State Rep. David Bowen
Press Release

Rep. Bowen Statement on Rep. Sanfelippo’s Call to Send National Guard to Milwaukee

“I Hope that Rep. Sanfelippo Joins Us in Supporting Evidence-Based Approaches”

By - Jun 15th, 2021 05:26 pm

MADISON – In response to the statement released earlier today by State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) in which he doubled down on ineffective “tougher on crime” rhetoric and called on Governor Tony Evers to send the National Guard to Milwaukee, State Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement:

“I am happy to see that my colleague Representative Sanfelippo has taken an interest in the cycles of violence that so tragically affect the City of Milwaukee. Given this interest, I hope that Rep. Sanfelippo is willing to acknowledge the root causes of that violence, and is open to realizing that the very ‘tougher on crime’ policies he continues to champion not only fail to curb violence, but actively contribute to it.

Decades of experience have shown us that further criminalizing communities does very little to discourage violence or recidivism of those who committed crime, but instead worsens the problem by actively disrupting family units, reducing opportunities for those who complete terms of incarceration, and directing taxpayer dollars away from needed community services and towards an expensive, bloated & ineffective prison system.

Furthermore, I hope that Rep. Sanfelippo is aware that sending the National Guard into our communities – literally imposing an occupying force on our neighborhoods – will do nothing but escalate already tense situations. This knee jerk reaction of sending in actual military forces without any training in community relations would make an already bad situation even worse.

With all of this in mind, I hope Rep. Sanfelippo is willing to ditch these outdated modes of thinking, listen to experts across the political spectrum, and work with myself and others to properly fund and support the evidence-based policies that target violence at its root before it even begins, an approach that has paid massive dividends in communities across the country.

I’ve even got a starting point for him: earlier this month, Representative Hong, Senator Larson, and I introduced LRB-2894, which would provide over $3 million each year in funding for violence prevention programming across the state through a levy-neutral process.

So I have an invitation for Rep. Sanfelippo: instead of grandstanding from a distance in your suburban district, take a stand for violence prevention with us, and sign your name onto LRB-2894 as a cosponsor. Better yet, convince your Republican colleagues in the Assembly and Senate caucuses to sign their names onto this bill, and make sure it makes its way through the committee process all the way to the floor of the Legislature for a vote. The co-sponsorship period ends this Friday at 5pm.

I look forward to Rep. Sanfelippo putting his words into action, and actually taking a meaningful stand for violence prevention in Milwaukee and across our state.”

Mentioned in This Press Release

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Rep. Bowen Statement on Rep. Sanfelippo’s Call to Send National Guard to Milwaukee

“I Hope that Rep. Sanfelippo Joins Us in Supporting Evidence-Based Approaches”

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