Editor’s note: The following is a joint statement from seven members of the Milwaukee Common Council.
On May 8 during his primary victory speech, Governor Walker removed the City of Milwaukee from the State of Wisconsin and disconnected the city’s problems from the responsibility of the state government. He has repeated this same line of commentary when convenient during media interviews.
As elected officials and residents of the City of Milwaukee, it is extremely disturbing to listen to our Governor, the former top elected official for Milwaukee County, use our great city as a prop and make disparaging remarks about the city to gain political points with those outside the city. We are Milwaukee – resilient and strong. We can only move Wisconsin forward with a strong Milwaukee – not the Governor’s plan of leaving Milwaukee behind.
We are working incredibly hard to focus on solutions to challenges we face, and despite dogged opposition from those supporting policies that have impeded our progress, we are fighting our way to a brighter future. It seems hypocritical for the Governor to slash funding to public education, deny federal funds that would have created jobs, repeatedly take over decisions that have traditionally been under local control, and then take zero responsibility for the impact those decisions have on the city.
Moreover, anyone who has observed the Governor’s budgeting priorities over the last decade, first in Milwaukee County at the Courthouse and now at the State Capitol, has seen a blatant aversion for the city and a desire to see the City of Milwaukee fail. It is his fiscal agenda.
As County Executive, the Governor devastated the Milwaukee County Transit System, and now as Governor, he added money to the prison and highway budgets and took money from public education and from shared revenue with cities, towns, and villages. Those cuts were felt most acutely – as he knew they would be – by the Milwaukee Public Schools and by the City and County of Milwaukee. And now he is bragging about that?
The leader of the State must have the capacity to bring all people in the state together in efforts to solve problems. Accentuating differences between residents in the state in a manner that is unproductive or adversarial is wrong, and only divides and distances us from one another. As Milwaukee goes, so goes the State of Wisconsin.
If Wisconsin is to move forward – Milwaukee Matters.
Milwaukee Aldermen Ashanti Hamilton, Milele Coggs, Nik Kovac, Robert Bauman, Michael Murphy, Willie Wade and Jose Perez..