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City budget amendment proposes pilot program to support families with basic income stipend

“On October 31, the Finance and Personnel Committee voted 3-2 to recommend for approval a bold budget amendment I sponsored that would create a pilot program to provide $500 monthly basic income stipends to families in Milwaukee.” – Alderwoman Chantia Lewis “The amendment – requesting the Department of Administration to create a new SEED pilot program special fund of $100,000 – would be offset by foregoing computer replacement in the Police Department (for a total of $100,000). The intent of my amendment is to create a universal basic income program based on the Stockton, California model. I am proposing...

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Mayor Tom Barrett blames acid attack against Latino resident on Trump’s Anti-Immigrant rhetoric

Mayor Tom Barrett said on November 5 that President Donald Trump’s racial rhetoric was responsible for violent hate crimes, like an acid attack which left a Milwaukee man with second-degree burns on November 1. Mahud Villaluz said that a man confronted him over a parking spot, called him “an illegal,” and told him to “go back to [his] country” before throwing battery acid at him. “I look at this in the context of what’s going on right now in our country, where we’ve got the president of the United States who on a daily basis seems to create more...

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Matthew Morin: Encouraging youth to find their voice begins with asking questions of elected officials

I had the opportunity to interview Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers at the Governor’s Mansion in Madison on October 12. I think it is important for government officials to listen to kids. We are the future. That is why it was an absolute privilege to meet my governor and ask him some questions. There was a Hispanic Heritage Day Celebration on the day of my visit. I could hear the mariachi band playing in the background as I walked through the front door. The band was very entertaining. I was so surprised that I was the only kid there, but...

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Milwaukee area schools have the constitutional obligation to protect students from discrimination

In the wake of numerous reports of harassment in public schools, the ACLU of Wisconsin reminded school leaders of their responsibility to protect all students from discrimination per their obligations under the law, especially during the month of October as anti-bullying and anti-harassment month. A letter sen to public school administrators and board members on October 7 expressed the organization’s concern regarding complaints of persistent racial and sexual bullying and harassment in school districts across Wisconsin. “School districts have an obligation to protect students from harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability – including bullying and...

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Reform for redistricting process gains support from two-thirds of Wisconsin counties

Fully two-thirds of Wisconsin counties have now passed fair maps resolutions, representing more than 70% of the state’s population. These resolutions call for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reform the legislative and congressional map-drawing process by utilizing nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau staff and prohibiting the use of partisan data, among other changes. “Beyond any doubt, the people of Wisconsin recognize the problem gerrymandering creates for a representative democracy,” said Erin Grunze, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. “People across all political spectrums are aware of how politicians are rigging the maps to secure their seats....

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The cultural impact of “Americanization” on Milwaukee’s original Jewish immigrant population

The year was 1921. Milwaukee and the United States were coming out of what would be called World War I into a decade of relative prosperity. But it was also a time of distress for some newer Americans because the World War had fostered a rise in nativism that had some of this nation’s ethnic communities on edge. To Milwaukee’s Jewish community, it was the end of a period that had found that group almost tripling in size from an estimated 7,000 in 1907 to around 22,000 in 1922, with most of the growth coming from immigration, largely from...

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