By State Representative, Leon D. Young
State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) has a very arrogant and annoying habit of putting his two cents where they don’t belong especially when it comes to issues that impact Milwaukee and its Black community. The self-appointed inquisitor of the Black community is at it again.
This time he has set his sights on casting aspersions on Mrs. Jeannetta Simpson- Robinson — an individual who earned iconic stature in our community during her life.
For nearly 38 years, Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson was ‘the voice of the voiceless’ in Milwaukee. In 1970, Mrs. Robinson, along with mother Claretta ‘Mother Freedom’ Simpson founded Career Youth Development, a community- based organization that was dedicated to uplifting the downtrodden in our midst through ‘Love in Action’.
Jeannetta Robinson was a woman on a lifelong mission and firmly believed in putting the needs of others first. In her wake, she left an indelible mark as a community leader, activist and champion of the poor, the neglected and the forgotten.
Hence, it’s only fitting that Mrs. Jeannetta Robinson be recognized for her untiring efforts on behalf of others. State Senator Spencer Coggs and I have succeeded in getting a bill passed in the Legislature that designates a small portion of I-43 in Milwaukee as the “Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson Memorial Highway”.
Governor Doyle has indicated that he plans to sign this bill this week but, at the 11th hour, Glenn Grothman has once again reared his ugly head. In an open letter to the Governor, Senator Grothman suggests that the bill be vetoed and opines that Jeannetta Robinson is not deserving of the honor.
Senator Grothman is no stranger to controversy or stoking racial divisions. As an elected official, he has voiced his opposition to: racesensitive (affi rmative action) admissions at the University of Wisconsin system; WHEDA’s home-mortgage program that accepts an individual taxpayer number (or I-TNS) as a form of documentation; and has proposed legislation to repeal the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.
It would appear that Glenn Grothman’s unhealthy obsession with race will continue, but I am incensed by these shenanigans. Jeannetta Robinson was most deserving of this recognition and, in the eyes of many; she truly was the ‘Heart of the City of Milwaukee’.
It’s time for Senator Grothman to climb down from his ultra-conservative high horse, and keep his two cents to himself.