Wisconsin Gazette celebrates its fifth anniversary this month. It’s a wonderful accomplishment in this era when newspapers are struggling and face competition from so many digital distractions.
I’m pumped about electing Mary Burke Wisconsin’s governor and ending Scott Walker’s divisive policies and incompetent administration.
Walker built his rep on standing firmly in support of Act 10, the GOP law that repealed the right to collective bargaining by public sector unions. This corporate-backed effort was sold as a means of government-streamlining and tax reduction. It intentionally targeted organized labor, the only force able to vie against the power and influence of private interest groups in the political arena.
ColorOfChange.org, the nation’s largest online civil rights organization, is urging both local and national media to be particularly mindful of their coverage of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri and across the country in the wake of the grand jury’s impending decision regarding Officer Darren Wilson.
Recognition of the dangers posed by a hostile media climate for Black people is crucial at this very important juncture in our nation’s history. In the wake of yet another young life lost to police violence, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to express their outrage and demand better of law enforcement, as well as our justice system. This is a constitutional right. Our media should aid in the protection of those rights, rather than contribute to a racist drumbeat against them.
I feel that we can all help start more conversations in regard to leadership, diversity inclusion and respect. The old adage never judge a book by its cover applies to all walks of life. I remember when I first went to Stanford University, I participated in a group activity with my entire freshman dorm. All of us were apprehensive about this new chapter in our lives. The leader had us stand in a straight line and would pose a question to the group. Students would either take a step forward or stand still based on their individual response.
As election campaigns reach a fever pitch, voter disgust with political ads and campaign spending is soaring. Since the U.S. Supreme Court lifted restrictions on the amount of money private individuals and corporations can funnel through interest groups to influence elections, billions will be spent to buy our government and dictate its priorities this year and in the presidential election of 2016.
The justices who made the Citizens United decision in 2010 said that First Amendment free speech rights trumped concerns about political corruption, which courts could deal with on an individual basis. They evinced little consciousness or care about financial inequality in the United States, assuming a level playing field that would be fair to all interest groups. That’s hardly the case.
The midterm election results were obviously not everything that progressives were hoping for. However, many strong progressive champions were elected to the Legislature across Wisconsin. This includes two new state senators — Janis Ringhand in Janesville and Janet Bewley in Ashland. Four new progressive state assembly members under the age of 35 also were elected on Nov. 4, which means we now have 10 Democrats under 35 serving in the Legislature. The youth movement among progressives is alive and well.
Progressives have important work to do to rebuild our infrastructure. This will not happen overnight. If we want to be successful, we must first focus on recruiting and electing champions to local office. Mayors, county board supervisors, town board chairs and school board members all serve as an important check on conservative overreach coming from the state Capitol. They are the officials who have to endure the consequences of the policies created by the Republican majority. In the years to come, we must rely on these local elected officials to provide a voice for progressives — and to make it clear that decisions made in Madison affect Wisconsinites every day.
The NAACP Milwaukee Branch is pleased with the action that Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn took to discharge the officer, Christopher Manney, for violating procedures in connection with the tragic shooting of Dontre Hamilton.
We have advocated that the department should aggressively rid itself of those officers who are incompetent, corrupt or racist. Such officers not only do a disservice to citizens and the community, but also undermine the efforts of all other officers in the department who do follow procedures and engage with citizens in a respectful manner as they carry out their duties to serve and protect.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin endorses candidates who support family planning and a woman’s right to choose. In the Nov. 4 general election, endorsed candidates include:
GOVERNOR: Mary Burke
In 1969, Angela Lansbury starred as the madwoman Countess Aurelia in the Broadway musical Dear World, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. The show was a bomb, but Lansbury won the Tony Award that spring and the show is noted for one great tune, a passionate anthem to denial called “I Don’t Want to Know.”