Change – to make or become different
Joint statement from Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd and Alderwoman Chantia Lewis
Over the last few months we have heard the call for change bellowed across this city, across our nation, across this world. The CHANGE being called for doesn’t come easy, there are always going to be tough decisions to be made along the way: Decisions that require strong leadership and the ability to see past the immediate future and on to the big picture that lies further down the road.
Recently the Common Council voted to delay all 17 commissioners and executive level appointees of the Mayor until those appointments could answer the question “What will you do to end systemic racism within your respective department?” This action to delay appointments until that question could be answered was an act toward change, an act of leadership spurred by alders who represent the majority of Black and Brown people in this city and backed by those who at the time seemed to understand the importance of the question.
When the Election Commission executive director candidate withdrew her name from consideration for the position, she showed clearly her unwillingness to answer the question at hand: “What will you do to end systemic racism in your respective department?”. She instead felt herself above the process and above having to answer the questions of the alders charged with representing the concerns and calls of the Black and Brown community of this city. In an email to a colleague after withdrawing her name she stated “…18-hour days is what it takes to run an election when you aren’t being subjected to grandstanding…” We strongly disagree with her, because asking her and any other candidate what they plan to do to end systemic racism within their department is NOT grandstanding. It is indeed doing what the people have asked us to do which is to bring about change in a city that has been deemed the worst place in the country for African Americans to live.
That again requires leadership and yesterday by appointing the Election Commission head and circumventing the process for appointments our Common Council President Cavalier Johnson (in a clandestine act in concert with the circumvention) was devoid of that leadership and in turn our African American citizens were robbed of the chance to ask the candidate the question at hand which bears repeating: “What will you do to end systemic racism in your respective department?”
With this brazen act of circumvention the Council has set the precedent that what the people have asked is, at best, inconsequential. In a time when trust is low and transparency needed, the Council decided to circumvent the people and appoint a candidate who clearly felt herself above the process. In a moment when leadership and strength was needed we instead got cowardice and weakness.
This path we are on to end systemic racism and make MILWAUKEE a great place on a Great Lake for ALL of its citizens is a long path toward change, but we won’t ever get there following those that represent the status quo and complacency.
- Aldrete Discusses FPC’s Turbulent Year - Edgar Mendez - Jul 31st, 2020
- ACLU of Wisconsin To Milwaukee Common Council: “No Weapons of War for Milwaukee Police Department” - American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin - Jul 22nd, 2020
- Here Are Chief Morales’ Marching Orders - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 21st, 2020
- City Hall: FPC Gives Morales 11 Directives, Threatens Firing For Non-Compliance - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 20th, 2020
- Independent Business Association of Wisconsin Stands With Milwaukee Police Chief Morales - Independent Business Association of Wisconsin - Jul 20th, 2020
- Too many failures: We have no confidence in Chief Morales - Milwaukee Common Council - Jul 20th, 2020
- City Hall: Ethics Board Launches Probe of FPC Chair - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 20th, 2020
- Murphy’s Law: Who Has Power Over Chief Morales? - Bruce Murphy - Jul 15th, 2020
- Selection of next executive director of the Fire and Police Commission must involve community and must be transparent - Milwaukee Common Council - Jul 10th, 2020
- Murphy’s Law: Chief Morales Looks Bad in FPC Report - Bruce Murphy - Jul 8th, 2020
Read more about Fire & Police Commission's Troubles here
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Milwaukee Common Council
Joint statement of Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Russell W. Stamper and Alderman Khalif J. Rainey July 20, 2020
Joint statement from Alderman Cavalier Johnson, Alderman Michael J. Murphy, Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Alderman Scott Spiker, Alderman Mark A. Borkowski, Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderman José G. Pérez, Alderman Robert J. Bauman, and Alderman Khalif J. Rainey July 20, 2020