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Author: Milwaukee NNS

UMOS TechHire program trains the formerly incarcerated for careers in skilled trades

By Edgar Mendez • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service As he stands in front of a Computer Numerical Control machine in a first-floor workshop at Milwaukee Area Technical College, Justin Ashford, 32, reflects on the multiple job offers he’s received. “It’s not just about the money either. I want an opportunity to grow with the company,” said Ashford, who was days away from completing the school’s accelerated four-month CNC training program that was made available to inmates in 2018. CNC machining is a process in which precision parts are produced through computer inputs. Ashford and seven other participants were in...

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Portia Cobb: On being racially profiled in Milwaukee over a burrito and the social media reaction

By Portia Cobb • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service How does a person who has experienced racial profiling or profiling of any kind articulate it to others outside of that experience? What will make them believe it actually happened-even if they have never experienced it in the spaces they describe as inclusive, safe or liberal? In my own experience of being profiled at an east side eatery last spring, the reality of an isolated moment that may have been interpreted as a slight has grown into enormous proportions because I talked about it. I was recently called out on social...

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Milwaukee fights a losing battle as drug overdose deaths continue to afflict struggling communities

By Edgar Mendez • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service As he walks the streets of Milwaukee’s South Side in the middle of the night, Rafael Mercado fears he’s fighting a losing battle. “Things are getting worse here,” said Mercado, as he fended off pimps while other volunteers talked to prostitutes about getting help for their addiction. Statistics show that Mercado — leader of Team HAVOC, a volunteer group that conducts needle cleanups, among other activities — is correct. If current trends continue, Milwaukee County could record 423 overdose deaths in 2019, its highest total in a decade, according to the...

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Upcoming documentary highlights thriving condition of Milwaukee’s Bronzeville before its demolition

By Edna Garcia-Mendez • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Bronzeville was once the heart of the African American community in Milwaukee. Decades of a thriving culture gave the area a unique atmosphere and prominent status among the city’s ethnic neighborhoods. That history is the topic of Karen Slattery’s 2019 documentary, “Remembering Bronzeville.” Slattery, a professor of journalism and media studies in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, was inspired heavily by the work of the local playwright, Sheri Williams Pannell, and her play, “Welcome to Bronzeville.” The documentary focuses on the people who lived in Bronzeville. Slattery, who...

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Finding affordable child care remains a struggle for low-income Milwaukee parents

By Edgar Mendez • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Kristin Lee Aponte thought she had found the perfect day care center for her kids. Her oldest daughter, Amelia, had started there when she was 1. And her youngest, Brenna, was a newborn when she started coming. Her plan was to stay at the center until Brenna started school. But the mother discovered one obstacle: The cost. Despite receiving a subsidy through Wisconsin Shares, a program that covers a portion of child care costs for low-income working families, Aponte’s copay at the center rose to as high as $400 a month....

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How a vibrant local Latino history landed the LULAC national convention in Milwaukee

By Sergio M. González • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s oldest Latino civil rights organization, held its 90th annual national convention in Milwaukee from July 10 to 13. While this year’s LULAC convention will be the largest national Latino meeting organized in Milwaukee’s history, it certainly will be the first of its kind. That honor belongs to the 1971 Milwaukee Latin American Convention, an event organized to harness an upsurge in social movement activism among the city’s growing Mexican American and Puerto Rican communities. In 1970, more than 20,000 Latinos...

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