Ald. Andrea Pratt
Press Release

Back of the Bus

Statement of Alderwoman Andrea M. Pratt April 29, 2024

By - Apr 29th, 2024 12:17 pm

On April 16, we celebrated having elected the most diverse Council in the City’s 178-year history. The celebration ended abruptly on April 26 with the new Common Council committee assignments, which shut all four Black women members out. While the Council now boasts the highest number of Black women ever, there is no Black woman serving as either chair or vice chair on any of the seven standing committees. This is especially egregious when understanding that the second most senior member of the Council is a Black woman, who served as chair of both the Finance and Personnel Committee and the Licenses Committee for years.

As an additional affront, I was assigned to only one committee – something that has never been done. For further context: There are seven members who have been assigned to three committees each (including one of whom was elected in April 2023 with me and two who were elected after me in April 2024).

Following the election of the Council President, the constant soundbite was optimistic about having a Council that is “reflective” of Milwaukee. Ironic that when given the opportunity to empower those reflective voices, it was decided to instead attempt to quiet them.  I assure you that will not be so. To the over 160,000 people in the City who are represented by a Black Alderwoman, we will not allow your voices to be marginalized. It was my hope that other members who have benefited from this slight would have spoken out seeing this, but they have not. Perhaps, the only diversity they want to celebrate is the one they represent and that is unfortunate.

It is our job to lift each other as we go, and to make the way easier for those who come after us. Be reminded that the Civil Rights Movement was brought to us by a Black woman who refused to be silenced or moved, and our world is better for it.

To prevent this from happening again and to anyone else, I intend to introduce legislation that no member should be assigned to fewer than two committees, unless there are legal or disciplinary reasons to do so. As Alders, we are elected understanding that we all have to carry an equal load, and to not do so is unfair to everyone.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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Back of the Bus

Statement of Alderwoman Andrea M. Pratt April 29, 2024

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