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The African American Roundtable is a coalition led by and serving the African American community in Milwaukee that exists to “empower and organize our community to transform policies so we can thrive and live at our greatest potential.”
“You cannot judge a victim by the way they fight back. The black community is being choked and we are fighting for their lives.”
-Morathi Adams, The Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Inc.
The African American Roundtable is committed to action for justice on behalf of individuals, both past and present, who have lost their lives at the hands of police violence. The events that have transpired in Milwaukee over the past week have been a display of community pain and frustration toward unfair policing practices and systemic racism.
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the aftermath of ongoing protests across the nation have been unfortunate and revealing. His death has reignited the conversation around policing in America, which has yet to be resolved. Unfortunately, there have been recent cases locally, like Joel Acevedo’s murder, that mirror the tragedy that has sparked national unrest.
“We’re going through the consequence of white supremacy not being addressed, racism not being addressed, divestment from communities not being addressed,” said Markasa Tucker, director of the African American Roundtable. “So much more has not been addressed that people shouldn’t expect any other response, referring to the protests and when looting occurs.”
We must come together as a community to hold our political system accountable in order to create a safe community for all to live and thrive. Our demands are as follows:
- Community investment: A $75 million divestment from the Milwaukee Police Department and reinvestment into building healthy communities that can thrive. In accordance, $50 million must be allocated to fund public health and $25 million to housing cooperatives.
- The rights of protesters are respected and no harm comes to them: Governor Tony Evers must withdraw the National Guard from Milwaukee. Mayor Tom Barrett must end the 9 p.m. citywide curfew. The Milwaukee Police Department must stop shooting rubber bullets and using teargas on protesters. City and County officials must release all arrested protesters, and revoke curfew fines and tickets.
- Justice for Joel Acevedo: Officer Mattioli must be terminated from the Milwaukee Police Department immediately for the murder of Mr. Acevedo. In addition, the three named accomplices must also be held accountable by law and also brought to justice.
- Let the Fire and Police Commission be the voice of the community: The Fire and Police Commission must remain the lead investigator on the internal investigation involving police officer Michael Mattioli. The Fire and Police Commission is an extension of the community; its role is to represent the interests of Milwaukee residents. Community voices must be given precedence in the six-month review process of Police Chief Alfonso Morales.
- Accountability to the community: Common Council President Cavalier Johnson must immediately appoint community members to the Community Collaborative Committee
Instead of an executive order to activate the National Guard, the Governor and County Executive should provide safeguards to black communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Housing: Implement a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, rent, mortgages and utility disconnections for Milwaukee County residents through the end of 2020.
- Health care: Declaration of racism in the state of Wisconsin as a public health crisis. Public and private institutions must be expanded to ensure that Milwaukee County residents have access to affordable health care.
It is imperative we continue to hold all public officials accountable to the community, especially in a time when our community’s needs are greater than ever. Therefore, we demand every person in a position of power within our political system prioritize the lives of all residents.
African American-Roundtable (AART)
ACLU of Wisconsin
African American Breastfeeding Network, Inc
Ayuda Mutua MKE
Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC)
Black Lives Matter to Wisconsin Unitarian Universalists
BYP 100 Milwaukee Chapter
Candace Coates, African American Roundtable Civic Engagement Advisory Board Member Center for Popular Democracy
Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Coalition for Justice
Cosecha Creative Space
Donovan Hines Foundation of Exuberance Co.
Fresh Start Learning, Inc
Hmong American Women’s Association
The Kairos International Christian Church
Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT)
Milwaukee Area Service & Hospitality Workers Union Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
Metcalfe Park Community Bridges
Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) Niyomni Events, LLC
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin
Progressive Baptist Church
Progressive Moms of Milwaukee
Racies Revolucionarias (R.A.R.A.S)
Schools and Communities United
Ubuntu Research and Evaluation
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chapter, American Association of University Professionals
Urban Underground Milwaukee
Youth Justice Milwaukee
Voces de la Frontera
WAVE Educational Fund
Wisconsin Justice Initiative
Wisconsin Working Families Party
Amy Mizialko, MTEA President
Candace Coates, African American Roundtable Civic Engagement Advisory Board Member
Dr. Gabrielle Gray
Ingrid Walker-Henry, MTEA Vice President
Jarrett English, Metcalfe Park Community Bridges Board Member and Wisconsin Voices Board Member Jenni Hofschulte, Parents for Public Schools of Milwaukee
Kara Coleman, African American Roundtable Civic Engagement Advisory Board Member
Rhonda Hill, African American Roundtable Civic Engagement Advisory Board Member
Dr. Robert Smith, Director, Center for Urban Research, Teaching & Outreach Marquette University
Sharonda Hunter, African American Roundtable Civic Engagement Advisory Board Member