By Nyesha Stone
Last week, community members were invited for a free breakfast at Saint Matthews C.M.E. Church. While there, they listened and asked questions to political candidates who will be on the ballot this April 2.
The event was headed by Community Brainstorming Conference, a group that hosts monthly forums, with a goal of educating Milwaukee on a variety issues, problems and facts, according to their Facebook page.
Last Saturday’s forum featured candidates running for Wisconsin Supreme Court, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 40 and Milwaukee school board.
The community came out in numbers to show support for their candidates and to also learn more about their real intensions.
Lisa Neubauer, the chief judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and Brian Hagedorn, a judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, are running for Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Neubauer said she has the support of 340 judges across the state, which should speak volumes on why residents should vote for her.
“I’m deeply committed to making our courts better for the people,” she said.
Hagedorn grew up on the Northwest side of Milwaukee and he said his goal is to make “Milwaukee better than it already it is.” He also used a portion of his time to share his religious beliefs. He’s currently working on opening a Christian school, which he said Neubauer disagrees with.
He stated that his religious beliefs have nothing to do with his work on the bench and that he shouldn’t be criticized for trying to open a school.
“It’s my job to say what the law is not to change it,” said Hagedorn.
Danielle Shelton, assistant state public defendant, and Andrew Jones, Milwaukee County Circuit Court, are competing against one another for Circuit Court Branch 40.
This is Shelton’s first time running for an elected position. Shelton said her background of being a Black woman and her experience will bring something new to the court.
Shelton remembers moving into a house with her mother—who’s white—on Garfield and being told that they couldn’t live there because she and her siblings are Black. She said that taught her that she’ll always be judged by her race and not her credentials.
But she said all of these things make her a potentially great judge.
“These are the things that make who I am,” Shelton said. “I’ve been involved with my community.”
When it comes to Jones, this wasn’t the first time he used his experience as a reason for others to vote for him. With more than 20 years in law, working with the community and being a fair judge, he said that he’s a great candidate to be elected.
“[I apply] the law fairly and equally,” Jones said. “I hold myself accountable and I’m supposed to be held accountable.”
He also stated what makes a good judge and that means being “fearlessly independent and knowing what is right.”
Other candidates on the ballot spoke as well.
For more information on the next Community Brainstorming forum, visit their site at http://www.communitybrainstorming.org.