By Kalan Haywood
The election for the 16th assembly district is one rooted in historical significance. Our community has suffered the effects of deindustrialization and segregation like no other area. The Freeway which cuts through the heart of the district was built on a corridor of black businesses. What we need now, more than ever is someone to connect our turbulent past here in Milwaukee to a future where all people have equal access to opportunity.
In the 1960’s, young people like me marched with Father James Groppi and Alderwoman Vel Phillips for increased access to fair housing and for the overall state of civil rights for African Americans. When they marched across the 16th street viaduct, they attempted to bridge the gap and divide that still exists in Milwaukee. What they were met with was violent anti-protestors, who were determined to oppose Father Groppi and the freedom fighters. While Milwaukee was able to provide fair housing options, serious problems remain in our community. Schools are underfunded, healthcare is too expensive, and people are working two or three jobs just to get by.
We live in the most segregated city in America, where the color of your skin can determine your access to opportunity. Milwaukee has too many people, young and old, black and white, who have been left behind. It is time that we have leaders in Madison who have walked the walk and are going there to serve the community, not feed their ambition. “I’m not a career politician.” I’m someone looking to provide a new path forward for the city that I love. I’ve served our community as the president of the city of Milwaukee Youth Council, as a member of the Violence Prevention Steering Committee and as a community organizer for Westcare Wisconsin.
I graduated from MPS, and know the issues facing our public schools. I have dedicated my life workings to make Milwaukee a great place to own a business, have a home and raise a family. I’m asking for your VOTE on Tuesday, August 14th because we can’t continue down the path we are on.