By State Rep. Elizabeth Coggs
The State of the State Address was not an address it was a mess. As I sat there in amazement and listened to the Governor Walker’s State of the State address… I wonder what state he was talking about. The trails and tribulations of what the people of this great State are going through are being totally ignored by Governor Walker and the Republican Party.
Governor Walker has travelled all over the country to raise million of dollars for this campaign committee and upcoming recall. Unfortunately none of those travels have been to bring jobs to the people of this State in particularly Men of Color in Southeastern Wisconsin.
The State of Wisconsin does have a deficit, this state does have people who want to work and need jobs. Wisconsin families are crying because they cannot provide for their children. But this Governor and the Republican Party continually turn their backs on the poor and middle-class, they are blind to people without jobs and many who are homeless and in need of continuous healthcare; they don’t hear the screams (that occurred often during the address) about the attack on the unemployed, the poor and the middle-class in Wisconsin.
The other evening I had an opportunity to hear artist Muhibb Dyer and he read his art piece called “The Children Are Dying Calendar”. Muhibb Dyer said “this is the story of a movement that began to give a voice to those who are despised and rejected, those who live in the worst neighborhoods with the least chance of realizing the American Dream. Beyond the negative depictions, we declare to the whole world that we are more than thugs, more than criminals, we are human beings.”
I say to Mr. Governor the district that I represent are filled with people who want jobs in Milwaukee County; they want jobs in Glendale and Shorewood. I have worked with you in Milwaukee County; we have a model to get people to work. Milwaukee has an emergency situation and I say to Governor Walker and the Republican Party stop ignoring what is really occurring to our families, there is a fuse of frustration and people are going to survive, by any means necessary to support their families and children. Especially those who are felons; stop creating laws to put people in jail and than when they return to society they cannot find employment. I understand the long range goal of making everything a felony…to build more prisons, privatized those prisons and take care of those billionaires in this country who fund and make huge profits off of the prison industry.
I have met with the Governor twice and his staff to request that they look at Milwaukee County and Southeastern Wisconsin as an emergency situation because of the high unemployment especially amongst African American Men and other Men of Color. To no avail has the Governor taken a special emphasis on this emergency situation; we want our men folk to work and have access to jobs. Governor Walker is from Milwaukee County he was County Executive for six years. I thought better of him that he wouldn’t ignore the cries of the people of Milwaukee County and I presumed that he cared about what happens to families in Milwaukee County.
I have written various pieces of legislations to provide 10,000 jobs to people in Southeastern Wisconsin and to train and get felons to work and to no avail have these bills even been scheduled before a committee.