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Author: Op Ed

Milwaukee reflects America’s failed proxy war to fight racism and inspire social justice

The United States fought a costly proxy war against Russia and China in the small country of Vietnam. It cost billions of dollars, erased a generation, and left scars upon our national soul. One of the objectives of that conflict was to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. A similar and equally failed proxy war has also been fought in America for the past half century. And for all the billions of dollars spent, lives lost and damage done, we have not won the hearts and minds of our own people either. All the social programs...

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Reimagining public safety by spending more for people and less on police budget will actually decrease crime

The City of Milwaukee is facing a series of crises seemingly at odds with each other. On one hand, Milwaukee has helped fuel mass incarceration as much as, if not more than, many other cities in the country, and wants to do its part to end it. On the other hand, the primary way that we currently create safety is to send people to jail. The common thought is that if we lock less people up then there will be less safety. How are we to end mass incarceration? In another series of conflicting crises, the city’s police budget...

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Medical Redlining: North side coalition renews call for health equity at St. Joseph Hospital

Almost one year ago, Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the United States, announced its plan to greatly reduce the services offered at St. Joseph Hospital. St. Joe’s is the only remaining general hospital on Milwaukee’s North Side. Many of us in the community saw this as the first step toward closing the hospital. There was good reason to be worried, because Ascension has done the same to hospitals in cities around the country: first claim that the hospital is no longer needed to meet patient demand, then reduce services, finally shut it down. Ascension very recently pushed...

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Fred Royal: The Menthol Wars targeted blacks and aggravated tobacco-related health disparities

February celebrates Black History Month, highlighting the achievements of African-Americans and a setting aside time to recognize their role in shaping our country’s history. Remembered are the lives and contributions of heroes like Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, and Rosa Parks. The historical significance of Barack Obama’s becoming the first Black president in the history of the United States is also something to cherish. Among his many accomplishments in office was the passage of the “Affordable Care Act,” the healthcare reform law that expanded and improved healthcare access for millions of Americans. Yet while those accomplishments and others are reviewed...

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Government shutdown risks lives and safety as Coast Guard is left without proper assets

For more than 45 years I had the distinct honor of wearing the uniform of a Coast Guardsman. My career culminated in serving for every man and woman—active, reserve, civilian, auxiliary, and their family members—as the 25th Commandant of the Coast Guard. Over 35 of those years were spent on the front lines of Coast Guard operations including eight commands at a time when my service was obliged to operate under the mantra of “doing more with less.” “Doing more with less” are appropriate words for a martyr, and the one certainty of being a martyr is inevitable death....

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Op Ed: Legislative “coup” by Wisconsin’s GOP opens door for Trump 2020 reelection

In response to the Wisconsin State Legislature’s passage of sweeping lame-duck legislation restricting the powers of incoming Democratic Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, Wisconsin officials released the following statements: “Wisconsin has never seen anything like this. Power-hungry politicians rushed through sweeping changes to our laws to expand their own power and override the will of the people of Wisconsin who asked for change on November 6th. Wisconsin values of decency, kindness, and finding common ground were pushed aside so a handful of people could desperately usurp and cling to power while hidden away from the very...

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