By State Representative, Leon D. Young
I came across an interesting article in Sunday’s Journal Sentinel that focused on the current status of the financing plan for a new downtown arena.
But shortly into reading the piece, the article digressed, ever so briefly, into another public “finger-pointing” session — pitting Democrats vs. Republicans.
Two Republican legislators, in particular, appeared somewhat miffed about Mayor Tom Barrett’s recent contention that the Legislature bears some responsibility after the murderous week in Milwaukee.
After all, Mayor Barrett on more than one occasion has publicly called on Governor Walker, and the Republican-controlled Legislature, to convene a special session in order to address public safety concerns in our state.
Republicans immediately countered by asserting that Mayor Barrett’s “appalling lack of leadership” was actually responsible for the escalating level of violence in Milwaukee.
The GOP also accused him of trying to shift the blame for the stark increase in city murders.
But, truth be told, there ample blame to go around. One can argue that the city must become more responsive to the growing violence in our midst.
Having more police officers in uniform, more detectives investigating crimes and rigorous gun laws will not stem the disastrous tide by themselves.
In the real world, effecting policing is predicated, in large measure, on a viable working relationship with the community.
And, in situations in which the public’s confidence in law enforcement has been eroded, community policing efforts will and do suffer.
The Republican-controlled Legislature in Madison must also be cited as a co-conspirator.
Instead of formulating public policy that addresses the pressing problems that confront our city, Republicans spend an inordinate amount of time, energy and effort sticking to Milwaukee again and again.