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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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Council President Ashanti Hamilton: On the challenges and opportunities of the 2020 city budget

Every year, the budget process gives us the opportunity to face our challenges and discover new opportunities to meet those challenges. This year is no different. Currently our fiscal difficulties loom large, and in the midst of so many varied opinions and viewpoints; I want to make my position clear. I fully support the City being able to diversify its revenue streams through new means such as increased shared revenue or a local sales tax. However, I have to express my frustration with the way this conversation is continually being framed. I am tired of Milwaukee being positioned as...

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In the rush to protect children from vaping the greater danger of gun violence is being ignored

Six Americans seem to have died from vaping. Maybe as many as 450 people in the US now have lung-related illnesses from using e-cigarettes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are on the case, launching a multi-state investigation of severe pulmonary disease among vapers. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is proposing to ban flavored e-cigarettes that he worries are enticing children. It’s not a shock that a largely untested and unregulated industry based on inhaling various mysterious substances might have health consequences. Still, Trump’s announcement of a total ban on flavored e-cigarettes seems a little extreme. If he...

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