The Milwaukee Community Journal states, "It is a quality news organization published throughout Milwaukee and the surrounding suburbs. Established in 1976, the Milwaukee Community Journal (MCJ) has advanced and reported the plight, struggles and victories of blacks in Wisconsin. It's a service that publisher Patricia Pattillo has taken personally." Judging from the paper pronouncement of endorsements for the April 3, 2012 elections of incumbents, Mayor Tom Barrett and Alderman Willie Hines, the MCJ endorsement is questionable when viewed with a critical eye. The MCJ article appears to be towing local political lines. The actual facts pertaining to the plight, disenfranchisement, today's struggles of Milwaukee's Black community in particular, and the over-all miserable condition of the City of Milwaukee are the results of these two failing leaders' legacy in public office.
First, let's take a look at Mayor Tom Barrett's report card over the past eight (8) years as the top administrator of the City of Milwaukee, as it relates to the over-all conditions of the Black community in the fields of employment through job creations, crime free neighborhoods, and creating an atmosphere for prosperity for all its citizens. In regards to job creation, Mayor Barrett boast of creating summer youth employment opportunities for Black youth while the unemployment figures for Black males between the ages of 16 to 64 peaks at 60% in the city. This is based on a recent study conducted by the UW-Milwaukee, Center for Economic Development…Race and Male Employment in the Wake of the Great Recession: Black Male Employment Rates in Milwaukee, And the Nation's Largest Metro Areas 2010 by: Marc V. Levine University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Working Paper, January 2012…http://www4.uwm.edu/ced/publications/black-employment_2012.pdf.
To begin with, under Barrett's eight year watch Black male unemployment has risen six (6) to eight (8) percentage points each year of his administration. Equally important( under Barrett's watch), City Attorney, GRANT F. LANGLEY proclaimed that " the city attorney's office will no longer defend employment discrimination cases." Furthermore, Mayor Barrett and Willie Hines made a public announcement to entice companies/ employer's to relocate to Milwaukee. As a result, his office would (and did) eliminate the minority hiring quota and ended funding to the city Human Relations Commission. And so, there goes Barrett's and the MCJ newspaper claim of job creation in the Black community flushed right down the drain. In other words, the facts point out that Mayor Barrett's eight (8) years of leadership has actually regressed job growth and employment opportunities for the Black community in Milwaukee.
Second, if you believe that incarcerating some of these unemployed Black males at a rate of 5000 annually for eight (8) years under Barrett's administration is making the Black community crime free then ask a resident who calls the police department to report an open drug house in their neighborhood, only to be told by MPD that answers to Barrett, "Yes it is a known drug house, but you are free to come fill out a complaint report" The city's over-all picture is reeking with the stench of doom from downtown development projects that have failed (which were backed by city and federal tax dollars), and the 80% of city procurement dollars spent with non-city residents and businesses that are operating and based outside the city limits.
This observer perspective is: Tom Barrett's true political aspiration is to leave a legacy of upward achievements in the field of politics. The proof being his yearlong indecisiveness to run for Governor in the up-and-coming re-call election. His 11:55 announcement that he will be throwing his hat in the re-call election seals the deal with this, "home boy" and that Barrett never had Milwaukee's best interest in his heart. Barrett stated in an email to supporters, "We need to bring our state back" http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/barrett31-mk4qdt3-145223335.html . Judging from his leadership here in Milwaukee, one with a sensible mind would find it hard to believe anyone would want him, as a leader, siting in the Governor's seat willing indecisiveness when the State of Wisconsin needs sound leadership.
As for Alderman and City Council president, Willie Hines, he is as much responsible and must share Mayor Tom Barrett's failures as the elected leader of this once great city I call home. Willie Hines has had the opportunity to demonstrate effective leadership as an elected official more so than Barrett, because Hines has been an elected leader twice as long as Barrett. Hines was elected in 1994 to the 15th District Alderman seat. That's 18 years in office watching the Black community socially disintegrate from a thriving and working family community into making the list of worst cities to raise a family, the number one hyper-segregated city in the nation, poverty rate ranks fourth in the country, the infant mortality rate is higher than some third world countries, and unemployment for Black males climbed between two (2) and eight (8) percent annually since being in office.
In conclusion, the MCJ's endorsement of Tom Barrett and Willie Hines is a death wish against change for a brighter future which their opponents, Edward McDonald for Mayor www.edwardmcdonaldformayor.com , and Eyon Biddle for 15th District Alderman www.biddleformilwaukee.com can prospectively bring to politics if elected as leaders in the City of Milwaukee.