Local leaders offer different views on new city ordinance lowering maximum fine for pot possession to just $50.

City Considers Lowering Penalties for Marijuana

City Considers Lowering Penalties for Marijuana

Study shows 86% of those convicted of pot possession are African American.

Project to Improve Inner City Playgrounds Unveiled

Project to Improve Inner City Playgrounds Unveiled

Common Council President Michael Murphy leading effort to spend up to $1.9 million to upgrade 12 playgrounds.

How to Grow a Non-Profit

How to Grow a Non-Profit

In 16 years as head of Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Charlotte John-Gomez grew its budget from $70,000 to more than $1 million.

Who Wants to Buy an Auction House?

Who Wants to Buy an Auction House?

Old Schrager Auction House on Sherman Blvd., a stunning, 1400-seat auditorium with huge stained-glass dome, has been for sale since 2010.

Mexican Consulate Will Open in Milwaukee

Mexican Consulate Will Open in Milwaukee

The 51st such consulate in U.S. will serve city's growing Mexican population.

Million Mom March to DC

Million Mom March to DC

Local mothers joining march to demand justice for those killed by police or white vigilantes.

City Plan Will Rescue The Worst Playgrounds

City Plan Will Rescue The Worst Playgrounds

City and foundation money will be spent to upgrade the 12 most deteriorated playgrounds in Milwaukee.

Big Dreams for Menomonee Valley

Big Dreams for Menomonee Valley

Second redevelopment plan for area envisions Riverwalk and food and beverage manufacturing district.

Could Milwaukee Have a Measles Outbreak?

Could Milwaukee Have a Measles Outbreak?

Rate of vaccination here is increasing but still not high enough to assure no outbreak occurs.

UWM Public Health School Tackles Social Problems

UWM Public Health School Tackles Social Problems

Its new headquarters in the Brewery is a MANDI finalist and its staff and students work with city Health Department.

Republican Plan for MPS Attacked

Republican Plan for MPS Attacked

Bonds says plan would be devastating financially and lay off hundreds of staff.

South Side Organizing Committee Has New Director

South Side Organizing Committee Has New Director

Tammy Rivera replaces Steve Fendt, who was dismissed by board after 22 years of service.

Revamped Park Will Upgrade North Side

Revamped Park Will Upgrade North Side

Improvements in Moody Park will improve quality of life in Amani neighborhood.

Fendt Fired by Southside Organizing Committee

Fendt Fired by Southside Organizing Committee

Had led group 22 years, board members vague on reasons for dumping him.

Board Rejects Proposals for Forest Home Library

Board Rejects Proposals for Forest Home Library

City's Public Library Building and Development Committee votes not to move forward on either proposal.

New Effort to Revive Chavez Dr.

New Effort to Revive Chavez Dr.

Business Improvement District and Newaukee working to improve key but "stagnant" strip formerly known as S. 16th Street.

Pulaski Park Neighborhood Embraces Conservation

Pulaski Park Neighborhood Embraces Conservation

Green infrastructure, rain barrels, rain gardens and other additions being installed on public and private land.

South 27th Street Construction Delayed Until Spring

South 27th Street Construction Delayed Until Spring

State DOT blames bad weather and a regional shortage of concrete for the delay.

More Homes Getting Renovated in South Side Neighborhood

More Homes Getting Renovated in South Side Neighborhood

The non-profit Layton Boulevard West Neighbors group has awarded 95 home improvement grants.

Latino Leadership Lags

Latino Leadership Lags

Latinos under-represented in local and state government. Change could take 10 years, some project.

Burke Supports Drivers Licenses for Undocumented Residents

Burke Supports Drivers Licenses for Undocumented Residents

Measure rejected by legislature would have particular benefit for Hispanics in Milwaukee.

Will Universal Drivers Ed Increase Racial Integration?

Will Universal Drivers Ed Increase Racial Integration?

Plan for free driver’s education classes wins Greater Together Challenge, initiative to reduce segregation in Milwaukee.

Only 50 of 600 Laid-Off Cargill Workers Find Work with Company

Only 50 of 600 Laid-Off Cargill Workers Find Work with Company

550 former Cargill employees are left searching in biggest Milwaukee layoff since Kohl's Grocery closing.

Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

Milwaukee legislators offer their views.

ACT Tests Show Most Minority Students Not College Ready

ACT Tests Show Most Minority Students Not College Ready

State ranks 2nd in average ACT test scores but most black and Hispanic students trail behind.

Black Men Face Unequal Enforcement of Marijuana Laws

Black Men Face Unequal Enforcement of Marijuana Laws

While the nation moves towards legalization, Wisconsin fills its jails with black men arrested for marijuana possession.

South Side Hit Hard by Cargill Closing

South Side Hit Hard by Cargill Closing

Valley beef harvest facility employed 600 workers, many from South Side.

Milwaukee Tough on Undocumented Immigrants

Milwaukee Tough on Undocumented Immigrants

More likely than state or nation to deport them for minor offenses. A special report.

Help Me Fight Crime, Says Bob Donovan

Help Me Fight Crime, Says Bob Donovan

Alderman asks his district's residents and students to sign pledges to help fight crime.

Zamarripa Proposal Would Help Undocumented Residents

Zamarripa Proposal Would Help Undocumented Residents

Milwaukee legislator's bill would allow them to get drivers licenses, attend state colleges.

Grants Upgrade South Side Neighborhood

Grants Upgrade South Side Neighborhood

Matching grant programs spend $29,000 to leverage more than $154,000 spent by residents to improve their homes.

Racing to Pass the GED

Racing to Pass the GED

Many Milwaukee students midway on exams must pass by December 12 or start over on tougher, more expensive new test.

MPS Funding Continues to Decline

MPS Funding Continues to Decline

Loss of 19,000 students since 2003 and recent decline in its charter schools pushes revenue downward.

Last Chance for Old GED

Last Chance for Old GED

United Way funding more instruction so those studying for tests can pass before new standards go into effect.

How to Improve the City’s Quality of Life

How to Improve the City’s Quality of Life

South side organizer helps implement improvement plans in several neighborhoods.

Uncertain Outlook for Milwaukee Public Schools?

Uncertain Outlook for Milwaukee Public Schools?

Poverty, crime and retiree benefits all are issues for MPS, Thornton tells conference on schools.

Making the City Safer

Making the City Safer

Safe & Sound honors neighborhood leaders who make Milwaukee a safer place.

Searching for Justice

Searching for Justice

Family offers $10,000 reward to find killer of south side youth.

Governor Ignores South Side on Residency Requirement

Governor Ignores South Side on Residency Requirement

Walker signs law, never responds to letters from South Side politicians and organizations.

Police Support North Side Meal Program

Police Support North Side Meal Program

Department wants to assure safety of recipients at Oasis program.

New GED Test Adds Hurdles for Students

New GED Test Adds Hurdles for Students

New version of test starts in December, which require some students to start over.

Packers Field Kicks Off at Mitchell Park

Packers Field Kicks Off at Mitchell Park

The neighborhood now is the only one in America with a former NFL playing field.

How Good Are City’s After-School Programs?

How Good Are City’s After-School Programs?

New study by the Public Policy Forum finds strengths and weaknesses in programs for kids.

City Nonprofits Avoid Residency Debate

City Nonprofits Avoid Residency Debate

One community leader castigates non-profits for not taking a stand on state proposal to end city residency requirement.

Local Advocates Hope for Changes in Immigration Reform Bill

Local Advocates Hope for Changes in Immigration Reform Bill

Advocates says bill before Congress is historic but could still be improved.

How a Cop Can Win Over Residents

How a Cop Can Win Over Residents

Jesus Gloria, a bilingual, award-winning police officer, has forged connections in his south side district.

Thousands of Pounds of Free Food Distributed

Thousands of Pounds of Free Food Distributed

Need is great. Hundreds of families in Clarke Square neighborhood benefit.

South Side Leaders Blast Residency Proposal

South Side Leaders Blast Residency Proposal

Walker proposal to end residency requirement will hurt city's economy, they charge.

How to Bridge the Health Care Gap

How to Bridge the Health Care Gap

Experts discuss how to reduce health disparities between rich and poor, and the city's high rate of black infant mortality.

Up From Bigotry

Up From Bigotry

Tatiana Joseph overcame prejudice against Latinas to earn her Ph.D and teach at UWM, and is now running for the school board.

New City Program Conserves Water

New City Program Conserves Water

Innovative new company helps city create website where homeowners and businesses can track, manage and reduce their water usage.

Airborne Asbestos Plagues South Side?

Airborne Asbestos Plagues South Side?

A KK river restoration project may be causing asbestos and lead contamination while tearing down homes too near the river.

The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues

With the closing of Moody Pool, the city's North Side now has half the number of public pools as the South Side.

A Neighborhood On the Rise

A Neighborhood On the Rise

Efforts to improve the Layton Boulevard West Neighborhood are bearing fruit.

The New Arts Teachers

The New Arts Teachers

As MPS dumps arts classes, community groups now offer arts programs for 49,000 students.

Juvenile Reform School Comes Home

Juvenile Reform School Comes Home

A new program on county grounds provides alternative to juvenile lock-up in northern Wisconsin.