Day: July 28, 2014

'Misery in Our Midst' forum tackles scourge of gun violence

Mayor Tom Barrett went to bed Friday knowing he would spend Saturday speaking with a community exhausted by gun violence. He hoped against hope that the topic of his speech wouldn’t be selected for him as the night unfolded.

But it was.

It was contained in a text message on his phone. Two men shot, one fatally, shortly before midnight in a car in the 5100 block of W. Lisbon Ave.

The only thing really surprising about the message, Barrett said, was the ethnicity of the men shot: Asian.

The vast majority of the people who are shot and killed in Milwaukee are black males.

“What we are witnessing, right now, is the annihilation of black males in this city,” Barrett told more than 100 people who attended the forum, “Misery in Our Midst — Gun Violence,” at the African American Women’s Center.

“I need our community to be engaged & enraged:” Politicians try to stop the violence

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Some big name politicians meeting to try to find a way to stop the violence — there’s one easy step, start talking about it!

Just days ago we saw the latest incidence of young children caught in the crossfire of gun violence. Now, some of the city’s most powerful politicians are pooling ideas on how to make it stop.

Crime scenes and headlines of children caught int he crossfire, are sadly prompting calls like this summer.

“Repeat the chant after me, say I will not let the babies die young,” says one attendee.

The city’s most powerful are echoing that theme and doing their best to raise the community to its feet, in hopes of stomping out the shootings.

Wary Democrats approach new Paul Ryan poverty plan with caution

Washington — While citing some areas of common ground, Democrats reacted with general skepticism to the anti-poverty agenda unveiled by House budget chairman Paul Ryan of Janesville on Thursday.

One big reason: their deep disdain for the House budgets Ryan has crafted in recent years, which they view as punitive toward the poor.

“It’s a case of total cognitive dissonance between the (Ryan) proposals today and the Republican budgets” that Ryan has shepherded through the House, said Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the top Democrat on Ryan’s budget committee.

The Ryan budgets offered sharp cuts in social spending. But the proposals on poverty-fighting offered by Ryan on Thursday are squarely focused on reforming programs for the poor — not reducing the actual amount of money the government spends on the poor.

In a conference call with reporters, Van Hollen described that as “policy and political schizophrenia on steroids.”

Ryan says he wants to separate the discussion about fighting poverty from the regular clashes over the budget.

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