By Lynda Jones
Former State Representative Annette ‘Polly’ Williams and the Honorable Vel R. Phillips have joined together to pass the legislative torch to Millie Coby, who is a candidate for the State Assembly in the 10th District. Williams who held the seat for more than 30 years before retiring not long ago has major concerns about the future of the seat.
The 10th District like many other districts was affected drastically by the Republican redrawn maps, making the district a representation that includes now Shorewood and even as far east as Lake Drive.
Williams asks the question, “Now, you cannot convince me that the needs of people on Lake Drive are the same as the needs of people who live on 10th and Burleigh. It makes no sense, but this is what we have now, because the Democrats didn’t fight for a different outcome”.
Currently, there are four candidates in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary: Harriet Callier, Millie Coby, Ieshuh Griffin and state Rep. Sandy Pasch, who is running because her old Assembly district – the 22nd – was redrawn to include parts of the new 10th.
Pasch’s current district was redrawn making it more Republican, so she obviously feels that her chances are better in the 10th District that now includes Shorewood, which was part of her original district.
Williams believes that the 10th District should remain to be represented by a Black legislator and Millie Coby is her pick.
Coby is a Wisconsin native, and grew up around 24th and Capitol Drive which was part of the 10th District prior to 2011 redistricting. At UWMilwaukee she received her Master’s degree in Community Education with emphasis on Urban Education and her Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She is an alumnus of Emerge Wisconsin, a training program to encourage and prepare women to run for political office.
Coby also has experience as an intern working in the Criminal Division at the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Coby is an Executive Director of Ecumenical-COGIC service, which encompasses leadership development, organization and outreach. She is a motivational life coach for the Career Youth Development (CYD) founded by Jeannetta Robinson and for the Homicide Victim Groups. She is an advocate for those who are disenfranchised. She has marched down Wisconsin Avenue with thousands in the Justice for Jude March.
Coby has over 20 years of community service experience in non-profit organizing, education, finances, and advocating for underprivileged people, just to name a few. She is an elected executive board member of the NAACP and is an executive board member of CBC (Community Brainstorming Conference), which is a pulse of community issues and awareness on local, state and national levels.
Coby has organized and planned various curriculums for conferences that educate people in the area of community, economical and health related tools from all over the nation. Her love for children and education for all people is why she has worked as an on-call substitute teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools in classrooms with underprivileged children with learning disabilities.
Her upbringing in the urban area has sparked her common concern for everyday people. Coby’s love for justice and equality has been the driving force for her desire to be a community liaison. She is the founder of ‘There is Hope’, a community arm that provides more than 400 single parents in getting high school diplomas, higher education, job preparation and renewed hope. She truly works to energize job development.
Coby knows the needs of the average resident of the 10th District, not only the education concerns, but also the realization that there is a great need for financial provisions in assisting families who are struggling with losing their homes due to foreclosure as well.
And Coby also has experience with the Shorewood area of this newly redrawn district as well, her son is currently a student at Shorewood High School.
Williams says that she wants Black voters to know what the purpose of these redrawn maps are, and that is to lessen the number of Black elected legislators. All of the redrawn districts are designed this way. Phillips and Williams have been in the political arena in Wisconsin for many decades, and together their collective years cover many decades of experience.
The community will have an opportunity to meet Coby as well at an upcoming fundraiser reception being hosted by Phillips on Friday, July 27th at The Newport, 1610 N. Prospect Ave., RSVP to Williams at 414-374-7474. And to learn more about Coby visit her website at: http://www.milliecoby.com/.