Uniting a Segregated Community
Every year, the Milwaukee metropolitan area is listed at or near the top of the list of most-segregated communities in the country. This is an annual punch to the gut and a reminder of how far we still need to go. As a community, we can no longer accept this.
On day one, my administration will set out on a full scale effort to remove our community from the nation’s top ten list of most segregated communities by the time I leave office. As the only African American in this race, I am best positioned to make progress on this issue. It isn’t just the right thing to do, it is the only way to heal our divided community and move us forward.
Promoting Diversity among County Contracts
It will be a goal of my administration to make sure that an equitable portion of county contracts will go to Black-owned businesses. The people doing work on behalf of Milwaukee County should be representative of Milwaukee County.
I will do this by making sure that the County Executive’s office will take part in aggressive outreach efforts to make sure that Black-owned businesses are notified when contracts become available so that all companies start on equal footing when submitting a bid for county contracts. This will include but not be limited to reaching out through minority owned media outlets.
I will also push for an annual county audit of all county contracts and who they were awarded, in order to ensure that county contracts are being awarded to black and minority owned businesses.
Bringing Opportunity into Communities of Color
The UW Extension is one of the State’s great institutions that is severely underutilized in the Black community and across Milwaukee County. I would propose a new partnership between the County and the UW Extension in Milwaukee County to bring the services of the Extension into targeted underserved communities across the entire County. I would offer free space in county buildings to house Extension outreach offices and supplement the Extensions outreach efforts with County resources and personnel. I believe this type of partnership could have tremendous benefits of bringing additional resources directly into the Black community.
I would also like to explore the possibility of the County partnering with MATC to create a northside MATC Education Center that would be similar to MATC's Education Center at Walker's Square. In order to tackle areas of persistent high unemployment, I firmly believe that we need to bring more opportunities closer to areas with the highest need. Transportation is often a barrier for attendance at the downtown campus with the high price of parking and decreasing bus routes often making a difference in whether or not a student can attend and finish a class. A northside education center offering core classes could make a true difference in attracting more students to enroll and helping more students finish and succeed.