Supervisor Rainey Calls on Gubernatorial Candidates to Address Racial Disparities and Violence in Milwaukee County
Says African American Community in "State of Crisis;" Asks Candidates for Concrete Plans to Address Continuing Racial Disparities, Violence
Milwaukee County Supervisor Khalif Rainey today released an open letter to both leading candidates for governor, incumbent Gov. Scott Walker and Mary Burke, demanding that they share their plans to address racial disparities and violence in Milwaukee County and across the State of Wisconsin.
Rainey cited a December 2013 report from the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) that found the state to rank among the worst in the US in regards to racial equality. The report said that Wisconsin has the largest African-American deficit relative to labor force participation in the country; the largest disparity in both high school graduation rates and eighth grade math scores; the second highest racial disparity in family poverty rates; and the highest black male incarceration rate.
Rainey added that racial disparities in infant mortality rates and violent crime have also had dire effects on the African American community. He noted that Milwaukee in particular has been plagued with a gun violence problem that must be addressed. He cited the shooting of 10-year-old Sierra Guyton as an example of how extreme the situation has become.
“It is clear to see that Wisconsin’s African-American community for quite some time has been, and still is, truly in a ‘state of emergency,'” Supervisor Rainey said. “When children cannot even play safely on school playgrounds, when people can’t escape poverty, it’s time to take action.”
Rainey demanded that Walker and Burke share their plans with him on how to address the various issues facing African-Americans in Wisconsin.
“The time for talking is over,” Rainey said. “I want to see concrete plans for addressing the crisis in the African American community, not just the usual rhetoric. We can’t wait for action; we need help now, and it is up to the candidates for governor to tell us what they will do to address this crisis.”