Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Licenses Committee Postponed Decision On Citizenship Requirement For Issuance Of Professional And Commercial Licenses Or Permits

Milwaukee (HNNUSA)- On Tuesday, the License Committee members unanimously decided to postponed a proposed ordinance (090411) that would require proof of U.S. citizenship and legal alien status to obtain a professional or commercial licenses or permits in the City of Milwaukee. The Common Council committee members are Aldermen(woman) James A. Bohl, Comm. Chair, Milele A. Coggs, Vice Chair, Ashanti Hamilton, T. Anthony Zielinski, and Nik Kovac.
The ordinance would have required new applicants and those applying for renewal to prove their legal status in the country.
Two executive directors from several community based organizations, and a South side resident testified in opposition of the measure. Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant rights organization, said her organization did not learn of the proposal until Monday night. "This is very disturbing... Such an ordinance would reduce the tax base and increase poverty," Neumann-Ortiz said. She also criticized J.B. Van Hollen's decision to enforce the U.S. Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing. In October 2007, Van Hollen wrote that federal requirements applied and that Secretary of Regulation and Licensing Celia Jackson should begin enforcing the measure, but was not mandatory to do so. Nevertheless, Jackson began enforcing the measure.

H. Nelson Goodson, an immigration rights advocate and a member of Taxpayers for Immigration Reform told the committee, a class action lawsuit is pending on appeal in a Pennsylvania federal court concerning a similar enforcement of the measure. The Lozano vs. City of Hazleton lost the first round when a judge ruled the anti-immigrant measure was unconstitutional. Hazleton city officials have appealed the case and a decision concerning the case is expected soon, according to Goodson. Goodson also advised the committee, that passing such an ordinance, the city could face a legal challenge costing taxpayers thousands of dollars when the city is facing a 90 million dollar deficit.
If the ordinance is imposed, the city would decrease business growth and eliminate a substantial amount of taxes and revenues generated from licenses and permits. The Common Council salaries come from these type of revenues, property taxes, and it wouldn't make sense for them to cut revenues by passing an ordinance limiting business growth. Especially, when Mayor Tom Barrett is proposing budget cuts from the Police Department, city services, and Fire Department. I don't see the Mayor and his staff or the Common Council proposing cuts to their own salaries, Goodson added.
"City Clerk Ron Leonhardt and Asst. City Attorney Bruce Schrimp who favor the citizenship ordinance have yet to produce a directive from Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General stating that the City of Milwaukee is in federal violation of the law or the city is facing punitive measures by cutting Block Grant funding from the federal government. The 1996 Act hasn't been enforced by the city for the last 13 years and I doubt the city would face any action from the federal government, if they decide to ignore enforcement of the Act. It's an immigration issue and it should be resolved at the federal level," Goodson said.
Tony Baez, president and CEO of the Council for the Spanish Speaking, questioned the city attorney's opinion, which cited the opinion from Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen concerning the 1996 Act.
"Why wait so long?" Baez asked the committee, and said the city hasn't enforced the 1996 Act for the last 13 years. Baez told the committee that time was needed to get other groups and advocates involved in this particular measure.

Leonhardt and Schrimp advised the committee that the city is expected to enforce the 1996 Act, but did not provide a recent decision by the current U.S. Attorney General that the measure is en-forcible.
Ald. Tony Zielinski asked for the proposed ordinance to be placed on hold to give various community groups, and constituents more time to review the proposal and to comment on it. The committee agreed and voted to postpone the measure.

Milw., WI: Legistar posted video online of Licenses Committee Sept. 29 hearing of citizenship ordinance 090411 requiring legal status in the country for issuance of professional or commercial licenses or permits, click on the following link and then on video http://bit.ly/YywZO

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Milwaukee Police Officers Profiling Blacks, Business Owner Alleges

Police Chief Eward A. Flynn ordered officers to check license plates for registered felons visiting the gun store

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 26, 2009
Updated October 2, 2009

Milwaukee -On Thursday, October 1st, Police Chief Edward A. Flynn during a press conference said, Badger Guns has "a business plan that depends on selling guns to criminals." However, the Wisconsin Department of Justice confirmed that Badger sold guns legally to customers. Even, Wisconsin state legislators and U.S. Congressmen say Badger has sold guns legally as required by federal and state laws.
Flynn was crticised for implying Badger sold guns to felons. Legislators agreed that people buying guns for felons should be the ones targeted for illegally buying them for felons, and not Badger Guns.
Adam Allan who owns Badger Guns removed the sign alleging that his Black customers were being profiled by the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) this week saying, "I made my point."
On September 25, a controversial sign was posted by a Allan drawing attention to MPD and their tactics being used to stop Blacks leaving Badger Guns Inc., 2339 S. 43rd St. in West Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Allan put up an outdoor sign accusing the Milwaukee Police Department of profiling customers. Allan allege MPD officers are pulling over African-American customers once they leave the store. The sign read "Racist Milwaukee Police Department is pulling over African Americans leaving this store. Sorry for the inconvenience."
Apparently, numerous complaints from customers claimed that Milwaukee police have stopped them shortly after leaving the store and then are asked if they had any weapons in the vehicle.
Residents in Wisconsin of legal age and who can prove U.S. citizenship can buy a weapon, if they don't have a felony or a restraining ordering for domestic dispute. In Wisconsin, it is also legal to carry a weapon, as long it is not concealed, according to J.B. Van Hollen, Wisconsin Attorney General.
However, Flynn ordered his officers to stop anyone carrying a weapon on plain sight in order to question and possibly cite the person for disorderly conduct.
On June 11th, Flynn says a program was initiated to stake out Badger Guns to help stop "Straw Purchasing." Straw purchasing is a term used by police indicating a person buys a gun for another person who is not legally authorized to purchase a gun. Federal law prohibits straw purchases, and Wisconsin has yet to oulaw such purchases.
The program allows surveillance by officers to target any vehicle suspected of suspicious activity, such as a man staying in the car while a female or another person goes into Badger to shop. Officers also run license plates to see if they come back as registered to felons, according to Flynn.
When officers get a positive ID for a vehicle registered to a felon, they then stop the vehicle on a traffic violation. The tactic is called a "pre-text" stop, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it's legal to use.
Although, for officers to specifically target vehicles in a business parking lot and to run their plates for this type of operation is questionable, could raise a legal challenge, and could very well violate the privacy of customers. Eight African-Americans have been arrested and charged as a result of the police operation, according to court records.
According to Wisconsin law, felons are not barred from gun shops or shooting ranges, but are prohibited by law to own or carry a weapon. Also, felons who are no longer on paper, probation, and incarcerated get their rights restored, but are prohibited by state and federal law from owning or carrying a weapon. Unless, a judge stipulates during a conviction a certain right is withheld.
A prior Wisconsin case, a felon used a gun to shoot someone else in self defense. He was never prosecuted because he did not have a concealed weapon at the time of the shooting, prosecutors decided.
Police reported that at least more than 1,850 guns used in crimes were recovered in Milwaukee and were linked to Badger between January 2006 and Sept. 1st, according to the new gun-trace data. But, all the guns recovered from crime scenes were sold legally by Badger Guns to the initial gun buyer and a back ground check with the Wisconsin Department of Justice approved the sale.
During the 11 week Stop Straw Buying operation, officers have seized 12 guns from felons and others leaving the store, have confirmed that felons have used the shooting range, and felons have been seen by officers frequently visiting the store.
Flynn, Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm agree there is no state law prohibiting felons from going into a gun shop, but would like see a change of law to prohibit felons at least 1,000 feet from gun shops and gun shows. Chisholm said Badger can and must do more to prevent straw buying gun sales.
The straw buying operation began shortly after the June 9th shooting of two officers in the South side Walker's Point. Julius Burton, 18, was charged for shooting both Officers Kunisch and Norberg with a .40-caliber Taurus pistol. Both officers survived and have serious long-term injuries. Burton bought the gun from Jacob D. Collins, 21, who has admitted in federal court that he bought the gun at Badger in May.
Allan admits that Badger Guns has been doing everything they can to prevent illegal gun sales. Officers are targeting mostly Black men, according to Allan. Flynn denies Allan allegations of racism, but admitted Black men have a higher percentage of arrests and convictions related to gun incidents resulting in death and injuries in Milwaukee.
In Wisconsin, it is illegal for police officers to simply profile a person for his ethnicity or origin in order to stop him or assume a person is about to commit a crime due to his/her looks.

City Wide Dream Act Campaign Initiated In Milwaukee

VDLF also campaigns to get thousands of registered voters to support driver licenses for undocumented workers

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 26, 2009

Milwaukee- Last Wednesday, September 23, an estimated 60 college and high school students gathered at the offices of Voces de la Frontera (VDLF), 1027 S. 5th St. in support of the national effort to pass the Dream Act. A city wide DREAM Act campaign kick off party event with Miss Mexican Fiesta, Erica Hernandez and information about the DREAM Act was provided at VDLF.
Youths enrolled in high schools and colleges from around the country held simultaneous actions in support of the Dream Act, which provides an immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented students.
"Each year, more than 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, but because they lack immigration status, these students face uncertain futures," Melanie Benesh, Youth Organizer for VDLF wrote on a press release. In partnership with the United We Dream Network, a national volunteer led network of undocumented students and supporters like the Students United for Immigrant Rights (SUFRIR) a the youth chapter affiliated with Voces de la Frontera have organized a postcard drive at several local high schools and Universities, according to Benesh.
VDLF is also working on a community project regarding the Driver's Card. VDLF volunteers are contacting registered voters in the South side in order to gain support for the passage of Driver Licenses for undocumented workers in the State of Wisconsin. VDLF expects to raise at least 5,000 signatures of registered voters in support of driver licenses for the undocumented, according to organizers.
Last Year, Governor Jim Doyle removed more than 21 million dollars collected from renewal of state licenses earmarked to finance the Real ID Act. Doyle transferred the money to another account and the State of Wisconsin is not expected to implement the Real ID Act. Immigration rights activists say that since there is no longer any money for the State Department of Motor Vehicles to implement the Real ID Act, it should be repealed by state legislators in Wisconsin.
Voces de la Frontera announced a march and rally for Immigration Reform will take place on October 10th, as a national day of action. March organizers say people are expected to gather in front of Voces office at about 11:00 a.m. and shortly after begin marching accross the 6th St. Viaduct ending at Zeidler Park on 4th and Michigan.

Mass H1N1 Vaccination Planned For City of Milwaukee

Between 40,000 to 50,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine to be made available at three sites

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 26, 2009

Milwaukee - City health officials announced Thursday that they are preparing to vaccinate between 40,000 to 50,000 people when the A (H1N1) vaccine becomes available in mid October. First to be vaccinated would be health care workers, afterwards young adults, children, and pregnant women.
Health officials say that three mass vaccination sites would be announced later in October. The vaccination sites would actually provide 50,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine. Vaccine doses would also be available for patients at doctors' offices, according to health officials.

Last Monday, September 21st, city health officials and Mayor Tom Barrett kicked off the seasonal influenza shots for the fall season at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).
Mayor Barrett was at UWM to kickoff the influenza awareness season. Barrett was among the 198 people who received the free seasonal flu shots. Students, faculty, UWM employees and residents around the campus began standing in line about a couple of hours early. The event with Barrett began at 1:00 p.m., but a couple of hours later an estimated 110 people were turned away due to a shortage of doses. People who stayed had to wait between one hour to more than two hours to receive the flu shot.

City health officials only made available a couple of hundred of doses to the public free of charge. The seasonal influenza shot costs about 24 dollars at neighborhood drug stores and clinics.
Milwaukee Health Department officials had available only 1,100 doses this year, of which 900 have been earmarked under a federal program for children 18 and younger.
The seasonal influenza shot won't protect people from the H1N1 strain (Swine Flu), and it takes about two weeks to get immune from the seasonal flu.
The H1N1 vaccine is expected to be ready by mid October. H1N1 accounts for 90 % of influenza cases in the country, according to city health officials.
This month, in Wisconsin at least six people were hospitalizations due to the H1N1 flu virus, but no deaths were reported by the state Department of Health Services.
Since April, Wisconsin has recorded eight deaths and 239 hospitalizations from the A (H1N1) virus. About 99% of the state's lab tested influenza cases were confirmed to be from the H1N1 virus. None of the cases tested and reported have been resistant to anti-viral medication, according to state health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between September 6-12, 2009, widespread influenza activity was reported by 21 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). Regional influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and nine states (California, Colorado, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seasonal Flu Shots Kick Off At UWM

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 23, 2009

Milwaukee - Mayor Tom Barrett was at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to kick off the influenza awareness season. Barrett was among the 198 people who received the free seasonal flu shots. Students, faculty, UWM employees and residents around the campus began standing in line about a couple of hours early. The event with Barrett began at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., but an estimated 110 people were turned away due to a shortage of doses.
City health officials only made available a couple of hundred of doses to the public free of charge. The seasonal influenza shot costs about 24 dollars at neighborhood drug stores and clinics.

Milwaukee Health Department officials had available only 1,100 doses this year, of which 900 have been earmarked under a federal program for children 18 and younger.
The seasonal influenza shot won't protect people from the H1N1 strain (Swine Flu), and the flu vaccine is expected to be ready next month. H1N1 accounts for 90 % of influenza cases in the country, according to city health officials.
This month, in Wisconsin at least six people were hospitalizations due to the H1N1 flu virus, but no deaths were reported by the state Department of Health Services.
Since April, Wisconsin has recorded eight deaths and 239 hospitalizations from the A (H1N1) virus. About 99% of the state's lab tested influenza cases were confirmed to be from the H1N1 virus. None of the cases tested and reported have been resistant to anti-viral medication, according to state health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between September 6-12, 2009, widespread influenza activity was reported by 21 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). Regional influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and nine states (California, Colorado, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

En Honor al Mes de la Herencia Hispana

Garantizando el Acceso al Sueño Americano

Artículo del Senador de los EE.UU., Russ Feingold

Mientras que Wisconsin celebra el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, reconocemos los aportes que los Hispanos han hecho a nuestro estado, a la nación, y al mundo. Este año, el tema del Mes de la Herencia Hispana es “Latinos Liderando en una Sociedad Global,” y qué mejor manera de celebrar este tema que rindiendo homenaje a Sonia Sotomayor, quien hace un mes se convirtió en la primera juez latina en servir en la Corte Suprema de nuestro país.
La juez Sotomayor ha alcanzado su puesto porque tuvo acceso a la mejor educación que este país puede ofrecer, graduándose de Princeton y Yale. Durante mis años en el Senado, he trabajado para mejorar el acceso a la educación para la comunidad hispana y para todos los americanos.
El año pasado, el Congreso promulgó la Ley de Educación Superior (Higher Education Act), la cual incluye una versión modificada de mi medida que asegura que los sistemas universitarios con sucursales de instalaciones bi-anuales, como el sistema de la Universidad de Wisconsin, sean elegibles para recibir los reconocimientos TRIO (TRIO awards). Estos programas TRIO - los cuales proveen programas y ayuda para estudiantes de bajos recursos económicos y minorías de baja representatividad - junto con un aumento de los fondos de las becas Pell (Pell Grants), asegurarán que más estudiantes hispanos tengan la oportunidad de asistir y triunfar en la universidad.
Pero para permitir que más personas aprovechen estos programas al máximo, también debemos apoyar medidas como el proyecto de ley DREAM, el cual ayuda a asegurar que todos los Hispanos en este país tengan acceso equitativo a una educación superior, al proveer matrículas estatales y otra ayuda financiera a los niños inmigrantes que están indocumentados. Al aumentar el acceso a universidades e institutos de educación superior, podemos ayudar a que más estudiantes reciban la educación que necesitan para competir por empleos y, en espíritu del tema de este año, ver más “Latinos Liderando en una Sociedad Global.”
Además de estas medidas para expandir la educación, también apoyo firmemente una reforma migratoria integral, y me alegra que el presidente haya identificado este tema como una de las prioridades de este Congreso. Necesitamos una reforma migratoria integral urgentemente, y debe incluir una solución razonable para aquellos que ya están viviendo y trabajando en nuestras comunidades.
Ya estamos tomando pequeños pasos hacia una reforma más amplia. Hace unos meses, apoyé el proyecto de ley titulado Oportunidades de Trabajo, Beneficios y Seguridad en el Sector Agrícola (Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act), presentado por la senadora Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). El objetivo de este proyecto de ley bipartidista, más conocido como “AgJOBS,” es darle a los trabajadores agrícolas que han estado trabajando en este país (incluyendo los portadores de la visa H2-A y los trabajadores indocumentados) la oportunidad de obtener estatus legal a través del trabajo efectuado y el que harán en el futuro, dentro del sector agrícola. Este proyecto de ley también reformaría el programa H2-A para que los granjeros y trabajadores no sigan considerando métodos ilegales.
Es importante que los granjeros de Wisconsin tengan acceso a un adecuado número de trabajadores legales para ocupar puestos que los trabajadores americanos no pueden o no quieren ocupar, y el proyecto de ley “AgJOBS” representa una posibilidad justa y factible. Tengo un largo historial apoyando medidas con sentido común como ésta que ayudará a avanzar nuestra meta de una reforma migratoria integral, y tengo ganas de analizar este importante tema en los meses siguientes.
Los hispanoamericanos, el grupo más grande entre las minorías en los Estados Unidos, sirven a nuestra nación todos los días. Ya sea como profesores en nuestras aulas, abogados en nuestras cortes, o soldados en el campo de batalla, los hispanoamericanos hacen contribuciones importantes a nuestro país en todas las facetas de la vida americana.
Las comunidades hispanas alrededor del estado han incrementado nuestro conocimiento, y enriquecido nuestra cultura, ayudando a dar a Wisconsin su carácter diverso así como un sólido sentido de orgullo.
El Congreso tiene que discutir los temas de importancia para los hispanoamericanos no solo este mes, sino durante todo el año. Solamente así estaremos rindiendo un verdadero homenaje a los grandes aportes que los hispanoamericanos han hecho, y continúan haciendo, a esta gran nación.

Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

Ensuring Access to the American Dream

Column from U.S. Senator Russ Feingold

As Wisconsin celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize the many contributions that Hispanics have made to our state, to the nation, and to the world. This year’s theme is “Latinos Leading in a Global Society,” and what better way to celebrate this than by honoring Sonia Sotomayor, who just last month was sworn in as our nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
Justice Sotomayor is where she is today because she had unparalleled access to the best education America has to offer, graduating from both Princeton and Yale. Throughout my years in the Senate, I have worked to improve access to education for the Hispanic community and all Americans.
Last year, Congress enacted the Higher Education Act, which included a modified version of my measure to ensure college systems with two-year branch campuses, like the UW System, are eligible to receive TRIO Student Support Services awards. These TRIO programs, which provide outreach and assistance to low-income students and underrepresented minority students, combined with increased funding for Pell Grants, will ensure more Hispanic students have the opportunity to attend and succeed in college.
But to allow more people to take full advantage of these programs, we must also support measures such as the DREAM Act, which helps ensure equal access to higher education for all Hispanics in this country by providing in-state tuition and other financial aid to undocumented immigrant children. By further increasing access to colleges and universities, we can help more students get the education they need to compete for jobs and, in the spirit of this year’s theme, see more “Latinos Leading in a Global Society.”
In addition to these steps to expand education, I also strongly support comprehensive immigration reform and am pleased the president has identified this topic as a top priority for this Congress. We urgently need comprehensive immigration reform, and it must include a reasonable solution for those who are already living and working in our communities.
And we are already taking small steps forward toward broader reform. Earlier this year, I cosponsored the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The goal of this bipartisan legislation, known as AgJOBS, is to give agricultural workers who have been employed in this country, including H2-A visa-holders and undocumented workers, the opportunity to earn legal status through past and future work in the agricultural sector. The bill would also reform the H2-A program so that growers and workers will not continue to rely on illegal channels.
It is important that Wisconsin farmers have access to an adequate supply of legal workers to fill positions that U.S. workers can’t or won’t fill, and the AgJOBS bill represents a fair, workable solution. I have a long record of supporting common-sense measures such as this that will help advance our goal of comprehensive immigration reform, and I look forward to further examining this important issue in the months ahead.
Hispanic Americans, as the largest ethnic minority in the United States, serve our nation tremendously every day. Whether it’s as teachers in our classrooms, lawyers in our courtrooms, or soldiers on the battlefield, Hispanic Americans make important contributions to our country in every facet of American life.
Hispanic communities around our state have enhanced our knowledge and enriched our culture, helping to give Wisconsin its diverse character and strong sense of pride. Congress must address the issues important to Hispanic Americans not just for this month, but all year long. Only that will truly honor the remarkable contributions Hispanic Americans have made, and continue to make, to this great nation.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UMOS Celebrated Their Annual September 16th Parade and Festival

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 16, 2009

Milwaukee - Hundreds of people gathered throughout the Mexican Independence Parade route last Sunday. The annual September 16th parade and festival was sponsored by the United Migrant Opportunity Services.
The parade ended at Mitchell Park where a one day festival was taking place to help commemorate the Mexican Independence Day.

The festivities for recognizing the Mexican Independence have become an annual traditional event throughout the United States of American where a large population of Mexican Americans and more than 13 million undocumented immigrants live and work.
Mexican food, cultural dancers and music can be enjoyed by the festival-goers.
A brief history for the Mexican celebrated holiday, influenced by the concepts of liberty, equality and democracy proposed by the French philosophers Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and by the war of Independence of the United States, they decided to start a revolt.

It was 1810, and their plan was to start the war on the 2nd of October. Unfortunately, their plans were discovered in early September. The movement was in trouble. They had two alternatives; either abandon their plans, or move faster and start the revolt immediately. Fortunately for Mexico they decided upon the second alternative.
In the early hours of September 16, 1810, father Miguel Hidalgo, accompanied by several conspirators, Iganacio Allende, and Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez rang the bell of his little church, calling everyone to fight for liberty in Dolores, Guanajuato, Mexico. This was the beginning of the Independence War, which lasted 10 years.

UMOS is a private, non-profit corporation established in 1965 to advocate for and provide services to Hispanic migrant and seasonal farm workers in Wisconsin.
Today, UMOS offers diverse programs and services to diverse populations.
UMOS' mission is to provide programs and services which improve the employment, education, health, and housing opportunities of under-served populations. Currently UMOS operates programs to assist low-income individuals and families as they gain economic self-sufficiency. In 2007, more than $46 million in grant funds from federal, state, and local sources supported these programs.
Click on photos to enlarge.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Milwaukee Indian Summer Festival 2009

ISMA award winners selected during festival

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 15, 2009

Milwaukee -Thousands of people and numerous tribal members from the Native American nation gathered during the three day Indian Summer Festival at Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds) at Milwaukee's lakefront. On Saturday, September 12th, the Indian Summer Music Awards (ISMA) winners were selected and awards were presented in each category from modern rock anthems to spiritual hymns played on traditional instruments at the Miller Stage.

The awards were given to the very best in Native American music created by both established and emerging artists, according to ISMA organizers. Many of the artists were featured and performed during the three day festival. Nicole La Roche and Brulé, a Nammy Winner band who have sold over one million CD's for their contemporary Native American music also made their yearly presentation at the festival. Brulé has become one of the people's favorite groups to see, hear and enjoy.

Another featured attraction were The Voladores of Papantla: Volador means flyer “he who flies.” For the first time in 10 years, these flying pole dancers have return to Indian Summer. The breathtaking ceremonial flight involves four men gracefully flying upside down from a 60-foot pole secured only by a rope tied around their waists. The fifth man, balances himself on a narrow wooden platform without a rope or safety net, is the musician, or “caporal, who plays a drum and flute, while invoking an ancient spiritual offering in the form of a spectacular dance. The Voladores are originally from Veracuz, Mexico and have performed the ritual for over one hundred years to honor the Sun and Earth.

2009 Indian Summer Music Awards Winners

Alternative Rock

Sirensong by Eagle and Hawk


Broken Lands by Indigenous

Classic Rock

Sirensong by Eagle and Hawk

Contemporary Instrumental

First Light by Golana’


Out of the Blue by Out of the Blue


A Place Called Peace by Randy Granger


Bitter Tears - Sacred Grounds by Michael Bucher and Joanne Shenandoah

Hip Hop

Wasted Talent by N8 featuring Rezhogs and Sean One R33der

Native Spirit

Signs of Things to Come by Rae Denton and Paul Warren


New Moon Born by Jana Mashonee


Generation 2 Generation 3 by Gil Tyner, J. McClellan, Jake Tyner

Traditional Drum

Red Rock by Northern Cree

Traditional Vocal

Faith by Kevin Yazzie

Sponsors of the ISMA were, North Star Mohican Casino-Bingo, Mohican Nation Stockbridge-Munsee Band, Lanex, LLC, Looking Glass Productions, and Menominee Casino-Bingo-Hotel.
Indian Summer held their 23rd annual Pow Wow competition on the grounds. Brooke Grant, 22, who was crowned Miss Indian World last April in Albuquerque, New Mexico participated during the Grand Entry. Grant is a member of the Chippewa Tribe, and comes from Beverly Hills. Grant is a member of the Hoopa, Yurok, Karuk, and Chippewa tribes. The naming of Miss Indian World is one of the final activities of this year's 26th annual Gathering of Nations.

The Indian Summer Pow Wow event consists of a combination of traditional dancing, singing and storytelling, no event allows you to experience the passion and culture of the American Indian people quite like a Pow Wow. Drums pound, feet stomp and bright colors swirl in a vibrant pageant of music and celebration.
A lively and uplifting combination of traditional dancing, singing and storytelling, no event allows you to experience the passion and culture of the American Indian people quite like a Pow Wow. Drums pound, feet stomp and bright colors swirl in a vibrant pageant of music and celebration.

Festival organizers say, a Pow Wow brings together members of many American Indian tribes to renew old friendships, create new ones and both share and preserve the centuries-old traditions of their respective tribes. But the Indian Summer Pow Wow enhances the celebration with an exciting element of competition. The host drum was Midnite Express, and the Emcee's were Dale Old Horn and Terry Fiddler. Head Dance judge was Jonathan Windy Boy, and Head Drum judge was Darrin Old Coyote.

Grand prizes included for first place Drum competition $3,000, for first place Dance competition $1,000 including different categories for men, women, teenagers, and children.
Native American crafts, jewelry, food and other items were also featured at the yearly event. Fireworks flared the festival on Friday and Saturday nights.
Click on photos to enlarge.

Monday, September 14, 2009

UW-Milwaukee To Commemorate 40th Anniversary Of The 1970 Hispanic Community Takeover Of Chapman Hall

Takeover led to higher educational opportunities for Latinos in Wisconsin

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 14, 2009

Milwaukee -The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) officials announced on Monday, that a committee has been initially formed to begin planning for next years commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the historical takeover of UWM’s Chapman Hall by the Latino community in 1970.
The committee will officially begin to plan events around the 40th anniversary of the takeover of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Chapman Hall, a pivotal event for Milwaukee’s Latino community, according to UWM administrators.
Enrique Figueroa, associate professor and director of the Roberto Hernández Center (RHC), has been directed by the Chancellor's office to lead and oversee the committee planning of events. Figueroa has appointed two co-chairs for the committee.

“Ernesto Chacon and Jesus Salas were centrally involved in the August 1970 takeover and have distinguished themselves as community activists and as public servants during their professional lives,” said Figueroa.
Although both men are now retired, Chacon most recently served as deputy director of Gov. Jim Doyle’s Milwaukee office. Salas was a professor at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and served as a member of the UW System Board of Regents.
The co-chairs are currently assembling a committee to fund raise for the 40th commemoration, develop a program for the event and bring together others who were advocates for the Latino community 40 years ago.
“The Chapman Hall takeover proved to be a seminal development for Milwaukee’s Latino community,” says Figueroa. “It directly led to the creation of UWM’s Spanish Speaking Outreach Institute (SSOI), which over time became the current Roberto Hernández Center. Indeed, the deceased Roberto Hernández was also a central figure during the takeover.”
Last August marked the 39th anniversary of the August 27, 1970 UWM takeover by the Hispanic community. Their contribution, commitment, and success led to changing the discriminatory UWM policy that restricted access to higher education for Hispanics during 1970, has today resulted in graduating large numbers of Latinos from public and private universities throughout Wisconsin.
Figueroa points out that 39 years ago, there were only a handful of Latino students and only one Latino faculty member at UWM. “Now there are over 1,300 students and more than thirty Latino faculty as well as a Latino chancellor. It’s important that our community celebrate the visionary activists of 40-years ago…Si se pudo!”

After 34 years of the Latino community takeover of UWM, on July 1, 2004, Carlos E. Santiago became the first Hispanic chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Chancellor Santiago has a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University (1982) and M.A. degrees in economics from Cornell University (1979) and the University of Puerto Rico (1975).
Unfortunately, today's educational institutions like Milwaukee Public Schools, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and other private educational institutions, as well as community based organizations have yet to provide, support, and make available a curriculum about the historical aspect of the 1970's UWM educational struggle by the Hispanic community to the younger generations of students.

To enlarge and open attached articles; please click on the first, second and last photos for the most comprehensive story ever written and authored by H. Nelson Goodson who himself was a student, and graduated from UWM. El Conquistador Newspaper first published the two-page article on July 13, 2001 as a special edition for The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference, which was held in Milwaukee on July 14-18, 2001. "The article actually depicts a descriptive point by point narrative, documentary and occurrences of historical events at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that will make you experience and feel the moment in time," Goodson said. Goodson's first publication of the article led to other studies and papers written about the historical event by UWM.

Link to UWM library website of chronicles of takeover and images included.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Milwaukee Bilingual Police Officers Are Paid Less Than Other Police Departments

Officers get $1.00 for each hour they are translating, and police aides don't get paid extra for translating

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 7th, 2009

Milwaukee - The Milwaukee Police Union for years have tried to get officers a pay raise when they are on the field translating for the City of Milwaukee. Today, officers get a dollar for each hour they translate in any language, including sign language. The officers who accumulate hours of translating would have to submit quarterly slips to get compensated.
Some officers who do translate say, they don't even turn the slips in because it has become hectic to do so. The officers who do turn them in get paid every three months. However, police aides in Police District Two in the South side of Milwaukee don't even get paid extra for translating and are left to compensate for those officers who are not available when needed to translate.
At times, officers have to use an 800 number for translation help, which the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) has contracted with a private company to help officers with translating on the field or when people call 911 and can't speak English. MPD pays at least $25 per minute for using the translating firm, according to officers. The $25 fee for translating could not be confirmed due to the Labor Day weekend holiday.
On Sunday, Officer Juan Lopez who has been with MPD for the last 12 years says, he practically translates almost everyday while on duty. Lopez also gets assignments to translate while off duty, but gets to work overtime. Officer Lopez on Sunday was assigned to Operation Impact in the near South side area. Operation Impact was initiated with the help of Alderman Bob Donovan and area businesses. The businesses compensate the officers while working during Operation Impact, according to Lopez.
Lopez and other officers who translate would like the City of Milwaukee to negotiate a pay raise with the Milwaukee Police Association compatible to other police departments in the country where a large concentration of diverse cultures exists. Like in Milwaukee where a majority of officers confront language barriers everyday during traffic stops and emergencies.

Laborfest Draws Thousands To 50th Anniversary

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 7th, 2009

Milwaukee -On Monday, thousands of workers, employers, unions and family members from the surrounding communities gathered at the Summerfest grounds to celebrate Laborfest. This year, organizers were celebrating their 50th Anniversary of organizing the downtown parade and one day event.

The event was possible by the generous sponsorships of area businesses and Unions.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also joined the event at the Summerfest grounds and walked throughout the grounds greeting and shaking hands with those attending the fest.
Entertainment at the Miller Lite Oasis was provided by NiteLife, Milwaukee Public Theater, and Spider George and the Web.
The event was organized by Milwaukee Area Labor Council AFL-CLO representing Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Washington Counties.

Milwaukee Motorcycle Rally 2009

Attendance lower than expected

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 7th, 2009

Milwaukee - Thousands of Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders and non-Harley riders enjoyed the 8th Annual Milwaukee Rally sponsored event by area Harley dealerships. Rally organizers billed the event as larger than last years, but due to economic hardships and trying to save money over the Labor day weekend many of the riders stayed closer to home.

Harley-Davidson dealerships experienced fewer turn out of bikers than expected. Wisconsin State Fair events for Friday, and Saturday also experienced lower turn outs then last year.
On Saturday, the Water Street jam attracted the most attendance. An estimated 3,000 bikers showed up from noon to 11 p.m. for the event. On Sunday, the Harley-Davidson Museum on Canal St. drew an estimated crowd of at least 5,000 bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts.
Vendors at the Wisconsin State Fair motorcycle rally had the best sale ever for bikers. They were selling rally t-shirts for only $5.00 and other items at bargain prices.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Crece la Oposición Contra la Toma de Posesión de MPS por Parte del Gobernador y el Alcalde

Grandes deficiencias en los presupuestos están plagando a la Ciudad de Milwaukee y el Estado de Wisconsin

Por H. Nelson Goodson
4 de septiembre de 2009

Milwaukee -El Gobernador Jim Doyle y el Alcalde Tom Barrett junto al presidente del Concilio Común llevaron a cabo una conferencia de prensa el lunes 31 de agosto en la Universidad de Wisconsin-Milwaukee para empujar el control de la alcaldía sobre el Distrito de Escuelas Públicas de Milwaukee (MPS). Su razonamiento para la toma de posesión no era motivada por ningún asunto personal con ninguno de los miembros de la junta directiva, pero ellos piensa que una forma nueva de atender los asuntos de MPS es necesaria.
Ninguno de los dos, el gobernador o el alcalde ofrecieron más detalles sobre cualquier plan propuesto para reformar a MPS. El gobernador está aplicando para parte de los $4.3 billones en fondos federales para las escuelas públicas en Wisconsin, y Obama tiene que saber que el estado se está enfocando en reformas serias en la educación.

En la conferencia de prensa, el Presidente de la Junta de MPS el Dr. Michael Bonds estaba presente y estaba en desacuerdo con el gobernador y el alcalde. Él no cree que sus ideas van a beneficiar a los estudiantes por un largo termino. “Yo estoy aquí para averiguar algunos de los datos específicos y ver que es lo que ellos harían diferente a lo que la junta directiva está haciendo”, dijo Bonds.
Hasta la fecha, el alcalde no tiene ningún plan especifico, pero está trabajando con legisladores para hacer un bosquejo de uno, y espera debatir el asunto cuando se vuelvan a reunir el 15 de septiembre, de acuerdo a partidarios presentes en la conferencia del Alcalde.
Los partidarios incluyen un número de administradores de un par de organizaciones en la comunidad Latina.
Asistieron a la conferencia de prensa estaban Enrique Figueroa, Lupe Martínez, Ricardo Díaz, María Monreal-Cameron, José F. Vásquez y Darryl Morin.
Doyle y Barrett quieren tomar provecho del propuesto dinero de estimulo federal dedicado a los programas de educación pública.
Los contribuyentes de impuestos están opuesta a dicha toma de control y se están enfocando en la deficiencia en el presupuesto de la Ciudad de Milwaukee y el presupuesto del Estado de Wisconsin a las cuales dichas instituciones se van enfrentar en alrededor de un año.
El Estado de Wisconsin se está enfrentando una deficiencia de $5.4 billones para el año 2011, y la Ciudad de Milwaukee se está enfrentando a una deficiencia de $90 millones para el año 2010. El Alcalde Barrett y el Gobernador Doyle no han logrado balancear la deficiencias de sus propios presupuestos y ahora quieren enfrentar el presupuesto y el plan de estudio de MPS.
Aparentemente, los partidarios del alcalde quienes estaban presentes en la conferencia simplemente están tratando de recibir beneficios del paquete de estimulo educacional, de acuerdo a los oponentes de la toma de control por parte del alcalde. Los oponentes creen el recibir parte de los billones en concesiones federales para escuelas es “la clave del factor político para que el alcalde tome control, en vez de desarrollar un plan de estudio que este dirigido a proveer una oportunidad educacional para estudiantes académicamente efectiva por medio de alistarse en cursos que los lleven al colegio, en orden de poder competir en empleos futuros”.
La junta de MPS votó la semana pasada para separar a un lado $250,000 para cubrir los costo de abogados en caso de que la toma de posesión del alcalde termina con un reto legal.
Por ejemplo, la toma de posesión de las escuelas públicas por parte del alcalde de Chicago proveyó un cambio pequeño, pero fue contribuido a los cambios actuales de los exámenes. Un estudio conducido por el Club Commercial de Chicago encontró que las ganancias académicas hechas por los estudiantes de la escuela elemental en las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago controladas por el alcalde “aparentan ser debidos a los cambios en exámenes hechos por la Junta en Educación del Estado de Illinois, en vez de mejoras reales en el aprendizaje de los estudiantes”. El estudio llamó la actuación de las escuelas públicas de Chicago “abismal”.
En Detroit, los votantes le devolvieron el control a la junta escolar después de que la toma de posesión por parte del alcalde no demostró ninguna mejora y los niveles de grados en los exámenes se mantuvieron iguales.
En Boston, algunas mejoras resultaron en los grados de matemática y lectura después de que el alcalde tomó control, pero los oponentes han cuestionado el método usado para recolectar datos. Los oponentes dijeron, que estudios han demostrado que en la mayoría de las ciudades donde ha ocurrido la toma de posesión de estás por la alcaldía, los padres tienen menos opiniones en como las escuelas deberían de ser corridas.
“Yo se que hay que hacer algo con MPS, pero ¿una toma de posesión? Estoy curioso de saber que pasara cuando MPS se quede corto. ¿Van ellos (el alcalde y el gobernador) van a dar tiempo libre a los maestros y a cerrar las escuelas por un par de días?”, dijo Victor Huyke, editor principal del periódico El Conquistador.
El miércoles de la semana pasada, el Concejal de Milwaukee, Anthony Zielinski quien está opuesto a la toma de posesión dijo, lo que está en juego es “el derecho fundamental de votar. El Gobernador Doyle y el Alcalde Barrett proponen que la Junta de Directores de las Escuelas sean desbandados a favor de un grupo señalado por el alcalde. Yo estoy luchando cien por ciento en contra de esta medida antidemocrática. Para ese fin, una legislación del Concilio Común ha sido bosquejada para formalizar esta oposición”.
Zielinski a retado al Alcalde Barrett a un debate público en relación a la toma de posesión de MPS, pero el alcalde se ha rehusado. Zielinski se ha registrado recientemente como candidato para la posición de Teniente Gobernador.
La Congresista Gwen Moore hizo una declaración denigrando la toma de posesión. “Nosotros no vamos a rectificar los retos enfrentados por MPS a menos que hablemos sobre la pobreza, el embarazo de adolescentes y las iniciativas de pólizas pervertidas las cuales han exacerbado este problema para las escuelas públicas de nuestra ciudad. MPS está trabajando con una formula estatal dañada la cual manda nuestros dólares públicos a escuelas privadas fuera de la ciudad… Yo realmente creo que el alcalde y el gobernador tienen las mejores intenciones para MPS; sin embargo, yo aun tengo que escuchar una explicación crédula de cómo estos retos difíciles van a ser arreglados simplemente cambiando como la junta escolar es elegida”, dijo Moore.
El capítulo local en Milwaukee de NAACP se ha opuesto públicamente a la toma de posesión por parte del alcalde. “La propuesta toma de posesión va a tener el efecto de desconectar a miles de votantes”, dijo el Presidente de NAACP Capítulo de Milwaukee, Jerry Hamilton.
“Nosotros estamos opuestos al control de las escuelas por parte de la alcaldía. Nosotros pensamos que el mejor modelo es una junta escolar fuerte por medio de la selección de un nuevo superintendente muy vibrante y energético… Nosotros creemos que la reforma escolar trabaja cuando los educadores en los salones de clases así como la comunidad están envueltos en moldear la reforma”, dijo Mike Langyel, el Presidente de la Asociación de Maestros de Educación de Milwaukee.
La semana pasada, la representante del estado Polly Williams le dijo que alcalde, el gobernador, el director de instrucción pública y otros están tratando de sacar al Dr. Michael Bonds un presidente de la junta escolar Afro-Americano, quien supervisa un distrito escolar que es 57 por ciento Afro-Americano.
La Junta de MPS establecieron un departamento de contabilidad para mejorar la supervisión de los gastos y costos. Nosotros hemos organizado un plan que va proveer responsabilidad fiscal y del programa”, dijo Bonds. El alcalde y el gobernador aun tienen que presentar una alternativa”, añadió Bonds.

El Ex Presidente de la Unión de la Policía. DeBraska, Convicto de Falsificación y Robo de Identidad

Por H. Nelson Goodson
4 de septiembre de 2009

Milwaukee-El viernes 28 de agosto, un jurado encontró a DeBraska, 53, ex Presidente de la Asociación de la Policía de Milwaukee, culpable en dos cargos, un cargo de falsificación y un cargo de robo de identidad. El ahora se está enfrentando a hasta 12 años de prisión, y hasta $20,000 en Multas.
Asistente al Fiscal del Distrito Kart Benkley va ahora a pedir al Juez Richard Sankovitz que revoque la fianza firmada y que encarcele a DeBraska hasta que sea sentenciado. El se está enfrentando a una cantidad substancial de años en la prisión, de acuerdo a Benkley.
DeBraska se retiró del Departamento de la Policía en 2005. Él fue una vez considerado una figura de influencia en los rangos del Departamento de la Policía de Milwaukee. Él fue un oficial de la policía por 27 años, incluyendo 17 como presidente de la unión.
El querella criminal dice que DeBraska ordenó a su secretaria de la unión Candy Johnson, en julio 2004 que fabricara un memo dictado palabra por palabra pretendiendo que el memo del 1999 era de parte del Presidente del Concilio Común John Kalwitz dirigida al negociador de labor de la ciudad Frank Forbes, Johnson testificó que DeBraska le había dicho que ella “tenía que llevarse eso a la tumba”.
Kalwitz testificó durante el juicio y dijo que él no había escrito o firmado el memo. “Millones en dinero público fueron potencialmente afectados por este documento. Esto es un asunto serio”, dijo John Chisholm, Fiscal del Distrito de Milwaukee.
La ciudad quería usar dinero del fondo de la pensión, pero la unión retó el tratar de usar entonces entre $2 millones y $3 millones de los fondos de pensión para usarlos para poner las computadoras de la pensión al día. El ciudad dijo que esto no tenía un límite de gastos, pero DeBraska fabricó un memo diciendo que Kalwitz había accedido a un limite total de 3 millones para el costo de las computadoras para ERS”.