FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/18/22
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(MILWAUKEE, WI) – Voces de la Frontera, Forward Latino, the Hispanic Collaborative and the Mexican Fiesta Hispanic Scholarship Foundation issued the following statement in response to the Milwaukee Common Council’s unjust decision this morning to approve of a new aldermanic district map that fails to provide fair and equal representation to Milwaukee’s growing Latinx population:
We are angered and saddened that an open and transparent process did not occur in the recent redistricting decisions rendered by this Council. Community members were not allowed to actively engage or make the case for how they would like to be represented. There was no recognition of either the exponential population growth of Latinos or the population loss by other communities of interest. Instead, the city chose a path that clearly does not treat all Milwaukeeans fairly and equally by passing the same Aldermanic district boundary map that was previously vetoed.
We would like to applaud the members of the Common Council who have been supportive of efforts to ensure that Milwaukee’s Latino population has a collective voice and access to representation commensurate with its growth, contributions, and importance to the City of Milwaukee. We appreciate those members’ unwavering commitment to the principles of equitable representation that respect the rights of all members of our community, recognizing that the outcome today regarding this issue was vital to our entire city. On the day after our nation celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the actions of Alderpersons Jose Perez, JoCasta Zamarripa, and Marina Dimitrijevic should be celebrated for upholding the highest principles of fully representative government and democracy.
We wish to reiterate our position that the opinions of the Office of the City Attorney in this matter were deeply flawed and that they have wrongly advised the Common Council not to consider any other maps submitted, regardless of their merit or justification. It should have been evident to all concerned that the maps submitted by several organizations were influenced by multiple communities of interest and a variety of factors, not just race.
When one considers the blatant lack of transparency exhibited in this process, the active cultivation of race as a wedge issue pitting one community of interest against another, and the eleventh-hour actions by some members of the Common Council and Office of the City Attorney, it is clear that for several representatives and their advisors the desire for preservation of status quo and personal interest has overridden the principles of justice, democracy, and fair representation.
As such, we cannot, and will not, accept their positions and actions related to this matter and vow to continue our fight for a fair, truly representative democracy.
CONTACT: Anna Dvorak, 414-469-0118, firstname.lastname@example.org