MATC Board Politicized by GOP and Chamber of Commerce
Reverend Julian Jasper, a former MATC board member, said, “The legislative changes drafted by the MMAC are undemocratic.”
Thirty-nine community leaders have signed a statement (attached) condemning the disenfranchisement of Milwaukee’s African American and Latino communities at MATC that will be the subject of a meeting by the Milwaukee County Commission on Human and Civil Rights on Monday, October 26th.
“Since the Republican legislature passed a bill written by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, African American representation on the MATC board has plummeted,” said Fred Royal, a former MATC board member and President of the NAACP.
The 3:30 p.m. meeting will be held at the East Side Library, 2320 N Cramer, Milwaukee WI.
“Thirty-five percent of MATC’s students are African American,” Royal explained, “but this bill reduced African American membership on the board from four to one.”
MATC’s job placement and graduation rates are equal to other technical colleges and its costs per student are in the middle of the pack. Yet, according to Chuck Gobel, a former MATC board member, “MATC was the only technical college targeted by the state legislature for the changes in board governance and its board appointment process,” Gobel stated.
Sixty-five percent of MATC’s students live in the City of Milwaukee. Yet the bill eliminated MPS’s role in the board appointment process so that the city of Milwaukee has no voice at all in the appointment process.
Reverend Julian Jasper, a former MATC board member, said, “The legislative changes drafted by the MMAC are undemocratic. They have rigged the appointment process to ensure their hand- picked candidates get appointed and effectively eliminated Milwaukee stakeholders from any voice in this critical community institution.“
While County Executive Chris Abele is on the MATC Board Appointment Committee authorized by the legislation, he has consistently refused to support qualified candidates from Milwaukee County, instead opting to appoint candidates recruited by the MMAC who do not live in Milwaukee County.
Keith Roberts, the Director of Strategic Planning when MATC was established as a regional college in the early 1970s offered this perspective: “The board appointment system was developed to keep politics out of the appointment process. The new appointment process has politicized the process and Milwaukee’s County Executive has played a decisive role in undermining democratic control of the MATC board.”
The Commission is expected to take action on this matter today.
Current and former MATC students, administrators and board members are expected to attend the meeting.
By Community Coalition for MATC