MADISON – The state Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed Sen. Spencer Coggs’ bill making a portion of Interstate 43 in Milwaukee the “Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson Memorial Highway.”
Looking on from above the Senate floor were Charles “Butch” Walton, son of Jeannetta Robinson, Ms. Robinson’s grandchildren, and a busload of other supporters from Career Youth Development (CYD), who were seated in the Senate Gallery.
“Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson was one of Milwaukee’s most generous souls,” Sen. Coggs said in remarks from the Senate floor. “Her life’s work has touched generations past, present and future.”
The Senate bill, which now goes to the state Assembly, would designate I-43 in Milwaukee from the North Avenue exit going north to the Keefe Avenue-Atkinson Avenue exit the “Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson Memorial Highway.”
Ms. Simpson-Robinson died October, 9, 2008 at the age of 68. She was wellknown in Milwaukee as community leader and an activist for non-violence. She and her mother, Claretta “Mother Freedom” Simpson, founded CYD in 1970 as an after-school program at their house.
The organization quickly grew and established offices in the community offering youth gang intervention programs, college education, vocational training, drug prevention and treatment, family counseling, Children’s Court Advocacy, and mental health services.
In 1984, Mrs. Robinson suffered a personal tragedy with the murder of both her daughter Cheryl and her granddaughter, “Little Jeannetta.” This lead Mrs. Robinson to form the Survivors of Homicide Grief and Support Group as part of the “Victory over Violence Initiative.”
“Jeannetta Robinson is a role model for many in Milwaukee. She persevered through incredible adversity and turned tragedy into triumph by helping young people and others reclaim their lives,” Sen. Coggs said.