By LaKeshia N. Myers
To know me, is to know that I have an opinion. I am thankful that I chose a career that values opining on issues, as it allows me to truly “mind the business that pays me”. For those that follow this column closely, you will remember in my post-election autopsy, I asked that both political parties do better when it comes to recruiting and cultivating candidates. Well, as we say in church, “won’t He do it?”
Enter state Supreme Court candidate, Everett Mitchell. A judge, pastor, educator, and most importantly a man of the people. When I learned that Judge Mitchell was entering the race for state Supreme Court, I said, “finally.” Finally, we could have a judge that not only worked in the community, but we have a chance to elect someone of the community.
Judge Mitchell is no stranger to service—whether ministering to his parishioners in Madison, serving food with the brothers of Omega Psi Phi, or teaching law to future attorneys, Judge Mitchell is a proven servant leader.
Judge Mitchell currently serves on the Dane County Circuit Court and presides over the Juvenile Division (Branch Four). As a juvenile court judge he hears cases involving family re-unification, juvenile delinquency, and other civil and criminal proceedings. He also oversees Dane County’s High-Risk Drug Court Program. He has been lauded for having a compassionate approach to justice. Changing courtroom policies to reflect trauma-informed practice.
He is precisely what we need on the bench. An even tempered, thoughtful, jurist who does not view the law in a linear fashion. One that relies on experience, expertise, global philosophy, and common sense. One who understands how to communicate with the public about judicial matters, and rendering justice, but never turning a blind eye to just us.
In the one hundred seventy-five years that Wisconsin has been a state, there has never been an African American elected to the state Supreme Court. Ethnic minorities account for nearly twenty percent of the state’s population, and I believe the court should be reflective of the people. Everett Mitchell is a candidate “for such a time as this”; I hope we do what is necessary to elect him to the bench.
Judge Mitchell often says, “justice is not what you say, justice is what you do”. He has done the work. He is tried and true; community tested and people approved. He is the future of the Wisconsin judiciary.