By Tamiko Jordan
When I learned that Judge Paul Dedinsky was up for election, he didn’t have to call me. I called him to ask what I could do to help. With all the issues we face in Milwaukee, like mass incarceration, we need Dedinsky on the bench.
I met Dedinsky over 10 years ago while serving as the principal of a Milwaukee alternative high school. Weekly, Dedinsky facilitated Restorative Justice circles for staff and students. Because of his work, we experienced dramatic improvements in our school community and fewer suspensions.
Dedinsky was ahead of his time. He helped revolutionize Milwaukee schools and, in turn, curb the “pipeline” to prison for our youth.
I support Dedinsky for judge because I respect him. I saw how deeply he cares for youth in our community. In 2008, he began training thousands of students and teachers in Milwaukee schools. I remain impressed with how he weaves Restorative Justice into his work as a judge at children’s court. We need to vote for Dedinsky.
Judicial races often turn into popularity contests based on hearsay, he-say, and she-say. Let’s not overlook Paul Dedinsky’s work, experience, and dedication to Milwaukee.
Let’s also dispel some myths:
Myth #1: In a recent Milwaukee Courier article, an opinion writer depicted opponent Blomme’s work in glowing terms.
Truth: Actually, opponent Blomme arguably added to mass incarceration by not fighting for his clients. According to Wisconsin CCAP of 405 cases, he never took a single case to trial! His track record reads like a broken record: guilty plea, guilty plea, guilty plea, and so on. The vast majority of his clients, none of whom are even from Milwaukee, ended up with records.
Myth #2: Dedinsky must not be a Democrat because of being a Walker appointee.
Truth: The judicial appointment of Dedinsky was completely non-partisan. Political affiliations are prohibited in judicial races. Nevertheless, many Democrats support Dedinsky because he worked for and with Democratic leaders in Milwaukee for nearly 27 years.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Dedinsky “earned better marks” and was favored by “more qualified ratings and fewer not qualified ratings” than his opponent (Saturday, March 28, 2020). In fact, opponent Blomme was the lowest ranking candidate in the entire Milwaukee Bar Association (MBA) survey, in comparison to all candidates for any Milwaukee County judicial race.
• Distinguished Service to Milwaukee. Dedinsky served Milwaukee as a defense attorney and then as an Ass’t DA for over 20 years (1997-2017), winning him the endorsements of tons of Milwaukee leaders. He was born at St. Joseph’s hospital and grew up here.
• Combatting Sex Offenders and Domestic Violence. Dedinsky prosecuted violent sex offenders, and directed the Domestic Violence Unit. Paul cares about justice.
• Innovative Leadership. Dedinsky secured resources and funding for us while serving on the Milwaukee City Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (2001-2007). He advocated hard for our needs in Milwaukee.
• Restorative Intelligence. Dedinsky coordinated Restorative Justice for Milwaukee schools (2008-2013). He demonstrates genuine care for our youth.
• Support for Substance Abuse Addicts. Dedinsky served as team captain for the Family Drug Treatment Court at the Vel Phillips Youth & Family Justice Center (2014-2016). He restores and reunites children with their families.
So, what do we want in a judge? A judge needs to be a legal expert who is compassionate, humble, understanding, patient, open-minded, and is firm, yet fair. PDedinsky checks all the boxes.
Paul Dedinsky is the clear choice. Milwaukee is not like home for him. Milwaukee is home.