Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Civic Groups Oppose Milwaukee Takeover

From the inbox:
Broad Cross-Section of Milwaukee Groups, Representing Thousands, Oppose Introduction of County Takeover Bill

MILWAUKEE –Local community groups representing thousands of Milwaukee county residents issued statements in response to the introduction of Assembly Bill 85 Rep. Joe Sanfelippo and Sen. Lena Taylor’s bill to eviscerate Milwaukee County government.

Michael Lauer, Executive Director of Wisconsin Jobs Now: “This plan will drastically weaken the representation of communities of color and effectively remove the community voice at the county board level. Instead of attempting a power grab poorly disguised as reform, business leaders and politicians should be focused on creating good jobs and solving the real problems facing our city.”

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera: "Shifting all of this power into the County Executive's hands would tokenize representation at the board level - both in terms of elected representation, and racial diversity."

Dana Schultz, State Director of 9to5: “If current efforts to centralize county governance are implemented, this initiative would diminish representation of diverse communities and make low-income communities and communities of color even more removed from policymaking process, while concentrating power with county executive and the wealthy businesses backing the initiative. 9to5 is opposed to such efforts.”

Mike Wilder, African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable: “The proposed legislation is nothing more than a power grab that aimed at silencing the voices of underrepresented communities, including communities of color while giving the corporate elite more power to control Milwaukee County Government.”

Jennifer Epps-Addison, Economic Justice Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin: “Milwaukee County residents want state lawmakers to focus on creating jobs and opportunity for hard working Wisconsinites, not partisan power grabs.”

Mike Thomas, President of the SEIU Wisconsin State Council:"This bill not only oversteps traditional lines between state and local governments, it strangles the potential for Milwaukee County to improve its education, economic development, and health and social services."

Candice Owley, President of Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals: “The proposal is in effect the dismantling of another Milwaukee democratic institution. It is the County Board that is the closest to the citizens, so by reducing the board’s effectiveness, the voice of the people is also diminished.”

Dian Palmer, President of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin: “Milwaukee is the largest and most diverse county in Wisconsin and a vital part of Wisconsin’s economic growth. We have full-time problems that require full-time supervisors who seek proactive solutions to get our citizens back to work.”

Mary Laan, Chair of Move To Amend Southeastern Wisconsin: “Rep. Sanfelippo's bill is an anti-democratic act, a corporate takeover by the Greater Milwaukee Committee. The law actually would increase County Executive Abele's power to more than that of a typical CEO.”

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