By Nyesha Stone
Republicans have the power and their holding back the city of Milwaukee. To combat this, Alderman Cavalier Johnson was the primary sponsor of the legislation to place a non-binding referendum to the April 7, 2020 ballot asking voters if the City of Milwaukee should request that the Wisconsin Legislature pass a law establishing a non-partisan procedure for drawing legislative district maps.
On Sept. 16, the Judiciary and Legislation Committee voted to recommend for approval of the legislation (Common Council file #190826). According to a press release, following the 2010 United States Census, the Wisconsin Legislature established new legislative maps for the state and the partisan procedure (the one’s in power) created new legislative maps in 2011 which was controlled entirely by its Republican members.
Johnson says the Republicans have an “unfair advantage” because they redrew district maps in a way that restricted the Democrats vote. He said there are elected officials out there pushing for change, but are being stopped by the state.
“When you look at who controls legislation, sometimes they have this venom against Milwaukee,” said Johnson. “They can do things that negatively impact our community.”
By making the drawing of legislative district maps non-partisan, Milwaukee has more of a chance of getting the respect and the fair treatment we deserve from the state. According to Johnson, the state used to give enough money to Milwaukee to cover the entirety of the police budget with millions of dollars left to go other city’s needs. Now, almost half of Milwaukee’s city budget goes to paying the police department.
“The people who live in Milwaukee are residents of this state too,” said Johnson.
The legislation will go to the full Common Council on Tuesday, September 24 at 9 a.m. in the third floor Council Chamber at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
“A referendum on the upcoming April 7, 2020, ballot gives our citizens a chance to weigh in on this critically important issue and could demonstrate Milwaukee voters’ support for establishing a non-partisan procedure for establishing new legislative maps,” said in a press release.