Journal Sentinel Out of Touch with Milwaukee Neighborhoods, Politics

by George F. Sanders

The recent endorsement of every single aldermanic incumbent by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel indicates how out of touch the big paper is about what is really going on in Milwaukee. Most egregious was its endorsement of the 12th Ward incumbent “even though he was described as “a big disappointment . . . in the hope that he will ascend the learning curve more rapidly in a second term.” At the same time the paper dismissed Hispanic community activist candidate Robert Miranda “…as yet to compile a record of accomplishment in the district,” when in fact Miranda’s record dwarfs the incumbent’s both in community issues and political activism and is well known throughout Milwaukee. No one has been more involved with important citizen concerns than Mr. Miranda and it is an insult to not have recognized that. Could it be that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a problem with Mr. Miranda’s popular print media access and commentary which has been well noted and has won awards both locally and nationally? Miranda was also cited in Ralph Nader’s Crashing the Party. MJS’s sloppiness seems intentional as it ignores Miranda’s consistently being in touch with his district which also includes long term connections with other Hispanics and ethics. This is as it should be, yet the MJS appears to hold on to a myopic mind set that segregates districts, as well as people. I also call attention to the MJS’s endorsement of incumbent Marlene Johnson-Odom who has held the 6th District seat for almost 20 years, and whom I am challenging. Neither the MJS nor Ms. Johnson have called needed attention to either the current HIV crisis, the abominable murder rate that exceeds that of the state twice over nor the general neglect in the district. Ms. Johnson’s record and accomplishments for as long as she has been in office is vastly overshadowed by the continued rash of boarded up structures and ragged vacant lots that plague the Inner city. In addition, the MJS and Johnson-Odom appear to go along with the snail’s pace of inner city renewal by upscale moguls who support the incumbent and appear to be in charge of the developments, particularly condominiums. The record of Common Council incumbents is suspect as it does not show proper oversight in handling federal dollars to benefit low income people. It shows a poor record of controlling construction cost overruns. The $60 million dollar bill taxpayers paid for the new Milwaukee Police Communications building after an original estimate of $20 million is one example. Add that to common council’s mild concern about the sewerage district that just recently allowed 400 million gallons of raw sewerage into Lake Michigan. It appears that both the council and the MJS endorse the “strong mayor, weak council” kind of government. In this way, the MJS, and the “800 lb development and building gorillas,” will only have to tinker with the mayor who then deals with an inert council. Citizens be damned. This sort of Milwaukee government has spawned corruption which entails illegal kickbacks, double dealing and jail time that has destroyed the city’s clean government reputation. The MJS appears to gone into hibernation about this matter. The MJS itself has big ideas about building, expansion and development and will prefer to deal with one person, the mayor, rather than confront independent concerned alderman with new ideas and who might ask too many questions. As far as the competition that surrounds my own candidacy for 6th district alderman, ANY of the other challengers would be a better choice than incumbent Marlene Johnson Odom. If I fail in my bid, I pledge to wholeheartedly lend my support and encouragement to the challenger who does come out on top. Sincerely, George F. Sanders Candidate, 6th Aldermanic District
George Sanders

George F. Sanders is running for Alderman in the 6th District.