By Senator, Lena C. Taylor
Ten years ago there were fewer children living in poverty in Milwaukee than there are today. We now live in one of the poorest cities in America, with too much unemployment, poverty and violence. Everyone is deserving of a safe community and access to healthy, affordable food. My LOVE & FAITH Initiative is meant to respond to the health crisis Milwaukee faces that is so intertwined with poverty, violence, mental health and poor education. Poverty, violence and a lack of opportunity in Milwaukee creates a cycle of a lack of education, inaccessible healthcare, joblessness and violence.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety heard from hundreds of Wisconsinites who agree that permit less conceal and carry is a threat to public safety. I heard stories from too many doctors, police officers and concerned citizens who have lost friends and family due to a conflict escalated by the presence of a firearm. Removing mandatory training and allowing deadly weapons in schools, hospitals and police stations is irresponsible.
Although I firmly believe in the second amendment, it too has its limits. In the state of Wisconsin, we regulate the most basic right to vote and have a voice in the government. Why would we consider owning a gun to be a right which has no boundaries? While many republican lawmakers seem to disregard the will of the people, I will fight for the 91 percent of Wisconsinites who support current training requirements. This violence contributes to the hopelessness in our communities which in turn creates a sense of hopelessness. We can’t let GOP lawmakers further deregulate deadly weapons that contribute to violence and crime.
On Wednesday, May 31, 2017 I met with the Joint Finance Committee to advocate for veterans without housing and those without access to healthy and affordable food. It’s time we take care of our veterans after the great service they’ve given us. I want to provide funding to refurbish any run down or old houses to simultaneously improve our communities and provide veterans with a safe place to live. Another key factor to improving our communities is healthy and affordable food, which is inaccessible to many in Milwaukee.
We have too much food insecurity in Milwaukee.
My LOVE & FAITH Initiative is meant to create jobs in Milwaukee and provide people with healthy and affordable food. A lack of healthy food contributes to poverty and the lack of opportunity to get an education and have a career. This initiative partners multiple industries into the same physical hub, giving people more access to resources and creating jobs in those hubs. On Wednesday I fought to implement an aspect of my LOVE & FAITH initiative that wants to give grants to people who want to open grocery stores or sell fresh and affordable food. In order to improve our community as a whole, we need to see the big picture and the relationship between health and economic opportunity.
We can’t just look at violence as violence. We can’t just look at poverty as strictly economic. Poverty and Violence are interconnected by a shared sense of hopelessness and lack of opportunity.
My LOVE & FAITH initiative is intended to bring hope and opportunity back to Milwaukee. I believe that healthy food makes for healthy and educated citizens, a factor necessary to grow our economy and develop opportunity and hope.