By Mrinal Gokhale
State Representative David Bowen was officially inaugurated in-district for another term in office by Judge Valerie Hill on Sun, Feb. 26. The ceremony, which took place at Kingdom Faith Fellowship Church on Holton Ave, started at about 4 p.m.
Rep. Bowen was first elected to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors in 2012 and has been consistently representing the 10th Assembly District. Several political and community leaders spoke during the ceremony. Ninth District Alderwoman Chantia Lewis was one of the first to share her experiences working with Rep. Bowen.
“Public service is hard, so when you do this work, you work for the people,” she said. “I call David my brother because when he walked into the doors, he walked into Kingdom Faith. I’ve been a part of this ministry for nine years, so not only is Representative Bowen my brother in service; he’s my brother in service because he has joined the Kingdom Faith family.” Kwabena Nixon, a local spoken word poet and activist, stated that he has known Bowen since they were just 14 years old.
“When a phone call came, he came. We need to tell other black men the things he’s doing because there’s another David out there, so by the time you’re done, make sure every black boy in Milwaukee knows who you are,” he said.
Bowen had some words before the ceremony ended. One of the main issues in the black community he addressed was police brutality.
“I had a chance when I was at the county, there was an officer who punched a black woman in the face while she was handcuffed, and we were able to ensure the officer was held accountable,” he said. “But it hurts my heart that were weren’t able to hold that same accountability to the officer who shot Dontre Hamilton, a young man sleeping in a park.”
He thanked Maria Hamilton, mother of the late Dontre Hamilton, for coming to the ceremony. Her son was shot by a Milwaukee police officer a few years ago when sleeping by a Red Arrow Park bench, sparking controversy both locally and even nationally.
Others to speak included keynote speaker Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin and Reggie Moore from the Office of Violence Prevention. Trinity Harris sang before the ceremony began and a group called Sister Strings played cello music a few times. Kalan Haywood Jr. and Kalan Haywood Sr. were supposed to also give remarks but were not in attendance.