Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Press Release

In Aftermath of Milwaukee’s Civil Unrest We Need to Get Serious About Equal Economic Opportunity

"As public order is restored, it is important we take stock of what happened, and what we have to do together to create a Wisconsin where everyone has an equal chance to live a fulfilling life."

By - Aug 16th, 2016 11:43 am
Gas station at Sherman and Burleigh was set on fire. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Gas station at Sherman and Burleigh was set on fire. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee: Citizen Action of Wisconsin Executive Director Robert Kraig made the following statement on the civil unrest that exploded over the weekend after another young black man lost his life:

“Our hearts go out to all the residents of Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood who have experienced this weekend’s civil unrest, to the family of the young man who lost his life, and to the peace officers who have put their lives on the line to protect public safety. As public order is restored, it is important we take stock of what happened, and what we have to do together to create a Wisconsin where everyone has an equal chance to live a fulfilling life.

Although the violence and property destruction seemed spontaneous to outsiders, for many African American residents it was a predictable outpouring of frustration flowing from unbearable racial inequality and exclusion. Shocking statistics support this, as the Milwaukee metro area has for many years consistently ranked among the worst in the country for African Americans across a variety of indicators including, segregation, incarceration rates, black male nonemployment, child poverty, and many others.

African Americans in Milwaukee, who came during the Great Migration to work and work hard and claim their piece of the American Dream, where drawn by the plentiful opportunities to work in union manufacturing jobs. They have borne the brunt of deindustrialization since the late 1970s. According to the UWM Center for Economic Development, the percentage of African Americans working in manufacturing declined from 54.3% in 1970 to 14.7% in 2009.

Many leaders in the Milwaukee area seem to see this as a natural phenomenon beyond our control. But the economy is not a natural disaster or an extreme weather event beyond our agency to influence, it is human made. What has been lacking in Milwaukee is the courage and vision to fight for solutions up to the scale of the problem. Once the dust is settled in Sherman Park, the question will be which public officials, which community leaders, which corporate leaders are willing to stand up and fight for public interventions at the scale necessary to end Wisconsin’s system of economic apartheid and truly guarantee full opportunity for everyone in our great state. This means striving to create an economy where everyone who wants a good jobs can find one near their local community.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin and our over 12,000 members in the Milwaukee area look forward to continuing to work with everyone in the community who wants to work toward economic and social transformation.”

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6 thoughts on “In Aftermath of Milwaukee’s Civil Unrest We Need to Get Serious About Equal Economic Opportunity”

  1. BT says:

    Ok, for anyone wondering WHAT exactly this press release is saying, I’ll translate it here:

    “kjdjkf lks k jsfkjs jl kslkfslkfslksf ;kfsljfssjf lsj ldaj a, /.m jsjdukeq onwrowrn skd pksoifwkm k pknjsf k; ;dk pkadd dkaa lk adk”

    Yes that’s it, just a bunch of nonsense!

    So,let’s try to talk some sense here. They talk about what kind of “public intervention” will come-what? First off I’ll make the assumption that means government intervention, hmmm does that mean REGULATION? If not, what else would it mean? Yeah, business owners and management sure LOVE lots of senseless regulations, that’s going to hurt the entire area. We have a LOT of open jobs in this area, but there’s TWO main issues there #1-Who the hell is going to want to invest in opening ANY sort of new business or expand into the inner city, especially after this last weekend? Of the few who would’ve considered it before, that # is now down to zero. Why bother when besides the threat of violence, having to surround your facility with barbed wire fences, extensive security camera systems and the cost of security staff to monitor those camera systems so your workers cars aren’t broken into and/or stolen and hey best of luck to you once you leave that cocoon of safety, as our revolving door justice system, especially the juvenile system has led to an amazing crop of carjackings, hope you make it home! #2-As if all of that isn’t enough, we’ve got a million suburban industrial parks where you don’t need ANY fence, MAYBE you might hire a single guard per shift to cruise the lot, maybe not even that, but thanks to an out of control city council, county board, MPS board and MATC board, all making up the ridiculous property tax bills sent out in MKE County, well on top of the HUGE cost savings in these suburban industrial parks for not needing the huge fences,huge security staffs, etc you also don’t get the huge property tax bills either!

    Sure, support yet another money wasting, do nothing program and keep raising those taxes and then release some stupid nonsense press release like this one, totally detached from reality!

    Oh wait, I’ve had one other idea for a LONG TIME, how about some decent bus service running out to these suburban parks, not just some BS run to Men Falls, how abut spending some actual money on that? Nah, we got a MUCH better plan-a trolley to nowhere!!! (and spare me the bullshit about federal money and operating costs being all covered, stupid city trolley vs MCTS being county run, IF Gwen Moore, Tom Barrett and the rest-all who have connections to Pres Obama, had made the effort, you know damn well he’d do his part, Sen Johnson (or Sen Baldwin if anyone knows where the hell she’s been last 4 years!) can handle anything needed in the senate and Gwen Moore’s all worn out from having to pick up a phone, but hey we’ve got the speaker of the house in the house-BOOM!-stupid trolley to nowhere $$ instead of flushing it down the toilet like it will be, could pay for those bus routes but NOPE, the LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WHO RUN MILWAUKEE, JUST LIKE THEY RAN DETROIT JUST GAVE A BIG F-YOU TO THE RESIDENTS THEY SPEW THEIR BULLSHIT AS IF THEY CARE, THEY DO NOT!!!

  2. Mike says:

    The thugs need to be controlled or the decay of our city will continue. The motivated black residents will continue to leave the city and the taxpayers will continue to throw money down the well. Money for nothin’ ain’t the answer.

  3. Vincent Hanna says:

    What’s the answer Mike? Other than “controlling the thugs” of course. That is the word of choice for right-wingers these days. You see it over and over and over again. Which makes sense I suppose since it’s not polite to use the word they all really want to use.

  4. David Armstrong says:

    Sorry Citizen Action of Wisconsin, you said nothing helpful in this article. Manufacturing is thriving in other areas of Wisconsin and they cannot find enough trained workers or people that want to be trained. I know, I work every day to try and find a workforce for manufacturers in our region. It is to the point where we are going to start hitting the twin cities to see if we can get people to relocate here due to the workforce shortages. (We are in Western WI) I also know manufacturers on the north side of Milwaukee that cannot find employees. Where is the disconnect?

    All I hear about is the poverty and injustice in Milwaukee yet I know how many training programs we have available here to get generationally poor people trained and started in a career. Are these type programs not available in Milwaukee? I know there is one that is being offered there with a church as the host. They are training folks and providing daily transportation from Milwaukee to Sheboygan to a group of manufacturers that hired the people who completed the training program. A few of the people have moved now from Milwaukee to Sheboygan to be closer to the job. There are programs that work. Why are these not being discussed and pushed to be increased?

    Sorry, from the viewpoint of someone who works daily to help create jobs training programs to help individuals find careers I see little in the article discussing solutions.

  5. Vincent Hanna says:

    Those programs you reference are being discussed David. They’ve received lots of media attention. That’s why you know about them over in Western Wisconsin. People want to expand them. But you’re right, more solutions needs to be discussed. Press releases are usually long on rhetoric and short on details/substance.

  6. BT says:

    Hey Hanna (and yes, I saw the movie “Heat” too, loved it in fact as I’ve been a huge Michael Mann fan since Miami Vice came on in 1984, why soil Al Pacino’s great turn in that great movie that maybe was too long for some, but 20+ years later still a GREAT flick!) I say “soil” because I read your response to David’s comment, which seems to be much along the same lines as mine and taking him at his word when he says he works to create jobs (and I’ll assume that means REAL, ORGANICALLY CREATED JOBS=PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS CREATED BY TRUE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND NOT SOME GOV’T HANDOUT BS THAT CREATES A FAKE JOB SURE TO BE GONE SOON!) so assuming that’s he’s truthful and I take him at his word, you telling him and really myself then indirectly that his using the word “thugs” is just because anyone who dares to not tow the TOTALLY FAILED leftist line really wants to use the “N-word” (yeah I know that’s what you mean) that’s a real insult to me and if you want, I’ll let you know who I actually am AND THEN YOU COME AND MEET ME, DON’T WORRY I’M NOT GOING TO PUNCH YOU, I’D ACTUALLY DEFEND YOU IF NEED BE, BUT I WILL SHOW YOU HOW I DO BUSINESS WITH BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES, HIRED MANY BLACK EMPLOYEES UNTIL GIVING UP ON DIRECT HIRING AND JUST OUTSOURCING DUE TO THE LIVING HELL OUR WONDERFUL STATE DOR AND THE IRS PUTS ANY EMPLOYER THROUGH, I DIDN’T JUDGE BY SKIN COLOR AND HAVE FOUND MANY, MANY EXCELLENT PEOPLE OF ALL RACES (AS WELL AS SOME DAMN LAZY ONES OF AGAIN, ALL RACES) I’VE FOUND ZERO CORRELATION THERE WITH SKIN COLOR AND QUALITY OF WORKERS, SO IF YOU WANT TO SPEW THAT KIND OF CRAP THEN F-YOU!!!

    IF however, you’d like to dial that one back, I’ll forget about it and your last comment actually makes sense to me, but generalizing any group, in your case by politics, is the same damn thing as someone who refuses to hire based on skin color because they think one or more groups is “lazy” or “losers” or whatever else, same damn thing! We’ve got some real problems brewing now, as I’ve said 100 times at least, anyone who’s thinking the problems are just from blacks is clueless, as I’ve found an amazing # of straight up whites who are going nowhere fast and my theory is this has hit the black community first, due to the FORMERLY entrenched racism and when it was socially acceptable to even say “I don’t hire blacks” and on and on and yes, we still have some morons who think that way, but the ones I’ve met are just that, MORONS in all facets of their lives! I’ve yet to meet ANY successful, self made person who spews out racist crap like you seem to think anyone right of Trotsky must do 24/7!

    It is SAME thing I’ve heard so many times in the last 8 years, where whether its 2 people, one pro Pres Obama and one who’s not a fan or 20 and over and over the non-fans will list off a laundry list of complaints, could be 5 complaints or 50 of them, but NOTHING having ANY connection at all to his skin and at the end, one or more frustrated lefties, unable to defend the non-recovery, phony unemployment #’s when its truly 15 to 20+, etc says that same damn phrase every damn time “Well, we all know why you REALLY don’t like him!” OK, yeah that’s it, that’s why someone obviously well informed on many issues just spent 15 min listing off problems, backing them up with proof of failure, its all just a cover story for being some Bull Connor, George Wallace OR the #1 by far segregationist in the US Senate for decades, who blocked one civil rights bill after a voting rights bill after an equal housing bill with his “poison pills” he’d insert into these bills, etc later to become the 36th President, DEMOCRAT LYNDON B JOHNSON!

    Yeah, that’s me and the rest of us “right wingers”, just a bunch of closet bigots-WRONG!- who even hire people of all races and in my case, have friendships and even a black roommate for over a year (see I don’t go around “promoting” this stuff to prove my non-racism like I hear so many on the left do, the former roomie fact just dawned on me now, since I didn’t look at him as my “black roomie” he was just a buddy of mine and a good guy I trusted to share a home with which is a very high level of trust, so as is common when you’re in your early 20’s, we got a place together! Gee, maybe I should take a page from the leftist playbook and start EVERY comment with “you know I lived with a black guy for 18 months or so and we are still on good terms!” I find crap like that to be phony as hell, I just do it and live it!)

    If anyone here is saying wait a second, LBJ signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, so he can’t be this big racist, read up on your history then, the only reason he signed that bill was because he knew damn well that the man he hated more than probably anyone in the world and who some say LBJ played a major role in the murder of his brother, Bobby Kennedy then very likely would’ve challenged Johnson for the Dem nomination in 1964 and would’ve certainly crushed him. (and 11/22/63 sure had a LOT of odd coincidences and worked out best for who?? Yeah, the guy who didn’t need that phony swearing in ceremony on Air Force One, per the US Constitution he WAS the prez the instant JFK was pronounced dead, good thing he was carrying a copy of the swearing in paperwork on him that day for the phony “ceremony” what a scumbag!) Other than signing that bill, he was as much of a life long segregationist as Wallace was! People need to learn history, so few even know the “official story” let alone what’s trickled out since, like the MLK “suicide yourself” letter sent to him by the FBI, again under a DEMOCRATIC admin or that Dr King’s own family as do I are quite sure James Earl Ray was at most a bit player in his assassination, if even that BUT that it is quite obvious someone in Dr King’s own group on 4/4/68, another terrible day in history, sold him out! Hmmmm, WHO was all with him, oh yeah that guy from Chicago who UNLIKE Dr King, loves his private jets and $5000 Brioni suits, you know who that is.

    I sure hope we’re not repeating the 60’s again, there was no real “summer of love”, it was full of riots, murders and atrocities and 99% of it was all due to infiltration, sleazy tactics, payoffs and just LIES! Please don’t ever talk your smack about anyone who’s not carrying their Dem Party card being so eager to throw the N-word or any other racist BS around, you obviously do not know me or any of us at all! (and as I said, I’ll forgive and forget, just don’t toss that crap around any more if you really practice what you preach!)

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