Federal grant would provide much needed aid for our city
Statement of Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa November 20, 2020
This past Tuesday, Nov. 17th I voted for a nearly $10 million grant for the City of Milwaukee. This grant is from the federal government and is earmarked for the hiring of 30 police officers.
I can understand the frustration of the Milwaukeeans who have reached out to me to express their opposition to the hiring of police officers in light of the nation-wide Black Lives Matter movement. I agree with so many of you that the reallocating and reforming of the police and their budget is paramount, and I am actively working to move city policy in that direction.
This vote was an extremely difficult one for me, but in the end I voted in favor of it based on the following reasons:
- Donald Trump lost the presidential election and the federal government will now be a Democratic administration under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden.
- I clarified and confirmed the COPS grant does not require us to collaborate with ICE (see attachments #6 and #7 here: https://milwaukee.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4649598&GUID=747C495A-278F-47A3-A356-2AC900DD55F1&Options=&Search= )
- The Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Legislature has starved the City of Milwaukee for a decade. We are not receiving and have not received our fair share of shared revenue, which makes it very difficult to turn away federal grant dollars that would aid a city that is in dire straits.
This grant will bring home nearly $10 million from the federal government for our city. Yes, it is earmarked, but it frees us up to use local tax dollars towards other community needs and not put the ballooning police budget entirely on the tax levy while we work towards reform.