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Author: Milwaukee NNS

A May Day 2021 Message from Milwaukee: It is time for leaders to deliver on promised immigration reforms

By Christine Neumann-Ortiz • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service May Day, observed on May 1, is recognized around the world as a day to honor the dignity and struggles of working people. The tradition has its roots in 1886, when the day was chosen to commemorate the workers and martyrs of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago who were fighting for an eight-hour day. In 2006, the May Day tradition was revived in Wisconsin when Voces de la Frontera organized a mass march in support of immigration reform following the national general strikes that defeated Wisconsin’s U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s HR4437....

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Awareness campaign highlights domestic violence programs designed to help vulnerable communities

By Edgar Mendez • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Domestic violence incidents in Milwaukee and elsewhere have spiked during the pandemic, spurred in part by increased stress levels and by lockdown measures that trapped victims at home with their abusers. Some seek help but face a number of obstacles to overcome the traumatic circumstances. For Black, Indigenous and people of color, or BIPOC, and LGBTQ communities in Milwaukee, one of those obstacles includes finding access to culturally specific domestic and sexual violence services designed to address their needs and experiences. “People come in with the difficult situations and trauma and...

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Closing of South Side fire station has escalated the workload of Milwaukee’s first responders

By Edgar Mendez • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service During a virtual community meeting hosted by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission late last month, Aaron Lipski, acting chief of the Milwaukee Fire Department, sounded alarm bells of his own. “We’re way, way extended beyond what our core missions are,” said Lipski, a fourth-generation firefighter who assumed the helm of the department in October when former chief Mark Rohlfing retired. “Because of structured obligations, we had to drop back from 30 to 29 engines to protect the 96 square miles of the city of Milwaukee.” Although the Milwaukee Fire Department...

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Nate Hamilton: On becoming the kind of leader his parents taught him to be

By PrincessSafiya Byers and Bridget Fogarty • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Almost seven years ago, Nate Hamilton was working as a roofer, trying to create a good life for his two kids. Then the death of his brother changed the direction of his life, launching him toward a leadership role to improve relations between police and the community. His brother, Dontre Hamilton, was killed by a Milwaukee police officer on April 30, 2014, and the incident led to huge protests in Milwaukee and national media attention. Hamilton became a spokesman for his family, the founder of the Coalition for...

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Art lovers will remain unaware of Milwaukee’s Black artists until they make an effort to find them

By Della Wells • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Over the years, I and other African American artists in Milwaukee have been approached countless times by people, particularly from the white community, wanting to help Black artists or to increase diversity in the arts community or to help the Black community in general. The reason they give is usually similar — they believe the work of African American artists is not seen here or they want African American artists to join their organization to increase diversity. All this is fine. However, too often the African American artists in this city...

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Souls to the Polls: COVID-19 survivor Greg Lewis leads ministry group to stop voter suppression

By Bridget Fogarty • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Greg Lewis is no used to slowing down. He is usually focused on helping others. Lewis serves as the assistant pastor at St. Gabriel’s Church of God In Christ, 5363 N. 37th Street, and is the founding president of Pastors United and Souls to the Polls. Both are Milwaukee-based groups that organize hundreds of faith leaders who are seeking solutions to the issues impacting Black residents and strengthening civic engagement in their congregations. Yet as the coronavirus hit Milwaukee in March and both of his organizations began working to meet the...

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