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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black Enterprise - The Power of the Purse Video

Sharon Epperson - CNBC Senior Commodities Correspondent & Personal Finance Correspondent

An award-winning journalist and author, Sharon Epperson is a highly respected expert on key issues that are on the top of the minds of investors and consumers around the world—particularly energy and commodities prices and overall personal financial security.

Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! "SignOn PETITION" to support Call for Investigation by U.S. Department of Justice

February 29, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WI - Today is the 'LEAP year" day for the year 2012. It is also the day Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, Milwaukee Professionals Association, has chosen to share why her office launched a MOVEOn.org Petition for support by the People, February 21, 2012, BEFORE sending her Call for Investigation of Discriminatory practices and 'by-design' Code of Behavior for Enduring Concentrated Poverty to U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.(February 28, 2012).

Glass shared the following as reasons. They are:
-- To embrace FAITH in a GLOBAL way - We welcome our international friends to sign. Everyone.

-- To utilize a People's Petition tool that she often support others in across the nation.

-- To allow the People to examine on-the-merits the issues that I am presenting to the U.S. Attorney General's office and the public square.

-- To promote activism and self-help at the neighborhood level for residential and commerical stakeholders.

-- To help empower other Urban and Rural areas that are "trapped".

-- To ask the "signers" to make this a serious and durable campaign.

-- To help re-define, re-brand and un-trap Milwaukeeans, especially African American, other People of Color and the Work-Challenged (un-, under-employed; un-, under-degreed and certificated; un-, under-financed neighborhood-level business; disabled; and re-entry - especially those returning from WAR, INCARCERATION, BOOMERANG EMPLOYMENT, BOOMERANG RETIREMENT and DEGREED students without employment) that are 'by-design' left out.

-- To let the elected-appointed-hired-volunteered and donor-for-hire representatives know that customer care, transparency, TRUST and "accountability" is always part of the solution-building.

-- To call upon our federal government, U. S. Department of Justice, to exercise necessary powers for this type of cross-lines-boundaries and out-of-control lawlessness.
===============

JOIN us.We are taking the entire month of March, 2012 to SHOW/GET SUPPORT from YOU through this Petition to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Our first goal is: 1,000 signatures.
Let's see how quickly we can meet the first goal.

At the present time, there are (4) four signatures.
You will see the bar of 50 signatures is the first "marker" - once it is met, the bar will increase at a rate of 50-100 to increase.

We ask that you sign and that you help us get others to sign.

To see the Petition and "SIGN-THE-PETITION", CLICK
================
================

February 29, 2012
About SignOn and MoveON
About SignOn.org
SignOn is a service provided by MoveOn.org Civic Action to allow anyone to set up their own online petition, share it with friends, and stay in touch with the signers of their petition using email.

MoveOn.org Civic Action sponsors SignOn, but we do not endorse the contents of any petition on this site. To find out about MoveOn's campaigns, visit www.moveon.org.

About MoveOn and MoveOn.org Civic Action
MoveOn.org Civic Action is a service, a way for busy citizens to find their political voice in a system dominated by big money and big media. We fight for issues our members care about, like health care, the climate crisis, and making the economy more fair for the 99%.

MoveOn brings real Americans back into the political process. With over 5 million members across America, we have the strength—together—to stand up to Washington and its corporate lobbyists in order to achieve real progressive change for real people. We are democracy in action.

Wisconsin Senate Bill 275 should remain; but Monitoring and Accountability is NEEDED


Photo:
L-R, Supervisor Gerry Broderick, 3rd District and Supervisor Eyon Biddle Sr., 10th District

February 29, 2012

“This is yet another attempt by the Governor and Legislature to hurt citizens who are trying to make better lives for themselves. I am requesting that the Legislature have a public hearing in Milwaukee on this issue before moving forward. The citizens need an opportunity to weigh in on how this bill would negatively impact Milwaukee.”

“If State lawmakers really want to help the students and programs at MATC, they should restore the 30% funding that was cut for technical schools. If we want to have a real conversation about reform at MATC, let's be sensible adults instead of railroading nonsensical legislation and subverting the democratic process for a power grab. Don't be disgusting.”
Supervisor Eyon Biddle Sr. - 10th District
Milwaukee County Supervisors

“The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s (MMAC) private business agenda is rearing its ugly head once again, and this time MATC is the target. The continuing attack on the taxpayers of Milwaukee County is astounding and unacceptable! Consideration of Senate Bill 275 was done behind closed doors to ensure a minimum amount of public response."

“Milwaukee taxpayers provide 84% of the total funding for MATC and should not have their representation diminished in favor of private business interests. The individuals and businesses pushing this bill clearly do not believe in democracy. Shame on them.”
Supervisor Gerry Broderick - 3rd District
Milwaukee County Supervisors
=========================================

MILWAUKEE, WI - Supervisors Eyon Biddle Sr. 10th District and Gerry Broderick, 3rd District, released press releases condemning proposed changes for the present selection process of members of MATC/Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Their reasons speaks to representation and taxes contributed by the People in Milwaukee, lack of TRUST and best practices seen by those representing the business arena, i.e., Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce. We would add two others in this mix for change. They are: The Greater Milwaukee Committee and Milwaukee 7.

Accountability
"I agree with Supervisors Biddle and Broderick statements."

"My office research/experience show that this body, MATC BOARD, needs to be reminded that it is being "monitored" and are "accountable to the People". "That, this is not about the cronyism model to promote their personal self-interest and pet projects". "Also, that they are to return calls and provide public information post haste" - This includes not hiding behind their attorney. "Lastly, some remain on the board too long - they think they own it."

Press Release 10th District Supervisor Biddle and Press Release 3rd District Supervisor Broderick available through Harold Mester, Public Information Manager
Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, harold.mester@milwcnty.com
414-278-4051
====================

2011 - 2012 LEGISLATURE 2011 Senate BILL 275
These are the sponsors:

November 1, 2011 - Introduced by Senators Grothman, Cowles, Darling, Galloway, Lasee and Lazich, cosponsored by Representatives Honadel, Ballweg, Bies, Craig, Endsley, Kooyenga, LeMahieu, Marklein, Pridemore, Rivard, Spanbauer, Strachota and Thiesfeldt. Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Higher Education.

For viewing of State Bill 275. CLICK.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

LARSON Weekly Report - February 23, 2012

State Senator Chris Larson

Dear Friend,

This week we will examine how some elected officials have chosen to repeatedly place the agenda of special interests above the needs of our family, friends, and neighbors. An update on the various mining proposals is also included.

As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or opinions you may have about our community or our state.

Sincerely,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7
==========================

Governor Gets an Incomplete on Education Report Card
Cuts of $1.6 billion in Governor Walker's budget put the debate over education front and center in Wisconsin. The struggle for the future health of our public schools and the success of our children is continuing to intensify as school districts are being forced to contemplate a second round of severe budget cuts for the next school year. In startling new developments, we learned that the Governor and Republican lawmakers' repeatedly chose the interests of lobbyists, such as School Choice Wisconsin, ahead of the well-being of the communities and neighbors they swore to represent.

Shortly after Governor Walker signed his budget into law, he announced a partnership with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers to jointly craft a new school accountability system that would be submitted to the federal government and if accepted, would allow Wisconsin to replace the failed No Child Left Behind system currently in place. Additionally, Governor Walker and Superintendent Evers stated that this new accountability program would be applied to every school that accepts publicly funded students, which would include public schools, private schools in the state-funded voucher program, charter schools, and virtual schools.

Click here to view an article announcing this new partnership and accountability plan.

Three task forces--Read to Lead, Effective Educator Design Team, and School Accountability--were set up by Governor Walker and tasked with providing recommendations for legislation to create the new school accountability system. These recommendation were then supposed to be placed into one bill and brought before the Legislature this session.

Click here to view an article discussing the various task forces and their goal of producing legislation.

Governor Walker once again professed his intention of developing a unique accountability plan that would be required of all schools that receive public funding in his State of the State address where he said:

"Dr. Evers and I have been working with a diverse group of individuals to develop our plan to let parents, teachers, and communities know which schools are performing well, so that we can replicate their success. And we do need to know which schools are failing, so we can help them.

"Ultimately, educators, parents and even employers will be able to look at the scores of schools and school districts across the state. Every school that receives public funds--be it a traditional public school, a charter school, or a choice school--will be rated by a fair, objective, and transparent system. We are proud of the work done by this design team and I want to thank Dr. Evers and his staff for the great leadership and collaboration on this important project."

Click here to view Governor Walker's entire State of the State address.

Early in 2012, the recommendations of the three task forces were supported with a vote in each task force and then converted into bill provisions by Senator Luther Olsen and Representative Steve Kestell so they could be placed in one bill and circulated. Unfortunately, when the final bill draft was introduced as Senate Bill 461, it appeared that all of the recommendations proposed by the School Accountability Task Force had been omitted by the bill's authors. The exclusion of the accountability provisions was very surprising to everyone involved, given that Sen. Olsen and Rep. Kestell supported those very provisions as members of the School Accountability Task Force. What motivation could there possibly be to exclude such vital, common sense provisions from a bill aimed at increasing the accountability, transparency, and quality of our neighborhood schools?

Click here to view the recommendations that were agreed to by Governor Walker, legislators, and other School Accountability Task Force members.

Click here to view a copy of the bill created by the recommendations of the School Accountability Task Force.

That question was answered loud and clear after emails surfaced as a result of an open records request. The emails indicated that Republican legislators and the Governor decided to break their promise to bring greater accountability to Wisconsin schools after being approached by the powerful school choice lobbyists. Governor Walker and Republican legislators are no stranger to such groups as School Choice Wisconsin, as most have received substantial political contributions from this and similar special interests. The links below document how in the case of Senate Bill 461, financial ties to these special interest groups were enough to trump the concerns of Wisconsinites these elected officials are supposed to represent.

Click here to view campaign contributions to elected officials from school choice organizations.

Click here to view emails uncovered by the open records request.

In addition to broken promises and providing preference to special interest groups, Governor Walker, Sen. Olsen, and Rep. Kestell continued with their pattern of backroom politics by misleading the public in an attempt to cover-up their decision to reject a bipartisan effort to improve our schools.

On February 15, the Senate and Assembly Committees on Education held a joint public hearing on Senate Bill 461. Most community members that testified expressed concerns about the missing provisions suggested by the School Accountability Task Force and wanted to know why these bipartisan measures were not included in Senate Bill 461. After repeatedly shutting down such lines of questioning, Rep. Kestell finally addressed the excluded accountability provision saying they were not ready and still needed to be drafted. When an attendee presented Rep. Kestell with the draft he said did not exist and reminded him that the draft was based on the recommendations made unanimously by the School Accountability Task Force, Rep. Kestell refused to discuss the issue further. It is sadly ironic that the process used to bring about greater accountability and transparency in publicly funded schools has become such a controversial topic. It is a story of deceit, broken promises, and special interest influence.

Unfortunately for Wisconsinites, this is not the first time that School Choice Wisconsin and other special interests have had their agenda chosen over the well-being of the people of Wisconsin. Republicans inserted a provision into the budget that established four criteria for a school district that, if met, would allow private and religious schools to take up to $6,500 in tax dollars per student away from our public schools. Republican legislators indicated that their intention with this budget provision was to simply expand the voucher program to Racine alone, but created an unintended consequence with this measure.

In August, Senator Mike Ellis and Representative Robin Vos introduced Senate Bill 174 to amend the state budget and close the loophole by saying that only school districts that have already qualified as an eligible school district may qualify as an eligible school district once Senate Bill 174 is in effect. This bipartisan bill has since passed unanimously in the Senate and has simply been waiting for several months to be scheduled for a vote in the Assembly before it can be signed into law.

Click here to view a copy of a letter that was submitted urging the passage of Senate Bill 174.

Children, parents, and taxpayers deserve to have the necessary accountability measures in place on all schools receiving public funds. It is time that Governor Walker and Republican legislators uphold the promises they made to the people of Wisconsin and place all of us above the interests of a few lobbying groups.
=====================

Senator Chris Larson 2011 - 2012 Committee Assignments
Senate Standing Committees:
-- Committee on Education
-- Committee on Insurance and Housing
-- Committee on Natural Resources and Environment

Joint Committees:
-- Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology
-- Special Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibilities

Monday, February 27, 2012

According to County Supervisor Michael Mayo - ADDRESS IGNORES MILWAUKEE COUNTY’S POLICYMAKING PROCESS


Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr., 7th District
1st Vice-Chair, County Board

For Immediate Release February 27, 2012
Contact: Harold Mester, Public Information Manager
414/278-4051 or harold.mester@milwcnty.com

ADDRESS IGNORES MILWAUKEE COUNTY’S POLICYMAKING PROCESS

Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr., released the following statement in response to County Executive Chris Abele’s State of the County address:

“Although the County Executive laid out some of his ideas for the future of Milwaukee County, he did not express any desire to work with the County Board to achieve his goals. We are here to set policy and help do what’s right for the residents and taxpayers. This is not a weak Board, but we like to work together. I hope the County Executive understands that he needs to work with us to get things done.

“I read the transcript of the County Executive’s speech to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Although he did mention that he will work with the City of Milwaukee, the State of Wisconsin, UWM, the Milwaukee 7, and MMAC, not once did he say that he will partner with the County Board, which is the legislative branch of County government. My colleagues and I set policy for Milwaukee County, and many of us are happy to sit down with the County Executive and work together. But, it sounds as though this County Executive is ready to work with everyone but the County Board.”

“As for his comments on economic development, it’s amazing that the County Executive would give the entire kitchen sink to Kohl’s. Make no mistake; we are looking to bring jobs to the Park East, but how can you give away something that we don’t really have to give? Giving Kohl’s $5 million of infrastructure improvements at no charge would exceed our bonding cap and add to Milwaukee County’s debt load. We have a struggling transit system, but the County Executive wanted to give away free bus passes to Kohl’s employees. I invite the County Executive to work more closely with the Board on economic development so we can develop creative ideas together.

“Let’s be good stewards with our money. We want to bring economic development to Milwaukee County, but we can’t give away the whole store while ignoring our structural problems. The County Board has been working with the County Executive to solve these ongoing challenges. Let’s be a team to move Milwaukee County forward. When we work together, we can accomplish a lot.”

###
=================
Supervisor Michael Mayo Name correction in title: February 28, 2012

MARY GLASS Call for Investigation - U. S. Attorney General



A Homeland Security level for the sustainability of the city of Milwaukee

Monday, February 27, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WI - Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, Milwaukee Professionals Association, is seeking the Investigation of the United States Office of Justice. The request/ask was sent to U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., the 82nd Attorney General of the United States.

According to Glass, "The level of arbitrary and capricious lawlessness has reached a Homeland Security level for the city of Milwaukee, figurative and substantive - lack of due process of the People (especially African American, other People of Color and the Work Challenge*) continue to increase "by-design" with little to NO concern for rights and privileges afforded through our U.S. Constitution, local-state-federal statutes, Oath of office, job responsibility and increasing Enduring Concentrated Poverty."

"The 'by-design' decades of racial disparities are disregarded and often used to victimize the People "trapped" by the system. It is also used to get MORE AND MORE federal funding to be distributed in a "miscellaneous and self-serving" fashion; not as intended - no enforcement."

"The visual discriminatory documentations are over decades of disparities - Kerner Commission (1964), 2008 Federal Reserve and Brookings Institution case study naming Milwaukee as one of 16 Enduring Concentrated Poverty in America, Marc Levine, University of Wisconsin, recent 2010 African American male labor market meltdown, countless reports annually of racial disparity from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to Bloomberg and other journalists of the deplorable and out-of-control racial disparities in the city of Milwaukee."

"The Code of Conduct of elected/appointed/hired/volunteered/donor for hire leaders and/or representatives that request, receive and spend federal funding which is to support/reform/change and administration of the People's business include:

-- appearance of conflict of interest, QUID PRO QUO and conflict of interest
-- arrogance and disregard of reference of breaking the law and/or violation through DISCRIMINATION
-- bait-n-switch mitigations
-- breach of trust
-- cronyism
-- distortions, misrepresentation and cover-ups of the truth
-- exploitation
-- greed and predatory behavior
-- misuse of power
-- refusal to provide public information
-- removal/stealing of research information, Mary Glass
-- wrongful arrest, Mary Glass
-- on and on."

The wrongful acts are across lines, quality-of-life, economic development, law enforcement, education and technology attainment, water related, racial-gender-class and controlled by elected/appointed/hired/volunteer and donor for hire** offices and board rooms. It is public-private-non-government-non-profit.

On March 26, 2011, Mary Glass delivered to Wisconsin State Attorney General JB Van Hollen some findings/research related to wrongdoings and multiple ties of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee staff and culture. She asked his office to "investigate" and provide due process. His office response basically said their hands were tied - they represented those my office had a complaint about.

Before and since then, I have repeatedly contacted Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Government of Accountability Board, Wisconsin SENATE and ASSEMBLY Leaders Michael Ellis(R) - President, Joe Leibham(R) - President Pro Tempore, Scott Fitzgerald(R) - Leader, Glenn Grothman(R) - Assistant Leader, Mark Miller(D) - Leader, David Hansen(D) - Assistant Leader, ASSEMBLY Jeff Fitzgerald(R) - Speaker, Bill Kramer(R) - Speaker Pro Tempore, Scott Suder(R) - Leader, Peter Barca(D) - Leader, Dan Knodl(R) - Assistant Leader, Donna Seidel(D) - Assistant Leader, Milwaukee State Delegation, other state and local legislators, Mayor Tom Barrett, and others in a leadership position; they have failed to respond and in fact, have not return even a "civility response".

This includes the recent Request by Glass to Governor Scott Walker, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and University of Wisconsin Board of Regents for return of removed/stolen property of Mary Glass during a suspicious Arrest Warrant by UW-Milwaukee Campus Police, Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee County Sheriff Department on February 15-16, 2012.. NO RESPONSE.
=================

Homeland Security in Milwaukee level
The widespread disrespect and failure to provide due process requires a serious and honest federal investigation to STOP the hog-wild activity that has reached homeland security in Milwaukee levels.

It is to re-define, re-brand and un-trap Milwaukeeans. It is to allow the pursuit of happiness, opportunities to be self-sustaining and to create a more perfect union.
===========================

* Work-Challenged is defined as: un-, under-employed; un-, under-degreed and certificated; un-, under-financed neighborhood-level business; disabled; and re-entry - especially those returning from WAR, INCARCERATION, BOOMERANG EMPLOYMENT, BOOMERANG RETIREMENT and DEGREED students without employment.

** Donor for hire is the name given to those wealthy and powerful philanthropic leaders and organizations that are involved at some level with elected/appointed and private real estate barons, University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Milwaukee 7, Greater Milwaukee Committee, Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation, Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Area Technical College and other individuals in a business for profit mode - the appearance of receiving without the authorization of the people and often making decisions on behalf of the people; i.e., federal U. S. Department of Labor WIRED funding decisions and distribution, brownfield projects, tax credits, workforce development, UW-Milwaukee schools of Freshwater Sciences, Neeskay project, Kenwood project, school of nursing, school of public health, school of social welfare, school of business, Innovation Park project, Master Plan, Student Union Generation Project, Energy Project and on and on.

Friday, February 24, 2012

CONGRESS.org - FEMA Preparedness

February 24, 2012

CONGRESS.ORG - Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, Milwaukee Professionals Association, is one of the contributors on Congress.org. It allows postings to the legislators in Washington - A window for communication.

About Congress.org
Congress.org is a nonpartisan news and information Web site devoted to encouraging civic participation. Our mission is to provide information about public policy issues of the day and tips on effective advocacy so that citizens can make their voices heard. The heart of Congress.org is an award-winning software program that makes it easy for citizens to write their elected officials. Our software assures that your letter will be delivered directly to the decision-makers whose opinions you hope to influence.
======================

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The three (3) U. S. representatives are:

** U. S. Senator Herb Kohl - Democrat
** U. S. Ron Johnson - Republican
** U. S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore - Democrat
===========================

Today's shout-out posting to the U.S. Delegation is:
Neighborhood-level engagement is a "pre-ongoing-post" engagement.
Failure to do this EQUALS Katrina

CLICK Full posting

National Kidney Foundation - Making a Difference


Dan Gasby and B Smith - National Spokespersons
==============================================

NKF - NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION
March is Kidney Month

Our Vision:
To enhance the lives of everyone with, at risk of or affected by kidney disease.

Our Mission:
The National Kidney Foundation, a major voluntary nonprofit health organization, is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by kidney disease and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.

Take a listen.
===============

Milwaukee Professionals Association supports the NKF and its efforts of awareness to the People.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

GLASS puts Neighborhood-level Citizenry on the table @ FEMA Stakeholder Engagement Workshop


MILWAUKEE - Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin, 8:00am -4:30pm, was the site for he National Disaster Recovery Framework Stakeholder Engagement Workshop.

Takeaways
The information discussed in the breakouts was very informative.
Key decision makers from FEMA Region V were present and accessible.
Some needed points for the neighborhood-level stakeholders are:

** Business assistance after disasters.
** Chamber of Commerce organization do not speak for racial and cultural-sensitive groups.
** Clarity needed for key words like, "stakeholder", "inclusion", "community", "business community", first-responders.
** FEMA's role and responsibilities known by the citizenry (what to expect? Timeline.)
** Honest discussions of "mitigation".
** Initial and Ongoing updating/communicating of the National Disaster Recovery Framework
** Leadership of expectations with enforcement by the Federal offices – FEMA, HUD, Small Business Association, etc.
** Neighborhood-level proprietorship
** Pre-Post Planning of a disaster.
** Priorities of steps for Recovery.
** Rollout Technology
** Seminars at the neighborhood-level with same type Washington, DC, Regional and State "technical" roll-out.
** Sensitivity Training given to all that includes basics to thorough.
** Stop pretending, saying that areas are great when they have not done the basics – as in the case of Milwaukee, Mayor Tom Barrett, County Executive Chris Abele and Sheriff David Clarke
** Survival "tool-kit" and "How to" if there is an emergency.
=================
Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, Milwaukee Professionals Association, was a member of the Economic Break-out group and shared the dilemma of stakeholders in Milwaukee at the neighborhood level. They have not been brought to the table; and, if there was an emergency at the time of the seminar, Milwaukee would be no more DISASTER PREPARED than they were in 2010 during the floods.

At the end of the seminar, Glass spoke with Paul Ricciuti, Recovery Division Director, FEMA Region V, he assured her that he would work to ensure that the People were informed and that mitigation was a key part.

CLICK for FEMA Stakeholder Framework info

Right Church, Wrong Pew - UW-Milwaukee and Helen Bader College of Social Welfare

Sgt. Delmar Williams with youth.
L-R: dean Stan Stojkovic, Associate Professor Kimberly Hassell and Assistant Professor Tina Freiburger

“Relationships between police and inner-city juveniles are in a state of national crisis. Many police officers do not understand juveniles’ perspectives and most juveniles do not understand why the police do the things that they do,” Professor Kimberly Hassell, UW-Milwaukee says.

MILWAUKEE - The right church but wrong pew is a metaphor that is applied to today's focus on the recent Impact article of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.

Milwaukee Professionals Association through the office of Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, is monitoring the Helen Bader School of Social Work for Inclusion of Milwaukeeans, especially African American, other People of Color and the Work-Challenged.
===========================

Today's University Communications and Media Relations article is:
Shifting inner-city juveniles’ perceptions of the police
By Carolyn Bucior on February 21, 2012

It is a a spotlight and explanation of a collaborative pilot project between Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, Milwaukee Police Department and the Boys and Girls Club.

Where are the parents?

It is the right idea to explore, talk out and mitigate this negative NORM in the African American, other People of Color and Work Challenged neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

It is the right idea to shine a bright light on the issues and tell-the-truth.
It is OK to document, however, the problem is "who is conducting the study/analysis/replication" have the same problem as the police - lack of understanding - lack of connectivity in the neighborhood. Lack of indepth knowledge and sensitivity.

Plus, the UW-Milwaukee participants, Associate Professor Kimberly Hassell and Assistant Professor Tina Freiburger, both in the Criminal Justice Department at UWM’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare (HBSSW) do not create a back-to-neighborhood "pipeline" of participants that is necessary for any discipline/school/college at the public university of UW-Milwaukee - our Urban university.

They do not look like the youth from the neighborhood.
Where are the African American professors, assistants, students in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare? Where are the medically trained for trauma? Long-term trauma?

Have this type of address, Caucasian only - Caucasian leaders, is the proverbial and subliminal thought, "Caucasians are the one's to address this issue in a research-problem solving" mode. Caucasians are the only one to provide the leadership and 'proof' of issue. NOT.

This reoccurring Caucasian-only theme at the Helen Bader School of Welfare is insulting AND puzzling since the Helen Bader background includes the Jewish people.

The University Communications and Media Relations of UW-Milwaukee was cited last month by our organization in a February article for this type of Caucasian-only and "privilege" focus.

It was the depiction of the Helen Bader School of Welfare with the kick-off of FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency) CLICK.

There were NO involvement of African American students, staff or Milwaukee neighborhoods shown in the FEMA privileged project and event.

Since they were working with this pilot project, why weren't the teens, young adults and parents of this project involved in the FEMA project?

Tell me. How far would two African Americans get in acquiring 600 Boys and Girls participants that are Caucasian?

What's the deal with the Boys and Girls club exclusivity?
The Boys and Girls club with all due respect, like many Caucasian ran organizations in the African American neighborhoods in the Milwaukee area, have been financially empowered by mega funding and authority on the backs of African American and other People of Color children/families.

This is not to say that there aren't worthy endeavors contributed, but so would any other exclusivity organization being continuously empowered with resources at the level of resources and connectivity as the Boys and Girls club have.

Where are the African American organizations in this case?
Why aren't they in "collaboration" with Helen Bader School of Social Welfare?

This is crucial.
Not only must the youth in the 5th District and the 600 participants see leadership from African American (in the family, school, neighborhood and Helen Bader School), they need to see their parents at the table from Day 1.

In fact, if their parents have not been polled, introduced to the idea of interest pre-beginning with their child, and helped to develop the "replication", the pilot is out-of-order and bogus. It is looked upon as "exploitation".

Helen Bader School of Social Welfare says that its Mission is:

** Improving lives and strengthening communities through research, education and community partnerships.

These are young people from African American families and primarily African American neighborhoods, they are under guardianship by law. It is injurious for the youth to be subjected to explorations that failed to take into consideration why they say:

** Police harass us.
** They stop us for no reason.

As well as, they also share other discriminatory points that did not make the cut of this article. But, if it is to provide healing, and not just another "notch in the belt of a degree and/or a published writing" for Professor Kimberly Hassell and Assistant Professor Tina Freiburger, or the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare; it must take into consideration the daily trends of encounters that bring their parents, guardians and/or care-givers forth.

Soda and candy
In the photo are sodas and candy. Is this what was given to the youth and/or teens?
What signal does this send?

In the photos, there were male officers, were there female officers involved?
Where's the video? So, we can get a better appreciation of their pain - and, their solutions.

Yes. The right church (City of Milwaukee neighborhood) but wrong pew. The absence of leadership and engagement from the core constituents.

CLICK for article.

LARSON Weekly Report - February 17, 2012 (Continued . . .)

State Senator Chris Larson - 7th District

Today is Thursday, February 23, 2012

On a party-line vote, the Senate passed Senate Bill 368 this past Tuesday. This legislation significantly diminishes environmental protections that keeps our water safe for drinking and recreation, protects our valuable wetland resources, and reduces flooding.


Wetlands are critical in protecting the health of our community. They purify runoff from cities, farms, and construction sites, reducing our water treatment costs and ensuring we have cleaner water for drinking and recreation. Furthermore, wetlands are able to store large quantities of water to help prevent devastating shore erosion and flooding in our neighborhoods. The protection provided by wetlands is crucial in the Milwaukee area, which was devastated by flooding in June 2008 and 2009, and July 2010.

Wetlands also play a prominent role in Wisconsin's environment and tourism industry. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, nearly 40% of Wisconsin's 370 species of birds live in or use our wetlands as well as many mammals, fish, amphibians, and reptiles, such as white-tailed deer, waterfowl, and walleye. Additionally, Wisconsin's wetlands are home to one-third of the plants and animals on our state's endangered and threatened species list. The nature and wildlife featured in Wisconsin's wetlands provides the perfect setting for recreational wildlife watchers, anglers, hunters and boaters.

Senate Bill 368 became a clear choice of priorities with legislators opting to stand with hunting and fishing groups along with environmental scientists or aligning themselves with special interests seeking easier profits. I attempted to improve the bill by introducing two amendments.

My first amendment, the Sportsman's Amendment, offered a constructive and reasonable alternative to support economic development and ensure our wetlands remain available to Wisconsin's hunters, bird watchers, and anglers by:

** Clarifying and streamlining the permit application process without gutting our commitment of first protecting our wetlands

** Making our laws more consistent with federal law and bringing stability for business by saving costs, reducing confusion, and streamlining paperwork through one joint application process

** Establishing a common sense approach to the review of alternatives without throwing out the requirement to try to avoid wetland destruction

** Making sure mitigation benefits are only considered when the restoration occurs in the same watershed as the wetlands destruction, as this is especially important to flood control

** Rewarding businesses that commit to restoring wetlands within the same watershed as their development project

** Requiring the Department of Natural Resources to report the facts about the process of our wetland and habitat loss under this new law and the success of mitigation to the Legislature

My second amendment, the Flooding Prevention Amendment, would have ensured that the profits of special interests would not be placed above the needs of our homeowners, renters, and landowners. This amendment required the DNR to make sure that filling in a wetland would have minimal impact on flood prevention and habitat loss within the watershed that a project is planned.

Tragically, both of these common sense improvements were rejected in a cynically partisan effort to rush through legislation before the current legislative session ends next month.

Click here to view a copy of the amendments I authored or Senate Bill 368.
==============================

Mining Bill Introduced
This past Wednesday, Senate Republicans decided to eliminate the Senate Select Committee on Mining created to serve as an open forum to debate legislation related to allowing additional mining in Wisconsin. Almost simultaneously Senator Galloway introduced a Senate bill identical to Assembly Bill 426, which was immediately forwarded to the Joint Committee on Finance.

The decision to abruptly disband this committee, aimed at ensuring a transparent process, signals that some Senate Republicans may not be open to changing the existing bill. It is my hope that we can craft a bill that strikes a balance between job creation and environmental protections by establishing a mining regulatory process that is fair, flexible, and streamlines the bureaucratic process, while avoiding the weakening of environmental standards.

Another unfortunate side-effect of dissolving this committee, is that it will disenfranchise hundreds of citizens living in the affected area. Many of these Wisconsinites are eager to have a say in what happens in their community and had intended on testifying at hearings scheduled to take place in Platteville and Ashland. The Joint Committee on Finance will now be taking over all public hearings on the bill and have cancelled the Platteville and Ashland hearings to instead hold a hearing for Friday, February 17 at 10 a.m. As a result, most of the individuals living near the proposed mining locations will be unable to attend the public hearing as they received only 36-hours notice and reside approximately seven hours away from the hearing location.

Despite these recent changes, I remain hopeful that we can reach a bipartisan compromise that can secure economic opportunity while safeguarding environmental quality.

Click here to view a copy of this legislation.
==================================



Lead Acid Battery Bill Receives Public Hearing
This past week, Representative Mark Honadel and I had the opportunity to testify on Assembly Bill 266, bipartisan legislation we authored that updates Wisconsin law regarding battery deposits.

Current law requires anyone selling a lead acid battery to a consumer to accept the consumer’s used battery and cannot charge the consumer a deposit that is more than $5. However, the mandated cap no longer reflects the prevailing market value of used lead acid batteries. For this reason, large corporations have been ignoring the $5 limit for years opting to instead follow the market rate. In addition to losing out compared to bigger businesses, our small businesses have also been losing money when depositing old lead acid batteries to the nearby recycling center as most of these facilities charge the market rate, which is usually greater than $5.

Assembly Bill 266 will update this outdated law by requiring a deposit no less than $5 for all businesses, allowing the market to set the core charge amount. This legislative change will help to ensure that our small businesses are no longer at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to the cost of recycling lead-acid based batteries.

This legislative idea was brought to my attention by a small business owner in Oak Creek at my very first "Coffee with Chris." Since that time, I have received support from other local businesses in our community. Rep. Honadel and I jumped at the opportunity to work with our local companies to draft a bill that would solve a problem plaguing our small, neighborhood businesses.

Click here to view my testimony from this public hearing.

Click here to view a copy of this legislation.
==============================

Assembly Still Refuses to Keep Voucher Loophole Promise
This past Monday, a bipartisan letter that I authored and 25 other senators and representatives signed on in support of was submitted to Republican leaders encouraging them to uphold their promise to close the voucher loophole. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Assembly met this week for session, they have yet to take up this corrective legislation.

The voucher loophole was created when Republicans inserted a provision into the budget that establishes four criteria for a school district that, if met, would allow private and religious schools to take up to $6,500 in tax dollars per student away from our public schools. Republican legislators indicated that their intention with this budget provision was to simply expand the voucher program to Racine alone. However, hasty action on the budget and failure to acknowledge concerns addressing this potential issue led to unintended consequences, such as creating a voucher loophole.

At the time the budget was passed only Racine met the aforementioned criteria and qualified for expansion of the voucher program, but other communities could also qualify in future years if the law stays as it is in the current budget, forcing other cities to implement their own voucher program. There are currently two districts that are on the verge of becoming “choice eligible”--Green Bay and Menasha--both of whom meet three of four criteria.

During and after the budget debate, Senate and Assembly Republican leaders promised to pass additional legislation to close the voucher loophole created by the budget. In August, Senator Mike Ellis and Representative Robin Vos introduced Senate Bill 174. This bill closes the voucher loophole by amending the state budget to say that only school districts that have already qualified as an eligible school district may qualify as an eligible school district once Senate Bill 174 is in effect. Senate Bill 174 received a public hearing in the Senate and Assembly Education Committees this past October. This bipartisan bill has since passed unanimously in the Senate and has simply been waiting for several months to be scheduled for a vote in the Assembly before it can be signed into law.

We are fast approaching the end of the current legislative session and are quickly running out of time to pass Senate Bill 174. If Republicans are unwilling to honor their commitments and Senate Bill 174 is not voted on before the end of session, it will have to be reintroduced when the next legislative session begins in January 2013. Also, if this legislation fails to pass before the end of session it may be too late for our northern neighbors in Green Bay.

Click here to view a copy of the bipartisan letter that was submitted.

Click here to view a copy of Senate Bill 174.
===============================


Health Literacy Act Introduced
This past Monday, Representative Sandy Pasch and I introduced the Health Literacy Act, legislation that will help our neighbors fully understand their health care policies by making the language more readable. If passed, this legislation will also help our neighbors protect themselves against unnecessary health care costs.

Currently in Wisconsin, a significant amount of health consumers struggle to understand and actively use information they need to make important health care decisions. This is often due to the fact that language used in health insurance policies is frequently unclear and overly complex. According to the Institute of Medicine, nearly 90 million Americans, or almost half of the population of the United States, have difficulty understanding and properly utilizing health information. This statistic is especially concerning given that numerous studies have shown that individuals with low health literacy rates are subject to higher rates of illness and mortality.

Health literacy – known as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic information and services needed to make appropriate decisions regarding their health – plays an extremely important role in empowering health consumers, improving quality of health care, and reducing costs associated with unnecessary or untreated care.

In order for our family, friends, and neighbors to make the best possible health care choices, it is necessary for existing insurance policy language to be simplified so they are easy to read and understand. This legislation takes a positive step forward by helping Wisconsinites to become more proactive regarding their health care decisions.

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance was on the path to facilitating the creation of easy-to-read insurance policies in late 2010, when they promulgated a rule that stemmed from well-thought recommendations of their nonpartisan advisory council charged with developing standards for readability of consumer insurance policies. Generally speaking, the rule would ensure that most insurance policies would be understood by someone with only some high school education. The rule was created by a wide variety of stakeholders across the state, including: consumers, advocates, business leaders, and insurance industry stakeholders.

Unfortunately, under new leadership in February 2011, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance repealed this important rule, which is why we have introduced Senate Bill 469. We are hoping that this legislation will once again receive endorsement on a bipartisan level, and look forward to our family, friends, and neighbors having the opportunity to become more proactive with their health.

Click here to read a copy of Senate Bill 469.
===============================


Update on Airport Fuel Spill
Late last month, there was a jet fuel leak at Mitchell International Airport, which has been an issue of concern for area residents. The spill, estimated to have begun on January 25, was first detected on January 30. Shell Oil, the owner of the damaged pipe, shut off the flow of fuel to the leaking pipeline on January 31 and began excavation procedures to remove 300 feet of pipe from under the airport last week.

Before it was shut down, the pipeline was estimated to have leaked 9,000 gallons of jet fuel that flowed down the storm sewer at the airport and into Wilson Creek and the Kinnickinnic River. Shell clean-up crews placed floating booms on the waterways to contain the fuel spread and used vacuum trucks to skim the water’s surface. According to a Shell representative, the booms stopped the fuel from reaching Lake Michigan. As of last week, Shell has recovered around two-thirds of the leaked jet fuel.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are continuing to monitor the cleanup process.
=================================
=================================

2012 Award
State Senator Chris Larson was one of Milwaukee Professionals Association selection for the 2012 "Drum Major for Justice" Award.

He was selected for his "hit-the-floor-running" and "hands-on" attention to the People's business.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Affirmative Action Case



By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: February 21, 2012
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a major case on affirmative action in higher education, adding another potential blockbuster to a docket already studded with them.

The court’s decision in the new case holds the potential to undo an accommodation reached in the Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 decision in 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger: that public colleges and universities could not use a point system to boost minority enrollment but could take race into account in vaguer way to ensure academic diversity.

FULL STORY

GLASS sends Notice of Removal/Stolen Property to Walker, Abele, Barrett, Clarke and University of WI Board of Regents


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MILWAUKEE - On Monday, February 20, 2012, Governor Scott Walker, County Executive Chris Abele, Mayor Tom Barrett, Sheriff David Clarke and University of Wisconsin Board of Regents (18 members) were sent a Notice of Theft/Request for removal/stolen Research Box[“research supply box” containing a sensitive 4 GB (gigabytes) of random access memory USB Drive, over 50 contact cards, print card, and power point writers].

Glass noted sensitivity of the stolen flash drive to include:
• UW-Milwaukee election of Chancellor Michael Lovell
• UW-Regent Board
• Board of Regents selection process
• August 26, 2011 - Formal discrimination complaint to Attorney General JB Van Hollen
• Staff of UW-Milwaukee
• Wrongful arrest 2 years ago by Officer K. Buzak (one of the two UW-Milwaukee arresting officers on February 15, 2012)
• Governor Scott Walker and staff members
• Mayor Tom Barrett
• County Executive Chris Abele
• City, county state elected/appointed/hired/volunteered/donor for hire officials.
• Multiple photos
• Scanned documents
• Jpeg library

Governor Walker, County Executive Abele, Mayor Tom Barrett, Sheriff David Clark and University of Wisconsin Board of Regents were personally notified of my huge lost through removal/theft of public servants under their command," said Glass. "Also, because I need my research information. "This is not the first suspicious taking/stealing of my bag." "About a year or so ago, my bag were stolen out of the UW-Milwaukee Union with 3-4 flash drives and research print information." "I have asked that they respond post haste."

Due to the suspicious nature of this ordeal dealing with three local enforcement divisions - University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Police, Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee County Sheriff Department, a computer copy is shared with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

Elected/Appointed/Hired/Volunteered/Donor for Hire MUST share a Vision of INCLUSION, NOT Exclusion



Listen to Daniel Dae Kim, Actor, "Lost", and how comments of racism and uninclusion sparked the election of Jim Webb, Senator of Virginia.

The movement of Coffee Party USA helped to energize the campaign.
===========================

Milwaukee Professionals Association supports Coffee Party USA and is a Member.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

MILWAUKEE PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION Safety Matters Initiative calls for SAFEGUARDS for Infrastructural Fragility

Sunday, February 19, 2012

MILWAUKEE - For sometime now my office has repeatedly uncovered amazing contradictions of what is said versus what is actually done in the public square, in our government.

As a matter of fact, the contradictions, half-truths, bait-and-switch experiences and outright misrepresentations have now reached high levels of RISKS. One of the most dangerous points is the LACK of TRUST the People have in our leadership as a whole. Sure. There are those who hit-the-floor everyday trying to make the rough way smooth for the People, however, the road is fraught with wrongdoing, influence peddling, slippery slopes, favors, conflict of interest, discrimination and the powerful greedy.

It is dangerously flawed. It requires, We, the People, in a hands-on systematic and infrastructural influence to change what has become the norm. It is called: survival and democracy for ALL.

Safeguards
At a time, when we should be creating SAFEGUARDS that are transparent, customer-friendly, collaborative, interactive, competitive, principle-centered, accountable and global; those we have/are electing are menacing.

Milwaukee Professionals Association is about building "network-architecture" for PREPAREDNESS that will help the 190 neighborhoods in Milwaukee address contengencies (DISASTERS - floods, oil spills, tornadoes, power outages, nuclear attacks, enduring concentrated poverty - income disparity, water and food crisis, raw materials, infrastructure fragility, etc.).

Take a look below.
==================================


Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) --The World Economic Forum recently issued a report that says greater income disparity and fiscal imbalances are the most likely threats to global prosperity in the next decade. Eric Schatzker reports on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." (Source: Bloomberg)

Friday, February 17, 2012

DEVELOPING STORY - Things are NOT always what they seem; MARY Glass says she will check and verify

State of Wisconsin vs. Mary Bonnie Glass
Milwaukee County Case Number 2012CM000216

This case has not been concluded. Unless a judgment of conviction is entered, the defendant is presumed innocent of all charges.

Notice to employers: It may be a violation of state law to discriminate against a job applicant because of an arrest or conviction record. Generally speaking, an employer may refuse to hire an applicant on the basis of a conviction only if the circumstances of the conviction substantially relate to the particular job. For more information, see Wisconsin Statute 111.335 and the Department of Workforce Development's Arrest and Conviction Records under the Law publication


Taken from Wisconsin Circuit Court
Circuit Court Access
==============================================


MILWAUKEE – A persistent drumroll of discoveries through research the last six (6) years regarding the decades of Enduring Concentrated Poverty in the iconic city of Milwaukee; and, the Code of Conduct and Discrimination that perpetuates it has been the course of action for Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, Milwaukee Professionals Association. Her laser focus has been viewing best practices of elected/appointed/hired/volunteer/donor-for-hire representatives that ask for, receive and spend funds on behalf of Milwaukeeans, especially African American, other People of Color and the Work-Challenged (un-, under-employed; un-, under-degreed and certificated; un-, under-financed neighborhood-level business; disabled; and re-entry - especially those returning from WAR, INCARCERATION, BOOMERANG EMPLOYMENT, BOOMERANG RETIREMENT and DEGREED students without employment).

So, when she found herself, being confronted by Officers J. Buzick and D. Brown, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee officers for a “warrant ARREST” for Milwaukee Police Department, she was perplexed and started to ask questions. To which the officers, Buzick (female) and Brown (male) said they had NO answers.
==========================

This is MPA blog notice of this incident at this time, and it is to notify the public square that periodic posts will be made to keep the public square informed from “my standpoint” regarding the 6 counts of Misdemeanor Fraud/Innkeeper-Intent/Defraud /Issue of Worthless Checks.

Good News
Glass said, “I was released on a PR/personal recognizance bond.”

“The 30-hour incarceration ordeal was truly an eye-opener of how our legal process, procedures and people can cause things to “seem one way” when it is another OR even another with the givens.” “This was a revealing ordeal that happened to me but is about so many others.”

"I have had no “Certified Notice” that I should appear in court for a debt - no email, U.S. Postal Box address contact, or telephone call; I had questions and look forward to facing my accusers regarding the alleged 6 counts of alleged Fraud/Defraud/Worthless Checks that were of Misdemeanor status for our state of Wisconsin."

"It is my intent to correct any alleged complaint against me; as well as, share my experience for others to benefit."

“I look forward to addressing this with a legal defense appropriate for such a case.”

Special Note
The formation of this case is suspect, especially with the 3-division of police involvement and the course of events during the 30-hour incarceration of Glass. The 3 law enforcement departments are:
• University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
• Milwaukee Police Department
• Milwaukee County Sheriff Department


Property Sensitive data missing
Glass discovered after pick-up of “property” from Milwaukee County Jail Facility, 949 N. 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233, on Thursday evening, February 16, 2012, around 7p.m., when she was released, that she did not have all of her property.

The property missing was her “research supply box” containing a sensitive 4 GB (gigabytes) of random access memory USB Drive, over 50 contact cards, print card, and power point writers. It was part of the property germaine to research that related to UW-Milwaukee and for sure colleagues around and for the Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee County Sheriff Department.

Glass's property was initially submitted to the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee police officers D. Brown and J Buszik, then given to an Officer Murphy, Milwaukee Police Department and finally intake of Milwaukee County Sheriff Department. Somewhere between the three departments, UW-Milwaukee Police, Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee County Sheriff Department the items went missing – removed/stolen.

Glass had NO contact with the bag once submitted to UW-Milwaukee police officers.

Stay tuned.
============================

CLICK - Case.

CLICK - Case details.

CLICK - charge detail

LARSON Weekly Report - February 17, 2012

WI Senator Chris Larson, 7th District
BACKSTORY - February 16, 2012 - Weekly Report

Dear Friend,

This week you will find information on recent developments related to rehabilitating our communities and assisting victims of foreclosure. An update on important legislation from this week is also provided.

As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or opinions you may have about our community or our state.

Sincerely,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7

==============================

Foreclosure Funds Raided, Victims Overlooked
Last week, we examined the positive affects that funds from the National Mortgage Settlement could have on Milwaukee’s housing market and those that fell victim to foreclosure as a result of fraudulent business practices. However, in a decision announced last Thursday, Governor Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen once again continued the shocking trend of mismanaging federal money. Instead of distributing the foreclosure funds, they raided most of the $31.6 million in discretionary funds allocated by the federal government to help the victims of unfair mortgage practices.

The National Mortgage Settlement is a historic $25 billion, joint federal-state agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage lenders aimed at bringing relief to borrowers harmed by dishonest mortgage practices. $140 million was allocated to Wisconsin, of which $31.6 million is discretionary. This money was intended to help fund consumer protection and state foreclosure protection efforts, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

However, rather than assist the victims of foreclosure, Governor Walker is choosing to keep $25.6 million of the state’s allocated discretionary funds to fill the budget whole he created by providing tax breaks to big corporations. Homeowners and those who lost their houses in the most recent financial crisis are still in distress and are desperate for help. This money should be directed to programs that concretely and immediately provide help for those that were preyed upon by our country's largest mortgage providers.

This issue is of the utmost importance in our community as Milwaukee and its residents have been disproportionately harmed by the crisis as six of the hardest-hit zip codes are in Milwaukee. Additionally, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Milwaukee is home to over 4,800 abandoned properties. These discretionary funds could have been put to good use rehabilitating or demolishing foreclosed homes, as well as increasing programs to help individuals avoid future foreclosure.

It is disappointing that Governor Walker continues to turn a blind eye to the needs of those in Wisconsin. The National Mortgage Settlement was a positive step forward in helping the housing market recover. Unfortunately, Milwaukee residents will not see the full benefits of its effect.

Rebuilding Our Housing Markets
The American dream of homeownership has been prevalent in our society since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620. We share a belief that everybody should be able to own a little piece of America and have a place to call home. The prospect of owning a home is an essential part of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Unfortunately, for many this dream has been shattered since the housing market crash that began in 2007 as a result of fraudulent lending practices. Banks encouraged lax lending standards and the liberal use of adjustable rate mortgages to put debt obligations in the hands of people unable to repay such loans. As a result, most of us have family, friends, or neighbors who were led to believe they could manage the debt and now have been left financially strapped, in a spiral of homeownership debt, or facing the loss of their home through foreclosure.

Our community has been disproportionately affected compared to the rest of Wisconsin. Since 2008, 20,000 Milwaukee residents were notified that foreclosure action had been started on their homes. As a result of these housing foreclosures, costs have been shifted to Milwaukee taxpayers. Our neighbors cannot afford to have this happen again, therefore it is crucial that we work together to prevent similar housing market crashes.

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama introduced a new proposal to get our depressed housing markets headed in the right direction and provide those that were taken advantage of by dishonest mortgage lenders with much-needed assistance. Below, we will examine the main pieces of this proposal that address: refinancing, repurposing vacant homes, rehabbing neighborhoods and reducing foreclosure, and introducing a Homeowner's Bill of Rights.

Refinancing for Responsible Borrowers
Under current law, neighbors who have a loan backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the Federal Housing Administration can refinance their mortgage. However, if the cost of the loan exceeds the value of the home, the Federal Housing Administration is unable to support such a move. This proposal aims to provide all responsible borrowers who have been current on their mortgage for the past six months the opportunity to refinance, even if they have private loans or loans that exceed the value of their single-family home. It is estimated that this provision could save the average homeowner up to $3,000 annually.

Repurposing Vacant Foreclosed Homes
Many neighborhoods have experienced increased housing vacancies, which can be a hotbed for illegal activity. Therefore, President Obama's proposal will seek to improve these neighborhoods and their local economy by allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to sell homes they own through foreclosure to investors who agree to rent them out. These lenders currently own about 200,000 homes, only half of which have been put up for sale.

Rehabbing Neighborhoods and Reducing Foreclosures
Another provision in President Obama's proposal seeks to further rehabilitate our afflicted communities and reduce the number or foreclosures. The provision seeks to do this by expanding eligibility for the Home Affordability Modification Program, which can help homeowners lower their monthly mortgage payment by up to 31%. Another positive change that would help to rehab our neighborhoods and reduce foreclosures is increasing incentives for lenders to work with borrowers to help them rebuild their equity.

Homeowners Bill of Rights
-- To prevent something similar from happening in the future, this new proposal will also establish a Homeowner's Bill of Rights. Below are some items that would be written into this Bill of Rights:

-- Provide homeowners access to a simple mortgage disclosure form, so they understand the strings attached to the loans they take out

-- Fully disclose the fees and penalties homeowners might encounter
Create guidelines to prevent conflicts of interest that end up hurting homeowners
Support keeping responsible families in their homes and out of foreclosure

-- Protect families against inappropriate foreclosure through processes, including the right of appeal

-- Passing national legislation to implement these common reforms would be a positive step forward in assisting those that were knocked down by the devastating housing market crash and will help get our local housing markets and economies moving in the right direction.

Click here for more information about this proposal.

LARSON Weekly Report - February 17, 2012

February 17, 2012

LARSON UPDATE
Coffee & Conversation Opportunity

Meet for Coffee and Conversation
I will have office hours open to the public this weekend at the Falk Park Pavilion in Oak Creek. This is your chance to talk in person about any questions, concerns or opinions you might have about our community or state. No appointment necessary. Feel free to call my office for additional information.

Sunday, February 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Falk Park Pavilion (MAP)
2013 W. Rawson Avenue
Oak Creek, WI 53154

You can also join me at the Bay View Winter Blast afterward. This community festival features musical entertainment, family activities, and community group stands. Winter Blast also hosts Bay View' s only chili cook-off between multiple neighborhood restaurants.

Click here for more information.

Sunday, February 19 from Noon to 4 p.m.
South Shore Park Pavilion (MAP)
2900 S. Shore Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53207
===================

Additional Coffees
I am hoping to schedule additional office hours next month on Saturday, March 3 and Saturday, March 24. I will keep you posted on time and location information once those have been finalized.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

McLaughlin - FIXED INCOME, Backstory, February 13, 2012

How Fixed-Income ETF Investors Can Hedge Their Bets

By: Mark McLaughlin,
Special to CNBC.com
Published: Monday, 13 Feb 2012
=====================================

The bond market has had its share of volatility in the past year, sending mixed signals to investors.

The Federal Reserve has been pulling out all the stops to keep the economy growing and avoid Japan-like deflation.

At the same time, however, signs of inflation are growing, and investors are taking on more risk for higher yields .

An allocation to bonds can provide income and stability in such an unpredictable environment.

Bears and bulls alike agree that the current sluggish U.S. growth should benefit bonds.

ETFs broadly covering investment grade, high-yield and convertible bonds are an investor’s best option to deal with uncertainty.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Did you Get and/or Give a Valentine?

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Helen Bader Foundation and FEMA come under fire



MILWAUKEE, WI - On January 26, 2012, the kick-off of the online FEMA THINK TANK was held at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 2200 E. Kenwood, Fireside Lounge. It was hosted and coordinated by dean Stan Stojkovic of the Helen Bader School of Welfare and UWM alumnae Desiree Matel-Anderson, a project manager/fiscal and compliance monitor at the Milwaukee of Homeland Security and two Criminal Justice students. The planning was over a four (4) month timeframe.

Milwaukeeans and neighbors northeast in Shorewood, Glendale and Whitefish Bay were not present. Why?

2010 Flood Disasters
Milwaukee and the neighbors to the north east have had two major flood disasters in 2010, where the People lost homes, basement areas flooded more than once, basements caved in, Nicolet High School and homes in Glendale, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay were also hard-hit.

We lost UW-Milwaukee student, Kyle Prelesnik, a 19 year old that drowned in the swollen Lincoln Creek flood.

For video of Kyle and Lincoln Creek CLICK
Damages were over $28.5 million dollars, according to Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke's report.

Missed Opportunity
So, how did we have this needed strategic planning with the Deputy Administrator of FEMA and only two students are present and they are two interns from Helen Bader School of Welfare. This was an opportunity to have galvanized so many students and families in the Milwaukee area - secondary, technical and higher education. Most of all, to have invited the stakeholders of the Milwaukee area. There were NO students of Color, 3/4 of Milwaukee's half-million people. Those who should be presenting leadership here and definitely involved in the upgrade and humane treatment needed in the Criminal Justice arena.

Goal
The event's mission was to bring the People of the Milwaukee area to the table for sharing ideas and "brainstorming" for neighborhood Preparedness in the event of a disaster. NO one from the neighborhoods of Milwaukee were present.


Media Hype and Spin
At the kick-off, Chancellor Michael Lovell heaped high praise for the Helen Bader School of Welfare and dean Stojkovic for coordinating the event; dean Stojkovic praised the the two students, Stephanie Sikinger and Andrew Boese and deputy Serino praise UW-Milwaukee, Chancellor Lovell, staff, students and Desiree Matel-Anderson - Homeland Security office in Milwaukee. According to Deputy Serino, he was in Milwaukee in August, 2011 and met with the students and others coordinating the event. That was the time for his office to help ensure that the People would be present. It was a time to stress INCLUSION.

Helen Bader Foundation

Since Dan Bader is the President of the Helen Bader Foundation, a local donor organization that is known in the Milwaukee area; and, he is President of UWM Research Foundation, Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, Milwaukee Professionals Association has forwarded a Notice of Discrimination.

Glass said, "Dan Bader is a recognized leader in Milwaukee and he has a Code of Conduct responsibility to the People of Milwaukee as a goodwill donor organization, as the head of the UWM Grant Foundation for our Urban public university and as a public square non-profit donor."

"The students attending the school of his namesake (Helen Bader School of Social Work) must be INCLUSIVE and ensure that the Milwaukee population is represented in critical mass - if it is to be considered a serious school of social welfare."

"African American and other People of Color are disproportionately placed in adverse situations and our families and neighborhoods suffer - these are some of the organizations the Helen Bader Foundation supports."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Editorial, FEMA THINK TANK and Homeland Security outreach, TRUST is Everything



To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust.
John F. Kennedy - 35th President, USA

Trust, but verify.
Ronald Reagan - 40th President, USA
=======================

MILWAUKEE, WI - On January 26, 2012, I had the opportunity of catching the last half of the kick-off of the 2012 FEMA THINK TANK online Conference Call hosted by our Urban public university - University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, 2200 E. Kenwood.

Upon arriving outside of the Fireside Lounge (place of event) I was confronted with a lack of Inclusiveness of African American, other People of Color and the Work-Challenged (un-, under-employed; un-, under-degreed and certificated; un-, under-financed neighborhood-level business; disabled; and re-entry - especially those returning from WAR, INCARCERATION, BOOMERANG EMPLOYMENT, BOOMERANG RETIREMENT and DEGREED students without employment).

When I say "confronted", I mean what I saw was a "contradiction" of what it should be – only Caucasian looking individuals – even though there was an individual that appeared to be Latino. The view was pure DISSATISFACTION since Africa American make up a majority block.

It was my thought that this would have been one of the BEST opportunities to address some near-and-dear issues of Milwaukeeans and neighbors to the northeast who have lost homes and school property recently.

We also had a fatality of young Kyle Prelesnik, a 19 year old that drown in the swollen Lincoln Creek flood. Milwaukee had 2 floods in 2010 - an estimate of $28.5 million dollars.

We have over a half-million folk in Milwaukee and NOT a one at the table.

This is a "black-eye" for our visiting Deputy Administrator Richard Serino, his representatives (regional and Milwaukee level) - even though Deputy Administrator Serino shared a list with me after the FEMA THINK TANK Conference Call that included an Invitation to Mayor Tom Barrett, County Executive Chris Abele and Sheriff David Clarke - they were not present.

For the record, each of the three (3) elected officials mentioned had a representative there.
NOT ENOUGH. This is too big of an issue.

We had a wake-up call in 2010, over $28.5 million of damages - not to mention the other ongoing incidents relative to water issues – recently an oil spill in the airport area.

For the record, Community Relation Director Thomas Harris was present. He should be one of the major links for Homeland Security and a direct liaison for County Executive Chris Abele.

City of Milwaukee
According to Steven Fronk, Director, City of Milwaukee - Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, he reached out to ALL alderpersons - NO ONE was present - Not even those alderpersons who had constituents in the flood areas, or East side alderpersons where the North Avenue issue happen and where the event was held. THIS IS A MAJOR EMBARRASSMENT on our area. The elected officials dropped the ball, it is time to get busy.

ALL HANDS ON DECK,WE, Not Me Initiative
Since re-defining, re-branding and un-trapping over a half-million Milwaukeeans from Enduring Concentrated Poverty is the goal of All Hands on Deck, WE, Not Me Initiative (the premier focus of Milwaukee Professionals Association), and since the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee has been cited in a formal Discrimination Complaint by Milwaukee Professionals Association; it was an increased point of contention to see an event attached to our U.S. Home Security - FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency hosting an event that stated one Mission and engaging in just the opposite.

The room excluded African American and gave the appearance of 100% Caucasian.
Since this is "unacceptable", I immediately placed questions, sought answers from and made a contribution at the "kick-off" conference.

I was assured by External Affairs Officer, Marquita Hynes, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, that the goal of the Conference was to "speak with" and "hear from" Milwaukeeans. She was polite, reassuring and asked that I join the group. I did.

By joining the conversation, I raised the issue of INCLUSIVENESS during the Conference Call, I spoke my concerns face-to-face with visiting Deputy Administrator Richard Serino and he encouraged involvement. Since then, my office has launched a VERIFYING process to ensure that Milwaukeeans and others mentioned in this article are included.

My office has committed to adding the Homeland/FEMA Emergency Management (Preparedness for the People) as another layer to the All Hands on Deck and Rural/Urban North America Initiatives. It is to strengthen re-defining, re-branding and un-trapping Milwaukeeans through Leadership, Citizenship and Problem Solving. If the people are not at the table, informed and taking the lead, we do not have a REAL “preparedness” action plan for Emergency Preparedness for Milwaukee. We do not want to repeat KATRINA - even though some may say we had a mini Katrina in 2010.

If the People do not TRUST the people in a leadership role, the point is the same. Disaster.
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Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States said, “TRUST, but verify”.
We will have VERIFYING ALERTS and REPORTS all this week.

Keep coming back.
Mary Glass - Milwaukeean
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FEMA THINK TANK Conference Call - UW-Milwaukee, January 26, 2012 has been taped for your benefit.
CLICK

You can hear my comments if you move the arrow close to the end of the tape – Mary Glass, Milwaukee Professionals Association.
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