By Nyesha Stone
Last Friday, Milwaukee residents met at the Milwaukee South Side Coordinated Office to listen to U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, Lt. Gov. nominee Mandela Barnes, State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa and Ald. José Pérez speak on the importance of early voting.
Even the mayor was there.
“We will have a new government in Wisconsin,” said the Mayor Tom Barrett. “But we have to vote and that’s why we’re here today.”
Wisconsin is one of the lucky states that provides it residents with the option of voting early. This year, Milwaukee expanded its early voting stations to eight in total. Currently, Milwaukee residents can vote early at three stations: Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway; Midtown Center, 5700 W. Capitol Dr.; and Mitchell Street Library, 906 W. Mitchell Street from Sept. 24-Oct.12.
The other five locations—Zablocki Library, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave.; Center Street Library, 2727 W. Fond du Lac Ave.; Mill Road Library, 6431 N. 76th St.; UWM Peck School of the Art, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.; and MATC, 700 W. State St.—will be open for early voting starting Oct. 15.
The building was packed with residents—mostly 40 and up—who were ready to vote.
“The energy is real here,” said Barnes. “I don’t remember the last time I’ve been this ecstatic.”
Barnes said Nov. 6—the day of elections—will be up to the people. He said it is time to make a change by doing things like fully funding our public schools, putting scientist back in control of our natural resources and actually paying detailed attention to the unemployment rate.
He stated that the unemployment rate doesn’t account for many factors. For example, individuals may work multiple jobs but still struggle daily and others may not find a good paying job due to poor transportation.
When Pérez took the mic, he proudly greeted the crowd in Spanish.
“We worked very hard to make sure we had enough early voting facilities,” said Pérez. “Fill up that library [Mitchell Street Library] with people to vote.”
Zamarripa then shared her disgust with the ICE raids that have been happening through Wisconsin, and how voting is the people’s chance to be heard.
Baldwin came to the center of the circle and spoke cheerfully and loudly to the crowd.
“Washington is a mess right now. Its chaotic. But I think about all the dysfunction and distraction we see in D.C.,” said Baldwin. “And, it doesn’t mean it isn’t working for everyone.”
Baldwin is addressing the top percent who benefit from policies and laws that are hurting most of the nation. Through all of the bad publicity she may receive, Baldwin says she wears it with a badge of honor.
“They know I’m not afraid to stand up against them and fight for you every day,” she said.
After everyone finished their speeches, the crowd was then escorted by Zamarripa to go vote at Mitchell Street Library.
To find out how and where to vote visit https://www.wisconsinvoices.org/earlyvotemke/