Milwaukee organizations descend on Madison to demand a Fair Shared Revenue
Madison, WI – Milwaukee organizations rallied inside the state capitol in Madison on Monday, June 12, to voice firm disapproval of the shared revenue agreement between Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin Republicans. According to reports, the latest shared revenue proposal is scheduled to pass through both the state assembly and senate on Wednesday, June 14. From there, Governor Evers is poised to accept it.
When the original proposals for the shared revenue appeared last month, Governor Evers vetoed them, claiming he wouldn’t support the conditional strings attached. However, late last week, Governor Evers changed his stance. Rather than continuing to fight against the pressure of the GOP who've been seeking to strip Milwaukee’s democratic gains, Governor Evers seems to have succumbed.
“This most recent example of ‘reaching across the aisle’ to come to a ‘compromise’ is in reality a complete betrayal of the masses of people, with those in Milwaukee getting the shortest stick,” said Nadezdha Young of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. “It would be more accurately characterized as an historic setback, only further proof that 'compromise' is code for 'moving backwards.'”
The compromise represents major assaults on several fronts. The Republicans are getting what they want, which includes the reinstatement of police in Milwaukee Public Schools, forcing more cops in communities, gutting of public services, the elimination of the Fire and Police Commission’s power to create policy, an end to the ability for the people to put forward referenda on issues of political importance (for example, abortion access), an historic increase in the state funding of private schools, the inability for communities to utilize state funds for DEI initiatives, and other backwards policies.
“The action to take away the democratic rights of working-class people, specifically Black and brown working class people, is a trend among the national Republican Party,” said Omar Flores, one of the spokespeople for the Coalition to March on the RNC 2024. “There is no doubt in our minds that Evers bending to the will of the Republicans is being influenced by the fact that they are visiting Milwaukee in 2024.”
Milwaukee is under attack from multiple fronts, and Democratic leadership appears to have willingly sacrificed Milwaukee. This includes both Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Milwaukee County Supervisor David Crowley, who met and reached a backroom deal with Wisconsin Republicans prior to the decision by Evers. It’s becoming increasingly evident that democratic gains will not come from or be protected by elected officials regardless of the party that they are representing.
“Our democratic gains have come because working class people and grassroots organizations came together and mobilized around demands that come from our people,” said Alan Chavoya, the outreach chair of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression. “We must have a direct say into how our communities function. Students clearly didn’t want police in their schools, and communities wanted greater transparency from the police. Governor Evers must respect those demands and throw away this garbage proposal.”
Regardless of a short turnaround period, eight Milwaukee organizations were able to show up with good numbers to the state capitol to demand that Governor Evers draft a new shared revenue deal with no strings attached. Although the proposal is highly likely to pass on Wednesday, these organizations will continue to voice a firm condemnation of the proposal and urge people to call Governor Evers and demand he throw it away.