Hot Blind Debate

A Milwaukee Renaissance Interview with Nichali M. Ciaccio

*MilwaukeeRenaissance.* So our agents tell us you are organizing a series of debates at the Public House Pub on Locust, a block east of Woodland Pattern Bookstore. I have never imagined a debate at a pub! Is this a serious debate event or are other motives driving things?

Nichali Ciaccio:In answer to your question:
It’s both.

The event -- which is fully participatory and involves randomly selected debaters -- is intended to generate public discourse and to entertain. We’ve left a lot of space for both, with topics ranging from the privatization of schooling to the merits of R. Kelly. The four debates are:

Regional: neighborhood cage fight!

Culture: who has brought greater value to humanity?

Gettin’ political:


Debates are meant to illuminate, elucidate and to, through the process of critical discourse, come to new understandings. Though Riverwest is unlikely to triumph over Bay View, or the other way around, any time soon it is possible that the merits of both will be clarified. And just maybe we’ll get some people from both to visit each other.

It shouldn’t be seen as prejudiced that the event is being held in Riverwest!

We do have a driving motive, however. The event is a fundraiser to microfinance, through Kiva, some projects. Kiva is a non-profit organization that directly connects you with the person whose project you are sponsoring. It’s somewhere between a lending institution and someone giving their friends 25 dollars to get their feet off the ground, only that the friends could be anywhere around the globe. Through Kiva, you can start an account and search for people who have posted their projects [--] buying seed, starting a small grocery store, for example [--] and make a contribution to that project. Once receiving their requested amount and embarking on their project, the recipient has an allotted period of time to pay you back. At that point, you can re-fund another project or withdraw your month. The idea is that the same amount of cash, recycled again and again, can help provide credit to many people who wouldn’t normally have access.

We won’t decide on the projects to sponsor until a few days before the event, as Kiva project requests tend to get filled quickly.

So we want the event to be worthwhile in it’s own right while also helping raise a couple bucks for people who need it.

Visit their website at

As well as Nichali Ciaccios personal blog with essays, photos of adventures, and the Postcards to Egypt Project.

Back to top

Victory Garden Initiative Blitz

Earthday 2011!

Back to top

Mother Nature’s Melting Pot


Published: April 2, 2011 The New York Times

THE anti-immigrant sentiment sweeping the country, from draconian laws in Arizona to armed militias along the Mexican border, has taken many Americans by surprise. It shouldn’t — nativism runs deep in the United States. Just ask our non-native animals and plants: they too are commonly labeled as aliens, even though they also provide significant benefits to their new home.

While the vanguard of the anti-immigrant crusade is found among the likes of the Minutemen and the Tea Party, the native species movement is led by environmentalists, conservationists and gardeners. Despite cultural and political differences, both are motivated — in Margaret Thatcher’s infamous phrase — by the fear of being swamped by aliens.

But just as America is a nation built by waves of immigrants, our natural landscape is a shifting mosaic of plant and animal life. Like humans, plants and animals travel, often in ways beyond our knowledge and control. They arrive unannounced, encounter unfamiliar conditions and proceed to remake each other and their surroundings.

Designating some as native and others as alien denies this ecological and genetic dynamism. It draws an arbitrary historical line based as much on aesthetics, morality and politics as on science, a line that creates a mythic time of purity before places were polluted by interlopers.

What’s more, many of the species we now think of as natives may not be especially well suited to being here. They might be, in an ecological sense, temporary residents, no matter how permanent they seem to us.

Read the rest of the article here at the New York Times
Back to top

Oppose Pridemore’s Arizona Copycat Bill in Wisconsin

by Elena Lavarreda, Statewide Organizer, Voces de la Frontera

Please oppose State Representative Pridemore’s proposed Arizona copycat bill in Wisconsin that would essentially enact laws legalizing racial profiling by requiring law enforcement to question people they have an undefined “reasonable suspicion” of being undocumented.

This law would violate the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, which affirms the sole role of the federal government in regulating immigration, by creating a patchwork of contradictory state laws.

It would violate the Fifth Amendment rights of people of color and immigrants to due process by establishing an arbitrary 48 hour time limit for an individual to prove legal residency or risk being arrested, jailed, and deported; and undermine 14th Amendment rights of people of color to equal treatment under the law.

This law would also undermine common sense community policing policies that encourage undocumented immigrants to report or participate in investigations as witnesses or victims of crimes.

The experience with laws like Arizona’s SB1070 has been an overwhelming negative for states and local governments. Such laws have failed in the courts, cost millions of dollars to local and state economies, undermined public safety, and poisoned community relations.

Wisconsin’s Latino community alone has grown by 74% since the 2000 census. It is a critical contributor to small business creation, jobs, taxes, and consumer spending. Immigrants also represent an important part of Wisconsin’s signature industry; the dairy industry, representing 40% of the workforce. Immigrants are an integral part of our communities and churches.

Given the challenges that face the State, Wisconsin should focus on creating jobs and opportunity. Laws like Arizona’s SB1070 are a destructive and costly diversion from the important work we must do to get Wisconsin working again.

Go here to learn more
Back to top
Back to Awareness

“Keep A Top Eye Open” (Abolitionist to Harriet Tubman):

Segregated Milwaukee plays blame game

March 28, 2011

by George F. Sanders

O. Ricardo Pimentel, the Journal Sentinel editorial columnist, blogger and writer, tries a bit of humor in his “Mostly white on purpose“ April 26, 2011, assessment of Waukesha County’s low-income housing dilemma and the discrimination complaint filed against it by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council with Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Funning how Waukesha County avoids the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) requirements of the HUD program may be good copy: “If you don’t give low-income people a place to live, they won’t move in next door, in the same census track or even in the same town.” Pimentel fails to connect all the dots that include how the City of Milwaukee has played foot-loose with HUD dollars long before it ripped down more than 3,000 Inner City properties between 1990–1997, built only185 units, and profited $200 million from HUD. (“Where have all the houses gone?” — Jack Norman, Greg J. Borowski, 2/28/1999)

Local community organizations systematically destroyed

HUD, since 1972, provides Milwaukee with a yearly CDBG, Community Development Block Grant sum to provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and opportunities to expand economics for low and moderate-income persons; details at The entitlement grant averages about $18 million per year, based on a formula originally determined by local community organizations, who were best qualified to assess neighborhood needs. However, these organizations were systematically destroyed while crooked developers and politicians combined to run city hall, and steal the money.

Click here for the rest
Back to top

State Budget hearings

Make It Work Milwaukee/ Mental Health Task Force Update

Senator Darling and Rep. Vos have just announced the schedule of public hearings on the state budget held by the Joint Committee on Finance. Please see the attached schedule for details. The Milwaukee hearing will be held on April 11 at State Fair Park. We will work together to ensure a great turnout from Make It Work Milwaukee and Mental Health Task Force.

Please turn out for our April 1 budget briefing (10 - noon at IndependenceFirst) to learn more about our budget priorities and key messages for the Joint Finance Committee hearings. See the attached flyer for details and please RSVP to ARC at 414–774–6255 or

Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee Office Director
6737 W. Washington St., Suite 3230
Milwaukee, WI 53214
414–773–4646 Ext 15 Voice
888 758–6049 TTY
414–773–4647 Fax
Click here for the flyer!
Click here for the hearings schedule

Back to top
Back to Awareness

Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor.

Priority: ELECTION April 5, 2011, Will Reinforce Human Rights or Greed

by Patricia Obletz, Editor

The portraits of the future painted by county executive candidates, philanthropist Chris Abele and Rep. Jeff Stone, were telling during the March 17, 2011, debate at St. Mark AME Church, 1616 West Atkinson. Although each detailed his plans at length, the essence of their plans are these:

  • Rep. Stone wants the county to work more closely with the Republicans.

  • Philanthropist Chris Abele wants the county to work closely with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Democrat and community leaders.

  • Wisconsin State Sen. Lena Taylor informed us that only Chris Abele called her and asked what her district needs.

Nik Kovacs, Milwaukee Third District Alderman, spoke passionately about the need to elect JoAnne Kloppenburg for Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice based on her integrity exemplified by her work as Assistant State Attorney General with four Republican and Democrat attorneys general. Unlike her opposition, she is impartial and bases her decisions on actual laws. Neither does she lose her temper and attack chief justices with angry, foul language.

The Milwaukee County Executive and State Supreme Court Justice elected positions at stake April 5, 2011, will determine whether human rights win, or greed

The Candidates and panelists left to right: Rep. Jeff Stone; Philanthropist Chris Abele
Bottom row: Derrick Martin, second generation owner, Lena’s Foods; William Jenkins, Pres. & Owner, Jenkins & Associates Healthcare, former Aurora Healthcare executive; Reuben K. Harpole, Jr., educator, activist, academic and retired journalist and more; Carla Y. Cross, Ex. Dir., Business Council for Ethnically Diverse Metro Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce.

Back to top
Back to Op Ed


by George F. Sanders
March 21, 2011′’‘


In a recent email, George F. Sanders indicated that he misread alderman Willie Hines as not supporting a city “residency rule,” when in fact the alderman does. The apology was posted in a recent email to Hines and others.

Willie Hines, Milwaukee Common council president, now tries to sell the “residency rule” to Milwaukee citizens. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Crossroads, 3/20/2011). Yet, this comically flawed idea represents another dumb attack to get at the Milwaukee Public Schools’ (MPS) $1.1 billion dollar budget. Additionally, Hines’ activity continues to be one borne out of corruption, incompetence and victim-blaming.

The corruption is so blatant that those participating, a few contractors and builders, appear to have an open door to the city’s finances. It is claimed that not long ago, one burst into alderman Mike Murphy’s finance committee meet, demanded 3 or 4 million, and got it. No hearing. No discussion. No vote. This, while Black contractors can hardly get in the door.

Click here for more
Back to top

From Concerned Citizens to PeaceOfMind @

Tuesday, March 22, 2011: One Issue to Address Now

No one has been able to explain why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay upon retiring. While politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, yet they receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.

Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the information below, just where will all of it stop?

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens have no idea that members of Congress retire with:

  • the same pay after only one term

  • they specifically exempt themselves from many of the laws they have passed, such as being exempt from prosecution for sexual harassment. Ordinary citizens must live under those laws.

  • they recently exempted themselves from the Healthcare Reform… in all its forms.

Click here for the rest
Back to top

Wisconsin: Time to Grow our Souls

by Grace Lee Boggs

The world’s eyes are on the escalating struggle to defend the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin public workers. Some people have even called the growing mobilization a transformational movement,

But transformational organizing takes more than growing numbers.

Revisiting the 1955–56 Montgomery Bus Boycott can help us understand what it takes.

In the 1950s humanity was at a watershed. During World War II nearly 50 million people, more than half of them civilians, had been killed, to win the war, we had created and dropped an atom bomb on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Yet Americans were celebrating our winning this “good war” and even proclaiming the American century because our factories were busy producing the goods that the war-devastated factories of Europe and Japan were unable to produce.

As Einstein put it, “the splitting of the atom has changed everything but the human mind and thus we drift towards catastrophe.”

It was under these circumstances that the people of Montgomery, Alabama, launched their yearlong boycott to protest the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to go to the back of the bus.
Click here for the rest of the article
Back to top

Saving the Future

by Patricia Obletz, Editor

March 20, 2011

Arts expert and former Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton continues to chair the Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB. Lawton and WAB directors know well the crucial role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and innovation in the young to ensure a better future for society in general and America in particular. That’s why WAB is advocating in a non-partisan way to retain its integrity by fighting the new governor’s injurious 73 percent funding cut to this vital state board for the arts for people of all ages.

Washington and Waukesha Counties already had to cut arts and gym classes from public schools. Both counties are asking available parents to volunteer to teach these essential tools that inspire creativity and teamwork. It is up to those of us who can to help children trapped by indecent public schools K-5 through 12.

There are more of us than there are of those who bow down to greed. How encouraging it is to witness the multitudes advocate for a better balanced future. And now, recent polls indicate that disapproval of the actions of certain Republican governors is greater than approval. The arts create spiritual freedom, as does fighting for equal rights. “Let’s roll”: Vote and volunteer to help educate poor students to improve their chances of becoming contributing, healthy and independent Americans.

Please include the arts portion of your advocacy letters to elected officials. Talking points for WAB are at

The tragedy of reality continues between sanity and insanity.

Painting: “Hooded Messenger of the Golden Rule 2010–11” by Patricia Obletz 20×16 oil on canvas
Back to top

Free Breakfast and Voter Rally!

Pivotal Election April 5, 2011

Elect the Right County Executive and Supreme Court Justice!

The April 5, 2011, election of a new County Executive and a Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice is key to protecting Milwaukee County and its students, elders and workers. There will be a free breakfast meeting and rally at the MATC downtown campus on Wednesday March 23, 2011, at 8:30 AM. We invite all clergy and community leaders to attend. All collaborative partners are invited.

Thank you.

Rev. Willie Briscoe
President, MICAH, Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope
Back to top

Link to Rev. Jesse Jackson from Thursday’s Rally
Back to top

Find Out How Milwaukee County Executive Candidates Plan to Improve Conditions

Town Meeting with Philanthropist Chris Abele and Rep. Jeff Stone

4:45 pm Thursday, March 17, 2011
St. Mark AME Church, 1616 W. Atkinson Avenue

Sponsored by St. Mark, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Epsilon Kappa Omega Chapter, and MICAH, Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope.

We cannot afford to lose even one vote for the candidate whose plans appear most likely to help our fiscal and social health.

Back to top

St Patrick’s/St. Brigid’s Day Grand All-City Alliance Gathering at Timbuktu

The 2011 celebration info is up!
Back to top


  1. Friday, March 11 ~ RALLY to kick off weekend activities in Madison
    6:30 pm
    Saint Matthews, CME Church
    2944 North 9th Street

    Rev. Jesse Jackson will Speak as we kick off the Activities

  2. Saturday, March 12 ~ RALLY in Madison
    Bus leaves at 10:30a.m. from the Talgo Lot
    27th Street, south of Hopkins
    Returns by 6p.m.

  3. Tuesday, March 15 ~ Madison Action Day
    Bus leaves at 7:30a.m. from the Talgo Lot
    27th Street, south of Hopkins

Schedule of the Madison Action Day:

Gathering, Fellowship, Coffee
Keynote Address by Bishop Burnside
Break-out Sessions
Preparation for meetings with Legislators
Rally at the Capitol
Meet with Legislators

Return by 6p.m.



Back to top

Faith Rally

Back to the top

Governor Walker claims that his controversial proposal is simply about the budget. But it’s not: it’s a political bait-and-switch designed to destroy the fundamental rights of Wisconsin’s workers.

And in the last two weeks, it’s become clear that Governor Walker isn’t representing our state. Instead, he’s pushing a national corporate agenda, pushed by interests like the Koch brothers - the billionaire captains of industry who just recently opened a lobbying office across the street from the Capitol in Madison.

The Kochs not only spent tens of thousands of dollars supporting Walker’s campaign, but they also funneled millions of dollars through front groups to fund attack ads. And now, just as the people of Wisconsin are working together to stand up to them, the Kochs and other front groups are trying to simply buy the result they want, showering the state with pro-Walker, anti-Obama worker TV ads.

Enough is enough. It’s time we unite as progressives and stand up to the corporate interests invading Wisconsin. Members of Progressives United are calling on Governor Walker to take a step back and end his attempt to strip the rights of Wisconsin’s workers. Click here to join us.

During Governor Walker’s press conference yesterday, he made a big show of talking about our tradition of civil debate in Wisconsin.

But he forgets a crucial Midwestern value: being straightforward. By dishonestly threatening the jobs of Wisconsin’s workers, Governor Walker is assaulting Wisconsin’s long tradition of unity.

Wisconsin workers have been willing to come to the table and compromise in the spirit of shared sacrifice, agreeing to reductions in pay and benefits to achieve the goals of the budget. But where is Governor Walker? He refuses to step up.

Join members of Progressives United and me in calling on Governor Walker to get back to the real issue facing Wisconsin: the budget.

As a former state senator and U.S. senator from Wisconsin — but more importantly, as a Wisconsin citizen — I call on Governor Walker to drop his heavy-handed political agenda and focus on getting Wisconsin back to work.

Thank you for joining me,
Russ Feingold
Progressives United

P.S. — Please take action today to join me and ask Governor Walker to rise above the influence of heavy-handed politics and outside money and help us pass a compromise budget.

Click here to visit Peace of Mind for similar articles
Back to top

Are Koch Brothers Behind Wisconsin Effort To Kill Public Unions

Feb. 18 2011 - 6:45 pm

As the nation focuses on the efforts of Governor Scott Walker to take away collective bargaining rights from public employees in Wisconsin, new information is coming to light that reveals what is truly going on here.

Mother Jones is reporting that much of the funding behind the Walker for Governor campaign came from none other than uber-conservatives, the infamous Koch Brothers.

What’s more, the plan to kill the unions is right out of the Koch Brothers play book.

Click here to read the rest at Peace of Mind
Back to top

Egypt Sends Love to Wisconsin. Rachel Maddow Video Thanking Wisconsin, “the alpha and the omega of the rghts of people who work for a living in America.”

look at this pic from facebook:

Back to top

Press Event to Support Wisconsin Medicaid and Raise the Voices of Working Families, Elders, People with Disabilities and Others with a Stake in Wisconsin’s Health

Save Medicaid! – including BadgerCare, SeniorCare, Family Care, children’s waivers and other vital programs in the Governor’s Budget Repair Bill!

Make It Work Milwaukee / Mental Health Task Force

You are all invited to join us in Madison at 1:00 this Sunday for a press event to raise awareness of what’s at stake for recipients of Medicaid – including BadgerCare, SeniorCare, Family Care, children’s waivers and other vital programs in the Governor’s Budget Repair Bill. I know this is short notice but advocates from across the state have been working very hard trying to organize this event as the budget timeline continues to change. The concerns about Medicaid have been overshadowed by all the focus on union issues. We must make sure that policy makers and the general public are aware of the major impact the Budget Repair Bill could have on the 1.1 million Wisconsinites who rely on Medicaid.

Click here for the full event info and flier

Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee Office Director
6737 W. Washington St., Suite 3230
Milwaukee, WI 53214
414–773–4646 Ext 15 Voice
888 758–6049 TTY
414–773–4647 Fax <>
Back to top

Protect Wisconsin Public Employees!

Revs. Ellwanger & Brisco,

In response to the extreme proposal in Walker’s budget bill to strip all public sector unions of their right to bargain, progressives across the state are mobilizing for rallies Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Both rallies are at noon at the Capitol. Buses will be available in Milwaukee and across the state to transport folks to and from Madison.

Please distribute the attached flyer and bus schedule, and please encourage your membership to attend. This is a full assault on the rights of firefighters, nurses, teachers, and all public service employees and our response needs to be as big and as loud as possible.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Thanks for your help.


Mike Lauer
(414) 469–4394

Click here for bus schedules Click here for the Flyer

Back to top

Call on the Justice Department to stop Houston’s brutal police culture

The video which was released last week shows four Houston police officers brutally beating a 15-year old burglary suspect, without cause, while at least eight other officers looked on and did nothing. And the officers are facing only misdemeanors.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new for Houston, which has a history of police misconduct and a lack of accountability. Please join us in demanding real accountability by calling on the Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Chad Holley’s brutal beating, and the culture that led to it.

Click here to visit the Color of Change website and see the video also please sign the petition while you are there.

Back to top
Click here to see other articles at Peace of Mind

At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Year (1965–1968)

The Promised Land: Dr. King’s Civil Rights and Anti-War Organizing

At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Year (1965–1968) is Taylor Branch’s last installment of his trilogy of Dr. King and the Civil Rights struggle in the context of America’s Cold War years. The book continues the story of the volume two Pillar of Fire (1963–1965), highlighted by Freedom Summer, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, and passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Volume One, Parting the Waters (1954–1963) was the Montgomery bus boycott and the coming to prominence of Malcolm X. That book’s living history of Dr. King’s call for “an army of nonviolent witnesses” to come to the South was, in part, the model for our Wisconsin boat-landing Witness for Non-Violence during the racist harassment of Chippewa spearfishers, 1987–1992.

As always, Dr. King’s courage and dedication are at the fore, on marches to Montgomery and in Chicago and Cicero. King worked hard to calm street crowds in Watts after its eruption, and was vilified for doing so in the “climate of poisonous blame” in L.A. In the final three years of his life, he had to keep moving past personal doubts and exhaustion, past continued FBI harassment, and escalating death threats. Of King’s character, Branch comments early on, “King possessed all Abernathy’s raw hunger, thrown against his own leveling obsession with stubborn, flawed human nature. The combination made a furnace of his prophetic voice at full throttle. In repose, it revealed astonishing breadth and beguiling good nature, tinged with depression.” (p. 198)

In this inspiring, sad culmination of Dr. King’s political sojourn, Branch articulates the impact and legacies of the Civil Rights movement: Click here for the full review
Back to top

Consider voting for my daughter’s brother in law, Lekan Jeyifous’, very, very cool small is beautiful ample sun and soil enhanced affordable housing design.

Here’s a link to the competition we hope you’ll help us help our fine friend win.

Back to top

Transitional Jobs Opportunities for Milwaukee Unemployed

Putting Milwaukee to Work: Transitional Jobs Demonstration Project Click here for the pdf!

Priorities: Reason versus Racism and Our Unconscious

By Patricia Obletz, Editor

Racism and hypersegregation are so deeply imbedded here in Milwaukee that some people forget that everyone in America has the right to free speech. And that no one in America has the right to persecute others. In discussing the Concerned Citizens for Reform anti-racism campaign sign for public buses, some Reformers said, “No one in the Milwaukee area wants to even think about racism, especially black and white politicians.” I won the bet a friend made with me after she said that the Freeway Flyer buses wouldn’t be allowed to carry a sign that includes the word racism.

Does Fear Dominate Your Reality?

The wounds from their own experiences, and those of their ancestors remain raw, flayed by ongoing subtle and blatant acts of racism that can make fear dominate reality. Perhaps that fear is one symptom described by Professor Joy DeGruy-Leary, PhD; MSW, in her book, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing.” After many years of researching her theory, Dr. DeGruy-Leary included in her book the following: In the mid-1800′s, white Americans rationalized abusing their slaves by passing a law that defined African-Americans as beings less than human. By the mid-1800s, whites also had produced 600,000 mixed race children.

Serious and persistent mistreatment alters everyone’s mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual balance. Without spiritual balance, getting through hard times is much harder, whatever skin you’re in. For a growing number of young and old, it’s impossible.
Read the rest here
Back to top

Keep A Top Eye Open: Disparity

by George F. Sanders

Ed. Note: The Disparity Study DOES NOT include Department of City Development.

Please reject the Disparity Study report if this report excludes the Department of Public Works (DPW) or the Department of City Development (DCD). And representatives of City of Milwaukee government would do well to pay close attention to these points, particularly those that relate to department examinations; and certainly, the request relative to individuals who heretofore had been identified as participating in the study.

It’s About African-American Survival in Milwaukee

We, The Milwaukee Taxpayers Group, urge citizens to demand that the two individuals, and/or other well-known qualified Black Milwaukee citizens, be identified and firmly connected to and involved with any Disparity Study that the City of Milwaukee engages.

Reject Disparity Study If Any Milwaukee City Departments Are Excluded

Originally, as of July 2010, Avery Goodrich, LLD, was to oversee the administration and management of the process related to the City of Milwaukee’s Disparity Study. Also, former Milwaukee City Common Council President Marvin Pratt was initially named to partner with Goodrich.

Despite Federal Guidelines

To date, the City of Milwaukee, under the leadership of Mayor Tom Barrett, has not only appeared reluctant to initiate a study of this sort, but has lagged for many years in taking any action to create an equitable environment regarding Black unemployment, or Black subcontracting. This has occurred despite federal guidelines, state law and civil rights’ legislation that requires it.

City government doesn’t come clean when it comes to disparity.

The recently announced postponement of a report about the Disparity Study reveals the ongoing reticence of city government to simply come clean. And, Marvin Pratt resigned from this project because:

1.] He discovered that the disparity study was not going to include two very important departments in Milwaukee city government: Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Department of City Development (DCD. These departments issues contracts for construction of streets, sewers, etc. DCD covers city development, hiring and issuing grants, such as community block grants.

2.] His initial salary was reduced to a paltry sum out of the $340–360,000 grant.

Last summer, Avery Goodrich was to do the study with the assistance of Marvin Pratt. In September-October, Avery Goodrich told me that his name wasn‘t on the contract.

Then for some reason, the prime contractor became the property of a Florida company. The Study was to be completed within a third of the time needed by civil rights attorney and Milwaukee NAACP President-Elect James Hall and Ed McDonald needed for their Disparity Study in Minneapolis. Their study took five to six months; they sent researchers out to get to the truth on disparity neighborhood by neighborhood.

Significantly, it appears that the study does not include all city departments, particularly those departments that have a direct correlation with:

— Black economic development
— Black employment, subcontracting and other construction and job-generating programs.

We call attention, in particular, to the Department of Public Works (DPW), which represents the City’s third largest budget according to the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports CAFR).

Therefore, it is advised that citizens, particularly Black citizens and all organizations, clubs, etc, reject any such Disparity Study, unless it includes the participation and involvement of all departments of city government.

If the study does exclude the above city departments, then it needs to be rejected. Please attend and vote on the:

Disparity Study Final Report Presentation
Monday, December 20, 2010
5:00 – 6:30pm
Manpower Headquarters
100 Manpower Place
Milwaukee, WI 53202
For additional information, please contact Ossie Kendrix, Emerging Business Enterprise Program Manager at (414) 286–5552.

NAACP Election Update: November 20, 2010


by Patricia Obletz, Editor, with Lauri Wynn, Former President, Wisconsin Education Association Council; Recently Suspended NAACP Member

Come January 1, 2011, the new NAACP Milwaukee Branch begins with Civil Rights Attorney James H. Hall, Jr., and his slate of Reformers and core group of supporters. The top two priorities: hire an outside accounting firm to do a forensic audit of the Branch; lift the unlawful suspensions of the Milwaukee 9 who worked tirelessly to end the corruption at Milwaukee NAACP and inspire Atty. James Hall to run for president.

More details to come.

NAACP Election Update: November 19, 2010


by Patricia Obletz, Editor, with Lauri Wynn, Former President, Wisconsin Education Association Council; Recently Suspended NAACP Member

It’s the night before the Milwaukee NAACP Branch election. We, the Reformers, urge members to bring the receipt if cards haven’t arrived yet; a copy of NAACP cashed check, or credit card statement bearing NAACP membership charge for $30.

If you signed on with the Reformers, we’ll have a copy of your receipt waiting for you at the door of the Metropolitan Baptist Church at 16th and Burleigh from 10 until 1. This will be a meeting and election so we need you to be there the entire time if possible. Voting will be from 11:30 to 1.

Please bring your membership card or receipt. If you cannot locate your receipt, we’ll have copies with us tomorrow.

Reformers will win in a landslide — unless the election is fixed.

Unless National and Milwaukee NAACP literally pre-load the ballot boxes and throw our ballots out, which they’ve done FIVE times before, Concerned Citizens for Reform will win in a landslide.



President Atty. James Hall
1st Vice Atty. Barbara Becker
2nd Vice John Riley
3rd Vice Hon. Vel Phillips
Secretary Jessie Spraggans
Asst. Secretary Clarence Nicholas
Treasurer Don Cohen
Asst. Treasurer Ella Dunbar

Executive Committee

Sam Johnson
Millie Colby
Annette Harpole
Alphonso Lambert
Atty. Marcel Reneau
Ben Watson
Mary Walker
Eric Johnson
Atty. R.L. McNeely
Atty. Milton Emerson
Larry Reed
Larry Robinson
Loren Willis
Jerry Turner
Gloria Pitchford-Nicholas
Atty. Milton Childs
Thomas Malone Lititia Minor


Chuck Taylor
Gloria Gilmer
Sid Loveless
Tony Fikes
Deidra Edwards
Read more here!
Back to top

NAACP Election Update: November 18, 2010

by Patricia Obletz, Editor, Lauri Wynn, Former President, Wisconsin Education Association Council; Retired Teacher

Word has it that more suspensions will hit members prior to the NAACP election this Saturday, November 20, 2010. No one but people in love or protecting their money would fight like the local and national NAACP are fighting, unless criminal intent was involved.

Long time Civil Rights hero Vel Phillips recently said, “Additional suspensions would be an attempt to hold us (Citizens for Reform) back. The Milwaukee community needs to know about these local and national NAACP behaviors.”

As Nathaniel Holton wrote in his NAACP Election Update November 17, 2010, “(I)t is in no way accurate that the District Attorney’s office has “cleared the branch of any criminal wrongdoing,” as was reported in the Community Journal (and the Milwaukee Times).”

Read more here!
Back to top

NAACP Election Update November 17, 2010: Local Branch Exonerated on ONLY “One Narrow Point”

by Nathaniel Holton, J.D., MPA, Contributing Writer

Vel Phillips and I just got off the phone with District Attorney John Chisholm, who was very gracious in speaking to us at length on the NAACP investigation issue published in the Community Journal and the Milwaukee Times…

The District Attorney’s office investigated two narrow matters that were brought to their attention. One matter, involving harassment, was brought to their attention by Henry Hamilton, and I believe this situation mirrors the recently dropped case involving Henry. A second matter was brought by an NAACP member who had some narrow concern with the branch. Chisholm was not at liberty to discuss what was specifically investigated nor who filed the complaint. However, he made it clear that the issue investigated was very narrow and that it is in no way accurate that the District Attorney’s office has “cleared the branch of any criminal wrongdoing,” as was reported in the Community Journal. According to Chisholm, the District Attorney’s office does no “fishing expedition”-type investigations and did not in any way conduct an extensive audit of the branch.

The District Attorney’s office sent a letter to the branch indicating that they did not find enough evidence on the narrow issue that they were requested to investigate to continue an investigation. District Attorney Chisholm let us know that we would be able to access this letter if we filed an open records request. I will be writing and sending in that request immediately. Hopefully, this letter should help clarify the Community Journal article.

Read more here!
Back to top

Priority: The Double-Edged Sword of Insanity

by Patricia Obletz, Editor, Lauri Wynn, Retired Teacher & Former President, Wisconsin Education Association Council

Building on yesterday’s editorial, please think about this: In his November 8, 2010, Online Journal piece, a long-time investigative journalist, Wayne Madsen, tried to impugn US President Barack Hussein Obama’s sanity @ According to his critics, Madsen is a conspiracy theorist and conspiracy minded blogger. That he has an audience is a painful fact.

Click Here for the rest of the article
Back to top

Priorities: 33 versus 73 in Milwaukee

by Patricia Obletz, Editor, November 2010

The most telling symptom of denial is the apathy that smothers the seemingly intractable racism and poverty in Milwaukee. Electronic media show us daily images of the heartbreaking consequences of the last president and his administration. They show us exactly how greed and racism impede civil rights and ruin lives.

Click Here for the rest of the article
Back to top

NAACP Election Update, November 12, 2010: Latest Maneuver by National & Milwaukee NAACP Officers

by Patricia Obletz, Editor, with Lauri Wynn

The election now will once again be at the Metropolitan Baptist Church. 1364 W. Burleigh St., Milwaukee, from 10 AM to 1 PM. Please try to get there by 9:30 AM, so your membership can be verified, nominate your candidates, and vote for them. Voting will take place sometime between 11 AM and 1 PM.

Racism rages across the USA stronger and more open than ever. Poverty breeds in some the need to scapegoat. USA President Barack Hussein Obama is the target of the opposition. Nothing new in that, as we know.

But hypersegregation is at work within the NAACP. Did you ever think about how hypersegregation applies to you? “Hypersegregation’s most dangerous outcome is that it not only creates intense Black segregation, but it isolates people from amenities, resources and opportunities. Left unchecked, it even produces incongruent cultures — one subject to poverty, crime, an inability to organize or plan; the other, affected by the absence of logical thought, is fearful of consequences and avoids conflict. Both become on-going tools that perpetuate the status quo – police harassment, scattered group incrimination, and a total acceptance of the overall lack of any sense of well being.”

The cabal of a number of NAACP Branch and national leaders is at work again.

National NAACP President/CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous already has sent suspension letters to elected members of the 2010 Nominating Committee who spoke to the press.

A clear view has been signaled that National has attempted division in the ranks when it reversed its decision to suspend only two of the three initial member suspensions initiated by the embattled Milwaukee Branch president earlier this year. These suspensions were a precise retaliation against those who sent complaints about the current branch president’s mismanagement of the branch and her refusal to execute an audit after coming out of receivership ten years ago. Why?

The time to make change is now. The election rules have changed. Please come to be informed of the changes at the Concerned Citizens for Reform Rally next Thursday, November 18, 2010, at the DNR Building, 2300 N. Dr. MLK Drive, 5:30 PM till 7:30 PM. See you there!
Read more here!
Back to top

NAACP Election Update November 3, 2010

‘’‘by Patricia Obletz, Editor, with Lauri Wynn ‘’‘

Now, there is some confusion about where the November 20, 2010, election will be held. Because, the latest news is that current Milwaukee NAACP president Jerry Ann Hamilton has peremptorily changed the election location — just last week, she had agreed to hold the election at the Metropolitan Baptist Church. As if she never had said that she expected 600 voters to show up, she decreed that she’s moved the election back to the branch at 2745 N. Dr. MLK Drive. You might remember that 150 members had filled to capacity the branch office at the fateful September 18, 2010, meeting. See September 19 Update below.

What’s changed?
What’s changed? Hamilton was reported to have said that she was angry about Georgia Pabst’s October 30, 2010, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel piece on Hamilton’s personally initiated, false complaint to national that requested the suspension of three Milwaukee NAACP members. Hamilton falsely accused these members of speaking with the press about Hamilton’s alleged mismanagement of branch funds and the lack of her accountability.

What we cannot forget is that National NAACP Chief Operating Officer Roger Vann stipulated in a letter that both the nominating and voting processes will occur between 10 AM and 1 PM, which streamlines a two-day process into a few hours. Which leads us back to the stolen elections throughout Hamilton’s ten-year presidency and her expectation that 600 members will TRY to vote on November 20, 2010. Also of note is that, to the best of our knowledge, membership has yet to receive an official notification of the election day, time and place.

Don’t Forget: Concerned Citizens for Reform’s Rally is this Thursday, November 4, 2010, from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Department of Natural Resources, 2300 N. Dr. MLK Drive. Find out what we are up against and how we will overcome the criminal insanity that is racism.
Back to top

NAACP Election Update October 30, 2010

‘’‘by Patricia Obletz, Editor, with Lauri Wynn ‘’‘

NATIONAL NAACP SETS ELECTION DATE for NOV. 20, 2010 @ Metropolitan Baptist Church, 1345 W. Burleigh, 10 to 2

Milwaukee NAACP Concerned Citizens for Reform were notified Thursday that National has decided to hold both the nominations for and the election of 8 officers and 24 at-large executive committee members on Saturday, November 20, 2010, from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Two-Day Process Streamlined to One Day

This normally two-day process is being crammed into a few hours. Please be prepared to come at 10 AM or earlier with all information that can assist in the verification of your Milwaukee branch membership, such as your canceled check, credit card statement, online membership receipt, and your NAACP card. In order to nominate your candidates, you must be a member of NAACP Unit 3254, our Milwaukee branch.

The nominating process begins at 10 AM. Please do not be late or you will miss the opportunity to support your candidate. Please be patient as the slate is nominated. Bring a book, magazines, portable games; get to know your fellow members. This is key, as there is no way to know how long this two-fold process will actually take. As it is, National has erased the two-minute opportunity in which, according to NAACP Bylaws, each candidate speaks about his and her qualifications.

Hundreds of NAACP members are expected to turn out for this crucial, pivotal vote. But National has stipulated that the nomination process will take only one hour, from 10 AM to 11 AM. At that time, the room is supposed to be cleared for one hour.


Casting your vote will commence at 12 noon. Please be prepared to stay until your ballot is cast.

Vote to Help Overcome the Criminal Insanity that is Racism:

Attorney James Hall, Jr., will announce his slate of Reform candidates at a rally this Thursday, November 4, 2010, at the DNR Building, 2300 N. Dr. MLK Drive, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Candidate Hall will outline his plan for reform and what we are up against in terms of the Milwaukee NAACP Branch election, and for Milwaukee-area residents.

Candidate Hall believes that members should drive the organization.

You can help us raise up Milwaukee from its fourth place position in poverty among US cities that have 250,000 or more people. You can help the State of Wisconsin rise above our bottom rung position as the worst state in the nation for educating black children.

Key Dates to Remember:

Vote on November 2, 2010, for your National, State and Local Candidates to save us from the whole-hog Republican form of capitalism.

— Concerned Citizens for Reform Honors Lifetime NAACP Members at a Free Brunch on Thursday’‘’, November 4, 2010, from 10 to 12 noon @ St. Mathews Church, 2944 N. 9th St., Milwaukee. Feel free to invite a guest. To reserve your place at the table, please call 414–292–7079

— Concerned Citizens for Reform Hold Rally at DNR Building, 2300 N. Dr. MLK Drive from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

— Vote on November 20, 2010, for the candidate you KNOW you can trust: Civil Rights Attorney James H. Hall, Jr.!!NATIONAL NAACP SETS ELECTION DATE FOR NOVEMBER 20, 2010 @ Metropolitan Baptist Church, 1345 W. Burleigh, 10 to 2 ‘’‘
Back to top

NAACP Election Update, October 26, 2010: The Dominance of Greed

by Patricia Obletz, Editor

National NAACP leadership, Pres. Ben Jealous and Chair, Roslyn Brock, still haven’t directly responded to their mail from Milwaukee NAACP members. Instead, they, or their henchmen (see earlier posts), have allowed Jerry Ann Hamilton to kill the 2010 nominating committee and shut down Milwaukee’s NAACP branch election process. That infamous September 18, 2010, branch meeting that Jerry Ann Hamilton peremptorily adjourned and the 150 members there protested. Then we were ushered out by a cop.

But Mary Glass continues to uphold the legality of the Milwaukee NAACP 2010 Nominating Committee. Glass also is Researcher, Channel Developer and Design for Milwaukee Professional Accountability. Glass launched her searing campaign against the corruption and racism within the Milwaukee and Racine NAACP branches, as well as in the national in Baltimore, MD, at Please visit this website as often as possible: Mary posts opportunities to fight racism, as well as her correspondence with Jealous and Brock that cite local and national NAACP violations.

No nominating or voting date yet

National NAACP has yet to disclose the date that Rev. Gil Ford, National Director of Unit Capacity Building will arrive to oversee the nomination of officers from the floor. However, he’s been Hamilton’s minion throughout her decade as president. That’s why members, including me, have written to Jealous and Brock requesting that national send an objective delegate to oversee Milwaukee’s NAACP election process, someone who hasn’t been here before.

Click here for the whole article
Back to top

Park Neighborhoods’ News

Click the image to download the whole pdf
Back to top

Let’s focus on some positive changes in the mental health community

The following is an opinion piece recently submitted to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Mental Health America of Wisconsin. MHA thought that the information included in the Op-Ed would be of interest to our newsletter subscribers as well.

In the past few months, there has been a lot of coverage in various media outlets, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, surrounding mental illness and the mental health system. Unfortunately, much of this coverage has been negative and has portrayed the mental health system as not only broken, but in some cases beyond repair.

As a result, Mental Health America of Wisconsin (MHA) would like to inform the community about some of the positive changes that are taking place in the mental health community. In particular, we would like to highlight some of the successes MHA and its collaborative partners have contributed to regarding the issue of suicide prevention, especially in the youth population. The community needs to be aware that positive changes are happening.

From 2006–2010, MHA administered a $1.25 million grant for youth suicide prevention from the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The final report, which is available on MHA’s web site, located at, provides a comprehensive summary of the outcomes measured through that grant. While MHA worked with 9 primary pilot sites to implement youth suicide prevention programs during the first three years of the grant, in total individuals from 38 counties and 3 tribes benefitted from training, technical assistance and/or grants to support local events. More than 4,500 people received training on youth suicide prevention.

One of MHA’s primary initiatives has always been the prevention of suicide, that is why we are so proud that from 2005–2008, MHA helped contribute to a 45% decline in the suicide rate for 10–19 year olds in Wisconsin. In addition, the percentage of youth responding “yes” to various questions on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicative of suicidal ideation or behavior declined throughout the grant period, often significantly. Furthermore, while national rates of suicide went down during the same period, Wisconsin rates went down faster. We were 52% above the national average in 2005 and only 16% above the national aver in 2008.
What statistics really boil down to is that in 2008 we had 25 fewer young people complete suicide than we would have had if the rates had stayed at 2005 levels. And while there are statistics suggesting that 6 people are significantly impacted by every suicide, we can you that when a young person completes, suicide, especially in a small Wisconsin community, the entire community is impacted.

Such success is a reflection of the strong collaborations that characterized this project. MHA recognizes its many partners, who included the Injury Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services, the Department of Public Instruction, Helping Others Prevent and Educate About Suicide, the Charles E. Kubly Foundation, and all the local project sites who turned the vision into reality through networking and perseverance.

MHA has lead the formation of Prevent Suicide Wisconsin (PSW). PSW was formed to continue to reduce the number of suicides. PSW’s primary spokesperson, Suzy Favor Hamilton, a former Olympic runner, has been building awareness and public support for suicide prevention across the state. In addition, Ms. Hamilton recorded a series of public service announcements that will air statewide, urging people to seek help for depression or suicidal thoughts. PSW launched a new web site, located at

Following in the footsteps of PSW, MHA and Jewish Family Services, Inc. (JFS) have formed a coalition called Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee. In addition to the lead agencies, a variety of individuals, local agencies and organizations have come together to address the rising incidence of death by suicide in our community including NAMI of Greater Milwaukee, Dry Hootch, UMOS, Community Mental Health Education Project, and others.
Although it’s uncomfortable to look at suicide in a fiscal sense, with a significant level of state and federal funding targeted to youth, we appear to have been able to make a significant dent in the suicide rate. What could we do if there were funds directed at adults and older adults? Money allows us to provide technical assistance to local communities. It allows us to provide training to people working on suicide prevention, to professionals on how to better help someone who may be suicidal, and to the wide variety of individuals who can be our eyes and ears around Wisconsin recognizing and responding to suicide: family, friends, co-workers, teachers, law enforcement officers, child welfare workers and regular people.
Yes, we do have more work to do. However, focusing on some of our successes rather than only system shortcomings can motivate people and communities to continue advocating for people with mental illness, working towards prevention and ultimately saving lives.

Kristina Finnel, MSW, APSW
Mental Health America of Wisconsin

734 N 4th St., Suite 200
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 336 - 7963 (direct line)
(414) 276 - 3124 (fax)

Follow us on Facebook: & Twitter:

Back to top
Back to Health

NAACP Update October 13, 2010

NAACP Jealous Staff Alleged to Support Milwaukee Branch Despite Corruption Charges

National NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous either never receives protest letters from Milwaukee NAACP members about branch election and financial fraud, or he’s not responding to them because he is merely a figurehead. This apparent complicity by some officers, including national NAACP chief operating officer and chief of staff Roger C. Vann, has been reported many times over the years. Vann deemed the 2010 nominating committee null and void and in a letter said that candidates will be nominated from the floor when a national NAACP staff member gets here. For more examples, please visit: and and more

During current Milwaukee NAACP president Jerry Ann Hamilton’s decade-long tenure, there have been several complaints citing her for violating NAACP Bylaws. In addition, although the following issues have been documented and attested to, under oath in court, by the president’s son and cohort, Henry Hamilton III, when these facts have been included in complaints to the national office, she has always been exonerated.

— Hamilton used Branch resources to advertise and promote the 2008 president’s recognition luncheon, but nol proceeds were reported to the executive committee;

— Hamilton operates a private business using NAACP offices and equipment;

— The Milwaukee branch has received numerous donations, and grants that have not been reported to the executive committee.

Furthermore, when Hamilton took office ten years ago, she informed the branch that there was $250,000 in the Milwaukee NAACP bank account. The April 2010 bank statement shows a deficit of $196.67.

And when card-carrying members, many holding lifetime gold membership cards, came to vote in the 2008 branch election, they were prevented from voting because they were not on Hamilton’s “branch membership list.”

To date, the Milwaukee NAACP 2010 election process is taking the same path. At the September 18, 2010, branch general membership meeting, Hamilton first held a closed executive committee session during which she violated the rights of the members by asserting her unprecedented, illegal endorsement of “her” candidate for president. She again took the unprecedented action of announcing and promoting this endorsement at the recent annual fund-raising dinner. And she defied NAACP Bylaws by adjourning the membership meeting before completing the voting process for members of the 2010 nominating committee.
Fast-growing new Milwaukee NAACP members are determined to elect new, accountable leadership. In this time of great need, we must have a functioning civil rights advocacy agency. If you are not a member now, please join by October 19, 2010, in order to vote whenever the national NAACP decides to send an officer to “oversee” the election process,” as yet to be determined.

Editor’s Note: The Milwaukee NAACP isn’t alone in having election and financial fraud problems at home and with the national office. It’s been reported that the Denver, CO., branch will be holding their election at police headquarters.

Back to top
Back to NAACP Elections Information

Navagating the mental Health system

Milwauke Mental Health Task Force Update

See the attached flyer about the November 5th program at MATC, Navigating the Mental Health System. This program is sponsored by Jewish Family Services and is free and open to the community - please help spread the word about this great opportunity!

Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee Office Director
6737 W. Washington St., Suite 3230
Milwaukee, WI 53214
414–773–4646 Ext 15 Voice
888 758–6049 TTY
414–773–4647 Fax
Download the pdf (355K)
Back to top


Milwaukee NAACP Nominating Committee Contests Election Takeover by National NAACP

Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 12 noon, 2740 N. MLKing Drive

Mary Glass, spokesperson for the 2010 Milwaukee NAACP Nominating Committee, said that tomorrow’s public meeting in the now controversial parking lot across from the local NAACP branch headquarters will expose the “premature and dictatorial statements and charges being alleged in” Georgia Pabst’s October 5 Journal Sentinel piece, Pabst quoted current branch president Jerry Ann Hamilton, who said: “Right now there are no candidates because the process was disrupted and not completed.”

Justice and the order of RIGHT

In her JSOnline comment to Pabst’s article “NAACP’s national leadership suspends local group’s elections,” Mary Glass wrote, “Just as the days of old wrongdoings of lynching and unjust behavior triggered committed Americans, African Americans and Caucasians, to come together for justice and the order of RIGHT on February 12, 1909, to form the NAACP, the efforts of the people in the Milwaukee parking lot produced the seven required members of the 2010 Nominating Committee” in the September 18 meeting that ended in the parking lot across from branch headquarters after Hamilton’s son Henry brought the police in to evacuate the building.

Mary Glass also reported that the committee believes that the national NAACP office will not “‘usurp’ their bylaws and the membership rights of the Milwaukee branch no matter what is being falsely reported.”

Make history tomorrow. Come to Wednesday’s noon meeting at 2740 N. Martin Luther King Drive. For more information, go to

Join the Milwaukee NAACP and vote for reform November 20, 2010 @

Back to top

At Risk From the Womb

Published: October 2, 2010 New York Times

Some people think we’re shaped primarily by genes. Others believe that the environment we grow up in is most important. But now evidence is mounting that a third factor is also critical: our uterine environment before we’re even born.

Researchers are finding indications that obesity, diabetes and mental illness among adults are all related in part to what happened in the womb decades earlier.

One of the first careful studies in this field found that birth weight (a proxy for nutrition in the womb) helped predict whether an adult would suffer from heart disease half a century later. Scrawny babies were much more likely to suffer heart problems in middle age.

That study, published in 1989, provoked skepticism at first. But now an array of research confirms that the fetal period is a crucial stage of development that affects physiology decades later.

Perhaps the most striking finding is that a stressful uterine environment may be a mechanism that allows poverty to replicate itself generation after generation. Pregnant women in low-income areas tend to be more exposed to anxiety, depression, chemicals and toxins from car exhaust to pesticides, and they’re more likely to drink or smoke and less likely to take vitamin supplements, eat healthy food and get meticulous pre-natal care.

Read the full article HERE at the New York Times
Back to top

National Depression Screening Day

Thursday, October 7 is National Depression Screening Day (NDSD)! NDSD is held annually in October during Mental Illness Awareness Week and raises awareness and screens people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders.

One out of every ten Wisconsin residents will struggle with depression this year. Unfortunately, thousands of these individuals will battle depression alone and remain untreated. Untreated depression has far-reaching implications for all of us. The good news: with early screening, depression is easily diagnosed and very treatable. Mental Health America of Wisconsin offers free, confidential, and simple online screening on National Depression Screening Day as well as every day throughout the year. Screenings may be completed in either English or Spanish and are available for depression, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and alcohol use. Those who complete a screening online receive immediate feedback as well as information about resources for treatment.

Please help us publicize this important event by hanging the poster in your workplace, distributing the flyer to your staff and clients, post this information on your web site and/or forward this email to your contacts. To access the screening directly, please visit Thank you!

NDSD Poster 2010

Back to top

Harvest Moon Festival and Sustainability Fair

Just in time to mark the autumnal equinox, organizers announce the Harvest Moon Festival and Sustainability Fair for Friday and Saturday, September 24 and 25, 2010, at Weber’s Garden Center, 4215 N. Green Bay Ave., Milwaukee.

Andor Horvath of A2 Design, Franz Weding, one of the new owners of Weber’s Garden Center, and the Post Industrial Institute have planned this two-day event as a hands-on demonstration of urban gardening and alternative energy.

“An increasing emphasis on local food production and renewable energy in the Milwaukee area motivated us to provide a way for people to see the opportunities for themselves,” Horvath noted.

Those XCleavers will start things out on Friday evening. The first full moon of fall will rise in the eastern sky at about 6:45 p.m., and then attendees can celebrate with Those XCleavers from 7 to 11 p.m. There also will be a chance to get a sneak peek at the exhibits for the next day’s Sustainability Fair. Advance tickets for the XCleavers are $5.00 and are available at Amaranth Bakery, 3329 W. Lisbon Ave., and People’s Books Cooperative, 2122 E. Locust St.

On Saturday, fair-goers will have the opportunity to brainstorm, network and share ways to build a new and better world with a focus on hands-on displays, according to Horvath. The Sustainability Fair, which is free, will feature exhibits on topics including: urban food production and four-season harvest; container gardening and vermiculture combo (grow soil and food at the same time); single and double coverage for extended season harvest in an unheated hoop house (“green house”); four-season harvest seedlings; honey bees and other pollinators; low-cost energy strategies for the urban environment; Milwaukee’s first bicycle-powered Laundromat; “down and dirty” solar hot air and solar hot water systems (“free heat on a budget”); PV (photovoltaic) and wind system basics; and low-cost battery storage.

Exhibitors include the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, the Urban Ecology Center, Lamborganics, TransitionsMilwaukee and the Victory Garden Initiative, Sweet Water Organics, and the MREA (Midwest Renewable Energy Association).

“Perhaps the biggest attraction of the event will be the opportunity simply to make connections with other city residents who have the mutual interests of sustainable urban living and alternative energy production,” according to Horvath.
Back to top

Race and Housing Forum Milwaukee

Marquette University is hosting a Forum on Race and Housing in Milwaukee on October 11th. I hope you’ll consider attending, and please contact me with any questions.

Very best,
Jodi Melamed
Assistant Professor
Department of English and Program in Africana Studies
(414) 288 - 7612
Back to top

Announcing Dr. Theresa Anne Kenney’s Milwaukee’s “Organic Food Examiner”

Dr. Theresa Anne Kenney is an educator, vegan and vegetarian Chef, videographer and painter. Born and raised in Riverwest, an area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin teaming with artists and musicians, she has enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety for her food, paintings and educational style. Tess, as she is often referred to, has catered for everyone from Joe Cocker to Keith Richards and Sarah McLachlan with XLC catering. More recently she is involved in the Urban Agricultural movement where she is an active member of Victory Garden Initiative and the Kilbourn Gardens in Milwaukee. She loves to use fresh nutritious ingredients and considers every meal an adventure.

Rhubarb Lemonade

In the corner of my grandmother’s yard was this gigantic rhubarb plant. The desserts and breads that it flavored at her table were spectacular, but of all the things she made I think her Rhubarb Lemonade was one of my favorites. She called it Rhubalade. I use green tea where she used black tea, but either way what a nutritious beverage and great way to use up the last of that wonderful rhubarb.


2 quarts rhubarb

3 quarts water

2 cups sugar

3 lemons

4 bags of green tea

Cut and simmer 2 quarts of rhubarb. Strain to equal 1 quart juice. Add 2 cups sugar and place back on stove simmer till sugar is dissolved. Remove sweet rhubarb mix from stove to cool. Meanwhile bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil and steep green tea bags. After it is cool add your steeped green tea to your rhubarb mix. Add juice of three lemons to rhubarb mix. Grind the remaining lemon rinds in a food processor or hand grinder and cover with remaining ice water. Let the rinds sit in ice water for 15 minutes. Drain and add to rhubarb mix. Makes 1 gallon. Cranberries can be substituted for rhubarb.
Back to top

NAACP Elections Update

September 27, 2010

At the Saturday, September 25, 2010, Community Brainstorming breakfast meeting, Wendell Harris, current NAACP first vice president reinstated his candidacy for president in Milwaukee’s November 20, 2010, NAACP election. He had stepped down at the September 18 membership meeting when members demanded to elect a viable nominating committee. Harris admitted that his reaction to that opposition is embarrassing. What’s even more embarrassing to this writer is his claim that he, with the rest of the current officers, have been effective in their NAACP advocacy role.

If that were true, then how in hell did Wisconsin fall into the pit of such foul incompetence? Effective civil rights attorney James Hall, Jr., calmly reaffirmed his mission to make the local branch transparent, effective and INCLUSIVE.

Every one of us human beings is colored by the same force of creation. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is an anti-discrimination advocacy agency. Let’s all use it this way and uplift the quality of life in Wisconsin in general, and Milwaukee in particular. To do less is to admit that apathy and inhumanity own the people of this heartbreaking state.

September 19, 2010
James Hall, Esq., written about below before the September 18, 2010, NAACP Milwaukee branch membership meeting, may be the only candidate for the office of Milwaukee NAACP president. His radio and church appearances generated an overflowing crowd of people. Between 12 and 3 pm, we overruled the sitting president, banished her son from the podium, and listened to Wendell Harris withdraw his candidacy for president and announce that he supported James. We were kicked out before we could vote for the seven out of 16 candidates to establish the Nominating Committee for the next election, which is on Saturday, November 20, 2010. But, we voted in the parking lot across the street!

Join the 2010 Rebirth of Civil Rights in Milwaukee. Join the local NAACP branch, details are below.

Thank you.

Reform. Refocus. Restore.

by Patricia Obletz, Editor
September 16, 2010

The rebirth of the Civil Rights Movement of 2010 may begin in Milwaukee with seasoned civil rights attorney James H. Hall. He is running for president of our local NAACP because the current administration has been “idle and dysfunctional” (Journal Sentinel editorial, August 25, 2010).

When James Hall was president of our NAACP more than a decade ago, attorneys were available on Saturdays to offer free legal services to help people win their discrimination cases. That’s just one major restoration that the James Hall slate of officers will implement if elected. Details are at

Racism is criminal insanity.

Racism is criminal insanity. It makes Wisconsin the worst state in the USA in educating African American children. But racism can be defeated. New local NAACP leadership under James Hall will ensure that corrective treatment will be used to effect intelligent teaching. He will identify every Civil Rights failure to change discriminatory practices that so many elected and appointed officials of Wisconsin cater to. The growing ranks of his supporters include numerous attorneys who will review and monitor every procedure.

Ensure that your vote counts: In order to vote, become a member by October 1, 2010. Send your membership check or credit card payment for $30 made out to “NAACP UNIT 3254″ online at, or at the next meeting this Saturday, September 18 at 11:30 AM, 2745 N. MLK Dr. #202. Don’t forget to register your name with the James Hall Reformers at in order to avoid having your vote confiscated by the old, “idle” regime.


Meetings are as follows at Milwaukee NAACP branch, 2745 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive #202.

Saturday, September 18, 2010, at 11:30 AM. Branch Membership meeting to elect the nominating committee.

Friday, October 1, 2010 deadline to become a voting member in the November election.

Saturday, October 16, 2010, at 11:30 AM Branch Membership meeting: Report from Nominating Committee and election of Election Supervisory Committee.

November 20, 2010, 1 PM to 5 PM Election of new officers at Branch office

For more information, visit

Back to top
Read Similar Articles at Awareness

Last edited by godsil.   Page last modified on September 12, 2011

Legal Information |  Designed and built by Emergency Digital. | Hosted by Steadfast Networks