Breaking news out of Milwaukee this morning: Call it the Three Way Dance – The Milwaukee Streetcar Edition. However, my last dance card will not be pretty.
For many many years and months of concern and hope, the Milwaukee Streetcar Debate reached to a breaking point. In a vote of the Milwaukee Common Council of 10 – 5, the Streetcar still lives. BUT: there is one stipulation that was noted from the Common Council President Michael Murphy.
In the meeting, yes there was positives. Even coming from Alderman Nik Kovac (whom I’ve known since Middle School), has been the positive vocal point of the Streetcar Project. Alderman Terry Witkowski of the South Side was at first undecided previously, but the idea sparked for him to support the Streetcar as well. He also noted that there are some in his district had memo that the Streetcar may not work due to the district he oversees. But overall, Alderman Witkowski did say that the streetcar would benefit all of Milwaukee via downtown. The meeting of the Streetcar lasted for about over an hour with the pros and cons. Even the commentary cons of Alderman Bob Donovan, Joe Davis, Tony Zilenski (who favored the Streetcar but due to the stipulation of the signatures) Joe Dudzik, Jim Bohl, and Robert Puente.
For those who favored: Alderrwoman Coggs, and Aldermen Kovac, Witkowski, Hamilton, Wade, Bauman, Murphy, Perez, and Stamper.
Lastly, the CC President himself did indeed noted his support of the Streetcar. He also noted that the even though the project would be taking a risk, but also noted (and it’s real talk) that in his words: “there is a risk in everything in life.” So technically he was point of taking challenges even they seem to be “controversial” or in this case, daring. However on the other end, for those who feel that they needed to say against the project (even though the thoughts in my view are “Conflicted”) he also fairly said that those with the petitions would be welcomed. So with that, the official (and hopefully THE LAST) vote will be extended until February 10th, 2015. The vote was noted with a 10 – 5 decision. But with the stipulation of the signatures, it stood as of 9-6 overall with 8-7 in favoring the signature requests. So it came close with the backing of the Streetcar by the council, but the final vote was put on pause.
Now since that’s on ice until Black History Month, here is something else to note: Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing!
Apparently there was a true backing of the Milwaukee Streetcar Dilemma in the eyes of Bob Donovan and others: Americans for Prosperity. A Koch Brothers funding group, who has backers in Milwaukee of all places has been the culprit of these referendums, obstruct and cancel plans that have been planted to stop the Streetcar. For all those who are signing those referendums, I know you have a right to say what’s up, BUT I must warn those pretty much:
Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing!
Personally what these so-called Americans of Prosperity folks are just doing the work that want to keep stuff held back. That’s all they do. Keeping folks poor in all. And yes they are Koch Funded that helped the likes of Scott Walker per say to get the chair in Madison. Matter of fact that group has been responsible for “cheating” for the last four and half years in terms of getting the High Speed Rail and the KRM defunded and money to be left alone and went out of the state. Oh yeah, they have been “cheating” just to fund their money to deflate anything that does not like them. Oh, I hope the black community in Milwaukee is paying attention, closely! Especially those who like to say, #TEAMSHUTITDOWN on Facebook. And those referendums that your crew on FB probably got circulated via the net, all that came from the Americans For Prosperity.
AGAIN: BEWARE OF WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING!
Well since the cat has been let out of the bag in regarding the Streetcar in this sense, The “proponents” per say need to further the cause of the real deal by February 10th. The proponents need to be “reproofers” and to go onto the “Stop The Milwaukee Streetcar” Facebook Page and reproof the folks who are misguided, uninformed, poisoned with thoughts, and just need to get the dose of reality of what is the real truth with this project! The same goes for other Facebook pages, other social media platforms, radio, TV, blog or bloggers, and EVEN the Americans For Prosperity themselves that what they are spreading is just false mess! For 25 years, Milwaukee has been talking about this project over and over again. And the use of future transportation has been thoroughly commented. Sometimes BUSES aren’t the answer at all times. And I mentioned in my previous blog that some employers don’t allow employees to take buses! They don’t! The next time when you look at a job description either online or in print, read it very carefully. If it states on the description that the job does not require applicants or employees to take public transportation, that says it. Again, I’m not saying all jobs have this, only some. I’m making this clear because of my experience back a decade ago. Has there been some changes in the last 10 years? Yes and No.
So in summary, here is the rundown via the Shepherd Express:
- The final vote on Feb. 10. This will likely pass. When you remove Tony Zielinski’s vote for the project and then to reconsider, it received 9 of 15 votes in support, giving the streetcar more than enough votes for it to pass at the next meeting. Significantly, Common Council President Michael Murphy voted in favor after opposing the project in the past. That carries a lot of weight and says something about how important this project is to the future of the city. (And, no, I don’t think it’s the “second coming.”)
- Opponents need to come up with 31,000 signatures in the next few weeks. Right-wing radio will be fanning the flames to help out this effort and the petition drive will be well financed. I’m going to assume that Nate Hamilton’s radio ad will continue running as well. One wrinkle for opponents is that they need 31,000 city voters. Suburban residents won’t be able to sign.
- If the Common Council passes the project and the petition drive is successful, I assume that the city will go ahead full steam to begin launching the actual project so that it’ll be difficult to kill and people will have gotten used to it. (Then again, that didn’t work out so well for the high-speed rail project, which Walker killed even after Doyle was signing contracts right and left to try to lock in that project.)
- The Joint Review Board needs to give its final approval. I was unfamiliar with this body until this morning, and it seems like a few council members—except for the streetcar opponents—were fuzzy on it, too. According to state statutes, the JRB gives the final approval to any TIF or TID project. (Here’s the state fact sheet on it as well as the city’s fact sheet.) It’s made up of the local taxing authorities as well as one member of the public. Why did the opposing alders mention the JRB this morning? If you look closely, you’ll see that the JRB doesn’t have to be the final word on any TIF or TID project. A majority of the JRB can request that the information the city submits for JRB review be reviewed for errors. And who would do that review? The state Department of Revenue.
So, in my prediction, the Streetcar will roll for approval and the jobs with it. Get the resumes out!
Finally just today, this one of the worst comments coming out of the mouth of Milwaukee Alderman Joe Dudzik. This Alderman, well according to WTMJ 620 AM, he commented that blacks in Milwaukee will be in his words via the Streetcar:
“There’s going to be a couple of assaults, maybe a rape, or a shooting on one of these streetcars,” Dudzik told WTMJ’s Wisconsin’s Afternoon News. “The [millennials] that claim they’re going to be riding this thing are going to be nowhere to be seen.”
He also claimed that his comments were not racial, but having to review the previous stuff with Northridge and the Grand Avenue Mall.
What did the Mayor say for this?
The Mayor’s office responded to Dudzik’s comments with a statement: “There have been a lot of irresponsible statements about the Streetcar and this is one of the worst.”
You know what, I’m calling out the B.S. out of the mouth of Alderman Joe Dudzik. His comments about blacks messing the Streetcar with Rape and Violence is very stupid. No it’s BEYOND STUPID! This is just as dumb and immoral as Joe Davis saying the Streetcar is racist. I do have a question though: Has Alderman Joe Dudzik ever been beaten by a black person before he became an Alderman? When was the last time Dudzik was ever defeated and felt soft, snobish, weak minded and racist against those of African-American? Since when, High School?!!! He claims he’s not making it racial, but he is by opening his mouth! If you live in his district, PUT HIM IN CHECK! Was he ever aware that the MCTS had rapings, fights, shootings on the buses?! Has he?! He, like Joe Davis better wake the “F” UP! Plus also he was wrong about the Northridge Mall closing up due to blacks. According to one of my favorite black Milwaukee radio stations, and I’m glad the “The Forum” brought this up, due to the fact that real reason why Northridge is really closed was due to a rumor that a black man way back when caused a violent shenanigan against a white patron previously. Go ask Jesse Anderson, a white dude in JAIL! Who also killed his wife many moons ago. That’s the real main reason why Northridge Mall is closed up now! Put that in the archives all because he killed his wife and blame it on a so-called black guy! If Alderman Joe Dudzik is up for re-election, he better not get reelected! He need to be fired and recalled for his commentary and yet to apologize to every single African-American he offended with his comments! He might lose alot of “Black Friends.” Just a warning! How does he know what might happen when violence on a Streetcar would occur? As I mentioned from my previous blog, the MCTS had shootings, stabbings, fights and etc. Carjackings. Has any Taxis in Milwaukee had been shot up before? I definitely want to know.
Put a petition together to get him fired!
And plus, to those who are on the “Stop the Milwaukee Streetcar” Facebook Page or any other Anti-Milwaukee Streetcar Social Media site: do you condone this?! Put down your burgers, fries, sodas, beers, coffees, pizzas, and other eats/drinks and put this fool of an Alderman in serious check! Now you know why Milwaukee is a segregated city? This is not just about the Milwaukee Streetcar idea. Again, this is where “Race in Milwaukee” needs to be talked about and clarified and put on the table. Now for those who say “I have alot of black friends”, to “I’m not a racist, or that repeating feeling of “I don’t care if you’re purple, red, green, and etc……We’re all the same.” REALLY?! I call B.S. on that also! And don’t even bust out with the MLK speech with the favorite of not about color but about character. Half of you probably believed that notion also have broken that belief with your actions, and your so-called lessons that you obviously proposed or learned! Just admit it! And I don’t care if it’s 2015!
I’ll bet these are the same folks who fear having their boots shaken when going into Milwaukee for a spot visit, work, or just to relive the “good ole’ days” per say, they are the same folks who have this fear of getting shot, assaulted or raped in the city. Well I got news for them: where you are, I might get caught dead for being strange in the nice neighborhoods. Or being called that scary N*gger and getting arrested for some alleged B.S. that went down. Or being accused of any other thing that they feared since something was taught being afraid and racist of black folks! I’m putting this out there to be real!
Like Dr. King once said: “Where do we go from here?” Ponder that hard.
And other than that: check out the statistics thus far from Urban Milwaukee in regarding the Yay’s and Nay’s of the Streetcar.