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Author: Staff

Thich Nhat Hanh: Remembering the influential Buddhist monk who taught me to be a better Christian

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders and pioneer of the modern mindfulness movement, died on January 22 at the age of 95. I had the unexpected honor of meeting him in my youth. That brief encounter and his insightful teachings had a direct influence on the course of my life. I owe the early formation of my adult Christian faith to Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and his book Living Buddha, Living Christ. Setting aside the very long and personal story of my theological background for another time, as a young adult in...

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Defending Democracy: Senator Tammy Baldwin details attacks on Wisconsin voting rights in Senate speech

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin spoke on the Senate floor on January 19 in support of passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and Freedom to Vote Act, in order to remove barriers to the ballot box and protect the constitutional right to vote. In a raw and emotional debate, Senators squared off over voting legislation that is vital to protecting American democracy. The issue echoes a previous era when the Senate filibuster was employed by Segregationists to block civil rights legislation. Republican-controlled states have been passing unconstitutional voting laws since disgraced ex-president Trump lost the 2020 election, in...

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Hispanic community urges City leaders to get outside counsel after flawed opinion on Fair Map proposals

The effort to redraw Milwaukee’s Aldermanic maps came to an abrupt halt on January 10, in what was described as a last minute political move to avoid implementing any changes. Latinx community organizers held a press conference on January 14 at City Hall to address the situation, which holds a direct impact on their residential population. After carefully considering the reapportionment of Aldermanic districts, former Mayor Tom Barrett vetoed the proposal sent to him by the Milwaukee Common Council on December 6. The Milwaukee Common Council then unanimously voted on December 14 to sustain the Mayor’s veto, regarding the...

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Fully Vaccinated and Boosted: Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson urges Milwaukee to take COVID-19 precautions

As part of a regular COVID screening routine, Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson announced on January 2 that his at-home test showed a positive result. He also reminded the public to remain vigilant against spreading the virus. Mayor Johnson’s original vaccination process was reported on my local news outlets, to encourage the Milwaukee public to become fully vaccinated. He later followed up with a booster shot, and routinely wears a mask in public settings. In his January 2 statement, Mayor Johnson said that others in his family have tested negative, and that he feels fine with only mild symptoms. Even...

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Milwaukee welcomes 2022 by ringing the historic Solomon Juneau Bell at City Hall on New Year’s Eve

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson welcomed the New Year at City Hall by ringing the Solomon Juneau bell at midnight on December 31. The old custom was revived on New Year’s Eve 2016-17 by former Mayor Tom Barrett, after being inspired by the nonprofit Bells of Milwaukee, to send a message of peace. The longstanding tradition had lapsed for many years. The bell is located in the City Hall clock tower, about 300 feet above the street. It was cast from spare fire bells produced for the City by the local firm of G. Campbell and Sons. The massive 20,000...

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Year In Review 2021: A generation of forgotten heroes who served our country

2021 began a second year with the deadly coronavirus pandemic, and the near collapse of American Democracy. Even with a vaccination for COVID-19, much of the turbulence from 2020 continued because of weaponized politics. That social trauma aggravated the public health crisis, and the economy’s struggle to recover. While the year did not present the same risks of physical injury for journalism as the previous, the editorial staff of Milwaukee Independent experienced many difficult challenges in the process of reporting the news and preserving those conditions with images. The Year In Review (YIR) series has evolved from a simple...

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