By Nyesha Stone
The 2018 mid-term elections were the result of a people tired of their government and leaders. Americans didn’t turn out two years prior when 45 was running for president, but this time was different. Generations teamed together to elect individuals they want in office, who they believe will put the people first—not the one percent.
As a result of the election, Wisconsin has a new governor, Tony Evers. Milwaukee played a huge role for those who won on Nov. 6, including Earnell Lucas’s new position as Milwaukee Country Sheriff. Lucas served on the Milwaukee Police Department for 25 years, according to his website.
Milwaukeeans, specifically people of color, are constantly being harassed and sometimes murdered by the police in the city, which is why a Community Conversation was put together, so the community could address their concerns and issues with Lucas.
The event was hosted by Coalition for a People’s Sheriff, BLOC, WI Voices, Voces de La Frontera, and WI Working Families Party, and was held at the Black Historical Society, 2620 W. Center St. from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Before the audience was allowed to ask questions, a moderator asked Lucas a few. She asked him general questions, such as what’s the plans are upon taking office, and what relationship he will have with people a part of the system, who are mistreating the system.
“I can’t change a men’s or women’s heart,” he said about individuals a part of the system who don’t treat certain community members fairly. “[But,] we’re going to hold them accountable or they’re not going to have their job very long.”
He also stated that he plans on working with Chief Alfonso Morales to address issues plaguing the city.
Audience members began asking questions around 6:10 p.m. Those who wanted to ask a question were suggested to submit a question online.
Immigration was one of the topics community members brought up. Lucas was asked to support the fight to put a bill into law that gives immigrants and others access to a driver’s license. Many low income residents lose their license due to petty fees, such as not paying their parking tickets. Those who are poor can’t afford the tickets, so they don’t pay them then they lose their license, but still need to get to where they’re going, so they drive. Now, they’re technically driving illegally, and if pulled over, will face more consequences.
Lucas didn’t say he would support that specific community members’ requests, but he did state that immigration is on his list of things he cares about.
“I think we’re going to see the dialogue change in 2019,” Lucas said about immigration being a top issue that will be discussed within the government and between leaders.
Most community members thanked Lucas for taking his time out to speak to the community, but they also made it clear that they expect him to bring real change to Milwaukee.
“I only speak for the Milwaukee County Jail,” he said. “We’re going to make some action.”