Ald. Khalif Rainey
Press Release

Red Cross decision a slap in the face to thousands in Milwaukee

Statement of Alderman Khalif J. Rainey - December 29, 2017

By - Dec 29th, 2017 11:02 am

The vision statement of the American Red Cross, reads, in part:

The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that…

…all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope;

But this does NOT apply if you are displaced by a fire and you live in the 53206 ZIP code in the 7th Aldermanic District (and nine other ZIP codes) in the City of Milwaukee. Sadly, the Red Cross has announced that volunteers will longer respond on-site to fires in certain ZIP codes in the city but will instead meet displaced residents nearby or at Milwaukee Police Department district stations.

I believe this decision is a slap in the face to the good people who live in the affected ZIP codes, that they will no longer be extended the vital basic human care and courtesy of on-site Red Cross assistance. Individuals, families and children who have suffered tragedy and loss will no longer have that basic comfort at their homes when they are in the greatest need of help.

The Red Cross sends its volunteers to war torn countries and places where devastating catastrophes have struck, but no longer feels they can go to certain Milwaukee neighborhoods to serve their fellow Milwaukeeans who are suffering.

I would really like to know the rationale of this decision because in my view the optics of it look like classic “red lining” that disproportionately affects people of color (in other words racism).

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7 thoughts on “Red Cross decision a slap in the face to thousands in Milwaukee”

  1. Mike says:

    Shame on the Red Cross for attempting to protect their volunteers from areas of the city that have a disproportionate number of street thugs.

  2. Kristen WK says:

    According to the red cross they picked the ten zip codes that have the most fires to pilot this way of doing things – a way that is done in other areas of the state – where the family is given the information of where to call so they can meet with a volunteer someplace warm, safe and comfortable and get set up with some resources as opposed to doing that on their sidewalk next to their house thats on fire. That place does NOT have to be a police office – it can be the red cross office or a third option like a hotel lobby – a fact you failed to mention. It seems like you wrote this up without doing any work to get the details. Did you even call the Red Cross? As a paid employee of the people – it seems like you should hold yourself to a standard of presenting facts and getting the necessary information before addressing your constituents, especially when criticizing volunteers.

  3. Lee says:

    In that case, I choose to no longer donate blood to the Red Cross since it seems picking and choosing who to help and where is not very helpful in my book.

    While some parts of the city may be perceived as not as safe, I lived there and neighbors look out for neighbors. Its those who don’t live in those neighborhood’s which make it bad.

    Don’t trash a zip code for that. Use common sense here.

  4. GPS says:

    Didn’t Alderman Bob Bauman suggest that companies afraid to work in Milwaukee, not work in Milwaukee? The Red Cross is just doing what that loon asked them to do.

  5. sharon pendleton says:

    I THINK that Rainey’s original statement meant to say: “NO LONGER” will attend to such zip codes. But, as so often the case, the Alderman failed to proof read his statement to correct this very key misstatement.

  6. MKE Kid says:

    Who is going to convey displaced people to the approved locations? For heavens’ sake, being burned out of your slum landlord owned home in the middle of the night is traumatic enough. District police stations in Milwaukee have no room to shelter families for hours at a time while still functioning. There is a security issue with housing numerous individuals in a district station. Sheesh. Yet another thing we expect our already overworked MPD cops to do.

  7. MKE Kid says:

    PS: Maybe our oh so hard working aldermen could be bothered to get up at 3 AM and take care of displaced people who have been burned out of their home? Last I checked, they make almost $74K with very nice full bennies for them and their families.

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