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Friday, December 26, 2014

A Response by Mary Glass to U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore support letter for Milwaukee Streetcar

Article on Urban Milwaukee
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December 24, 2014
Happy Kwanzaa!
U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, 4th District
“I support your vision to revitalize our downtown, create jobs, expand the tax base, and enhance and increase mobility in Milwaukee for workers, tourists, and others with the addition of a streetcar. This project has been thoroughly studied and debated for a number of years and deserves to move forward. If it does not, these federal funds will be lost, along with the resulting benefits to our city.
As you know, it was only a few years ago that members of the Wisconsin delegation in Congress worked to ensure that federal funds that had been targeted to improve transportation options in Milwaukee were not lost. After nearly twenty years of debate, a decision was made to split up $91 million in federal funds remaining from a pot originally allocated to help improve transportation in our community in the early 1990′s.”
As one of the six or seven businesses in the city of Milwaukee that took the voice of the people to the United States Federal Transportation in Washington, DC, in a class-action suit and locked-the-funds – the reason we did so, Congresswoman Moore, was to seek benefits in transportation for the Core Constituents, the People – Milwaukeeans – many of whom seeking transportation benefits to employment and travel issues using federal funding – just like now. They needed transportation to/for employment and quality of life facilities. They wanted the transportation to have their DNA on it. Not every Tom, Dick, Harry-Sue-Sally-Jane that do not represent them. Yes. 20 years ago.
Fast forward, 2014, the only difference now – on your watch, I might add – is less of the original hundred-millions going for everyone but the Core Constituents. It is for the downtown Vegas plan of mayor Tom Barrett, the haves and the wanna-be.
How can we put our heads around bait-n-switch promises – create jobs, expand the tax base and enhance and increase mobility in Milwaukee for workers – without specifics? The last part of your first sentence is correct, “tourists, and others with the addition of a streetcar”.
The People, Milwaukeeans of the 4th Congressional District, do not need a Streetcar that fails to give upfront and posted true agreements – contracts – oversight that says they will have family supporting jobs for the long haul with quality of life benefits. A street car that runs to Midtown – down Fond du Lac and connect to defined points-of travel for the people and visitors (i.e., North Avenue, Holton, Capitol Drive, MLKing Drive, Atkinson, Cesar Chavez, Green Bay) as the first arm with an expanded plan. This is REVITALIZATION. This is the People seeing commerce being brought to and through their business neighborhood arteries that force other necessary changes that will help remove Enduring Concentrated Poverty. This might be worthy of support.
There must be vetted Core Constituent individuals and businesses in-the-lead of the creation/construction of this project – planners, designers, attorneys, prime contractors, engineers, architects, apprenticeship programs with DNA details, subcontractors, work agreements, People of Color neighborhoods in the start-up and an expanded plan as well as Core Constituents accountability not appointed by the mayor and his posse.
We need the Core Constituents “fingerprints” here – the ones the money is for.
We are tired of our elected officials, especially African Americans, appearing to carry water for projects that do absolutely nothing for the People they represent.
We are disappointed with your letter that speaks to fluff. You can do better. The bait-n-switch T-shirt does not become you. This is “Do-nothing” politics for your constituents.
Mary Glass – Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC

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