COME TO RISE UP MILWAUKEE: RHYTHM FOR A REASON

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For Release On:
March 25, 2008

For more information contact:
Jennifer Epps 414-443-0682

Fed up with Injustice, Milwaukee Residents “Rise Up”

More than 1,000 city residents unite to solve Milwaukee’s economic crisis

Milwaukee is facing harsh economic times. In response, residents are “Rising Up.” At 5 pm on Saturday, March 29th, just 3 days before the critical April 1st elections, more than 1000 residents will gather at the Rave for “Rise Up Milwaukee: Rhythm For a Reason” -an event to unify diverse areas of the city in recognition of the common need for family-friendly jobs with fair wages, where workers can work free from fear with safe and healthy working conditions. The event is organized by “The Milwaukee Unity Cam-paign,” a coalition of local community organizations, labor unions, and residents working together to address the economic crisis facing Milwaukee’s residents, particularly in African-American and Latino communities.

Many of the more than 1,000 residents who will attend the event are first time voters in the spring election and have never been politically engaged before. Organizers will pro-vide voter information and at least 20 candidates for office will be in attendance to inter-act personally with constituents.

National artists Rhymefest and Kinto Sol, as well as several local acts will reinforce a common message of economic justice and worker rights through their music.

In the midst of a racially charged political climate, this event unites people of all races and all neighborhoods in the most segregated city in the country. Registered participants come from every Common Council district.

“This event is more than just a concert; it is a catalyst for real resident engagement in solving Milwaukee’s economic crisis,” said UWM student and event volunteer Jose Trejo.

Campaigns from Voces de la Frontera (VDLF) and the Good Jobs and Livable Neighbor-hoods Coalition (GJLN) will be presented.

“We believe that workplace raids and discrimination against immigrants are destructive to everyone in Milwaukee, not only immigrant families,” said Melanie Benesh, youth organizer with VDLF and “Rise Up” organizer.

Jennifer Epps, organizer with GJLN added, “Development policy in Milwaukee has taken from many and benefited very few. Our money should create good jobs in our commu-nity. We seek to challenge that balance by uniting our diverse communities.”

Outcomes for the event will include 250 people committed to work on the campaigns and collecting 200 pledges to vote on April 1st.

“This first of its kind event is exactly what we need. So often we are working towards the same goals separately. By uniting the struggle for a resident-focused development policy and immigrant rights we build power to move our campaigns forward and take back our city,” summarized Reverend Joseph Jackson, Pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church and GJLN Co-Chair.

Confirmed Candidates

Representative for Mayor Tom Barrett (Incumbent, Mayor)                   Andrew Shaw (Candidate for Mayor)                                                Alderman Ashanti Hamilton (Incumbent, District 1)                                     C. Orlando Owens (Candidate, District 1)                                             Patrick Flaherty (Candidate, District 3)                                                     Nik Kovac (Candidate, District 3)                                                     Alderman Bob Bauman (Incumbent, District 4)                                    Sharon Polk (Candidate, District 4)                                                 Alderman Jim Bohl (Incumbent, District 5)                                            Brenda Pullin-O’Donnell (Candidate, District 5)                                Antoinette McKee (Candidate, District 7)                                              Henry Hamilton III (Candidate, District 9)                                            Angel Sanchez (Candidate, District 12)                                           Alderman Anthony Zielinski (Incumbent, District 14)                              Dante Banks (Candidate, District 15)                                                    Pedro Colon (Candidate, City Attorney)                                                  Lena Taylor (Candidate, County Executive)                                       Rebecca Dallet (Candidate, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Branch 40) Jeffery Norman (Candidate, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Branch 40) Representative for Louis Butler (Candidate, State Supreme Court)

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