Over 200 concerned constituents packed the Washington Park Senior Center in Milwaukee last night to speak directly with their lawmakers at the first of several statewide Jobs Hearings.
Topics included employment discrimination, high unemployment rates in the city of Milwaukee, the need for good jobs for Veterans and healthcare caps on families with special needs children.
Lawmakers on the panel who listened and responded to constituents included Sen. Chris Larson, Sen. Spencer Coggs, Rep. Sandy Pasch, Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa and Rep. Fred Kessler. Nik Kovac and Ashanti Hamilton of the Common Council and Nikiya Harris and Eyon Biddle of the County Board were also in attendance at the Jobs Hearings.
Moderating the forum was LaShell Drake of the Milwaukee Inter City Congregations Allied for Hope, M.I.C.A.H. Rev. Willie Brisco, President of M.I.C.A.H opened the jobs hearings with a prayer.
“We’re here for jobs, we’re here to hear from you, so don’t be shy,” explained Sen. Spencer Coggs.
“We’re here because we care desperately about what’s happening to Milwaukee and Wisconsin and we want to save our state. Let’s put our heads together as a community of concerned citizens and come up with solutions,” stated Rep. Sandy Pasch.
Gerry Miller, United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1343, kicked the hearing off by asking what lawmakers are doing to create good jobs at home in Wisconsin.
“I am one of the lucky ones who is very thankful to have a good job,” stated Miller. “What I see in my community is that the next generation is struggling to find good-paying, American jobs. What are we doing to bring jobs to Wisconsin? What are we doing to combat the off shoring of our jobs to China?”
Edward Jude of Milwaukee raised another concern of the community. “On my way here I passed boarded up homes because my community has no jobs. A community with no jobs is a community in crisis. Veterans coming home from serving our country are struggling to find work. We don’t need to be sending jobs out of our state, we need jobs right here at home.”
“I assume we are all part of the 99%,” said Sen. Chris Larson. “Let’s move forward with shared prosperity and tax fairness. When they stop creating jobs, they lose the right to be called job creators.”
Jobs Hearings are also planned for Racine, Oshkosh and La Crosse on Monday, October 24.
- Racine: Oct. 24, 7:00 pm, Roma Lodge, 7130 Spring Street.
- Oshkosh: Oct. 24, 7:00 pm, UW Oshkosh Reeve Memorial Union, 748 Algoma Blvd
- La Crosse: Oct. 24, 7:30 pm, UW La Crosse Cartwright Center, WARD Room, 1741 State Street.