Open and transparent democracy is missing in action. Redistricting is required every 10 years after the census to assure equal representation for state assembly and senate districts. Since Republicans control the state senate, assembly and governor’s office, they took advantage of the situation to draw lines favorable to their party without public input or consultation with Democrats in the legislature. Republicans say the Democrats would have done the same.
Link to new district map for AD 10 State of isconsin
That may be true but that does not make it right. In fact this style of governance that is so partisan is becoming tedious and out favor with the public.
This impacts Riverwest with new boundaries for the 10 Assembly District (AD). It is drastically different. Often minor changes could meet the requirement of equalization but that is not what the Republicans did here. In order to create safe Republican districts to the north, Representative Sandy Paasch’s district basically disappeared.
Paasch decided to run in the new 10th AD to keep a seat in the Assembly and move to Shorewood which PRESTO! is now in the 10th AD. Shorewood is safely Democratic territory. This meets the goal of packing Democratic areas together and emphasize Republican leaning districts statewide.
There are four candidates for the 4th AD Democratic primary set for August 14. They are Harriet Callier, Mille Coby, Ieshuh Griffin and Sandy Paasch. Since Callier, Coby, Griffin are African American and Paasch is white, the race issue has come into play.
The former long term holder of the office, Annette Poly Williams, has concerns about losing African American representation in the Assembly. Her concerns have been shared by others and other African American elected officials as well, but not all. Tamara Grigsby, who is leaving the Assembly from the 18th AD, is supporting Paasch.
Looking at the cast of characters running narrows the field down to two. Unless you think Griffin, who seems to be running for just about every office available and whose claim to fame rhymes with white man’s stitich, or Callier, whose web site has a nice photo and letter but nothing that tells me about heer experience and vision in any detail but in platitudes.
So it is likely Paasch and Mille Coby likely to garner the most votes. Coby seems like a nice enough person, but again with such a short time line before the election and little online information or forums to hear the candidates face to face, it is hard to make a judgement on her. Paasch on the other hand has a long record and is well known and has strong support in Shorewood and most likely Riverwest. She is considered to be an effective legislator.
It is important to point out that this primary on August 14 will determine who is the next representative in the 10th AD. The incumbent, Elizabeth Coggs, is running for Spencer Coggs seat in Senate District 6, along with 4 other primary candidates for that seat.
So this election is it. A primary in August, moved up from September.
When asked most people cannot name their state Assembly Representative or state Senator. These are important positions. Whether you like or do not like the present state government we got here due to elections. Poor turn out in 2010 by Democratic base has given us these results.
Take the time to look at the map to see what district you are in. Some of us on the south of Riverwest are now in Leon Young’s AD. Some on the east are in Jon Richard’s District. These districts have some changes but remain mostly intact. Young and Richards are unopposed for reelection.
But most Riverwester’s are still in AD 10 and you will be electing a new representative in August.
Dominique Paul Noth of the Milwaukee labor press has written an excellent piece on the 10th AD election. You can find it on the link below.
Here are a few quots frp, Noth’s article:
“So there is now a new real District 10 tale despite an historical connection some cling to. The new district incorporates Shorewood. A crucial north section has been handed to the most obedient Democrat the GOP knew in Milwaukee, District 11’s Jason Fields. The core of the voting power reflects the new vitality of Riverwest and North Shore Grassroots.”
“African Americans may be majority in the district, but many of their most active community leaders expressed anger to Labor Press at “people who play racial politics” by sticking stubbornly to the past shape and desires of the old District 10.
Some surprising game-players are caught in the old views – Williams herself, Sen. Lena Taylor and others who apparently worry about an erosion of black power in the legislature.
Several black constituents, however, thought that was short-sighted and too nativist. They expressed how unhappy they are to see such simplicities put in play “especially against someone who has risked her future and career for her beliefs as Pasch has done,” one told me.”