Kenosha to hold community listening sessions to develop action steps for moving the city forward
City of Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian gathered with local officials, community leaders, and clergy members recently to share his vision for moving Kenosha forward towards a stronger and brighter future.
The mayor announced a series of listening sessions to get public input about thoughts and suggestions to move the community forward. It would also be an opportunity to provide the City with ideas on how to unify and move forward together. The sessions are open to the public.
The listening sessions will kick off on Sunday, September 20. Due to COVID-19 and physical distancing requirements, capacity will be limited. The first session will be live-streamed. Specific details regarding the listening sessions, including how to register, can be found on the city’s website.
Mayor Antaramian said that feedback received from the listening sessions will become an integral part of the Kenosha’s Commit to Action Roadmap. The basis for the Roadmap was developed in partnership with area faith-based leaders and input from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Roadmap requires convening leaders and citizens across diverse sectors and organizations to work collaboratively to identify and implement effective strategies dealing with systemic racism and effect core system changes throughout the city of Kenosha as it relates to the four areas of police and community relations, criminal justice, employment and education.
“We need to focus on solving the larger problem facing our community, not just fixing the immediate issue at hand,” said Mayor Antaramian. “Racism does not just hurt communities of color; it hurts everyone. It is my commitment that the city will review policies and practices related to those four areas to eliminate inequalities so we can achieve better outcomes for our residents.”
The mayor also plans to work with the Common Council to include funding for Kenosha Police Department body cameras in the 2021 budget. He is currently evaluating funding options to allocate additional budget next year toward police training.
“The financial and emotional strain our city has experienced this year is immense, but we’re resilient and our residents have the passion and drive to create change and build a prosperous future,” said David Bogdala, Kenosha’s Common Council President. “Kenosha is an incubator for innovation and economic development with multi-generational businesses, global brand investments and young entrepreneurial talent that will create a strong path forward.”
Mayor Antaramian said his vision for the community was rooted in the same core principles outlined in The United States Conference of Mayors 2020 Vision for America. Both visions are committed to changing policy and developing platforms that allow residents to participate in the process of how to strengthen communities through transparency and trust to build a community where all residents can thrive for generations to come. The Mayor is expected to share the Roadmap with the community in the coming months.
“The Commit to Action Roadmap will be a long-term plan developed in collaboration with some faith-based leaders to address systemic challenges facing our city,” said Pastor Roy Peeples, Turning Point Life Church. “This plan can’t be enacted overnight. It will take time and will be rolled out in multiple phases. The first step in the plan is listening. Listening to our community and hearing their ideas about reform.”