Young Voter

Archive for July

Gun Violence Roundtable w/ @RollingStones and @MSNBC

Watch the video from today’s Gun Violence Roundtable, moderated by our Exec Director Biko Baker and featuring Trymaine Lee from MSNBC, Michael Skolnik from GlobalGrind, Simon Vozick-Levinson from Rolling Stone, Jess Pierce from the NAACP and Jamira Burley from the Philly Youth Commission.

From the Front Lines of the Wage Theft Fight

IMG_9474On Monday, members of the Wisconsin League attended a press conference held by Wisconsin Jobs Now to join the efforts of low-wage workers, advocates, community members, organizations, as well as elected officials, in the fight against wage theft.  Wage theft is defined as: “the withholding of wages or the denial of benefits that are rightfully owed to an employee.”

In real terms, it means workers who already make poverty wages have more of their money illegally taken by their wealthy employer. For instance, an employer might force an employee to clock out and then require the employee to shut down their work station. This extra time, which may take the employee a half hour or more to do, is not compensated time. Other examples of wage theft include being denied overtime pay, an employer not making up the difference in pay when tips don’t add up to minimum wage, employers not providing employees with a final paycheck after termination or the company closing, as in the case of Deaconess Home Health.

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100 Black Activists respond to the George Zimmerman verdict

The League’s E.D. Biko Baker was in Chicago last weekend to attend Black Youth Project’s convening. While there, he participated in the filming of this powerful video - take a look:

No Dollar Tree in Bronzeville

pic for dollar tree blog

On July 2, members of the Wisconsin League of Young Voters Education Fund attended a Milwaukee Common Council meeting to ensure the council upheld the committee vote denying a food license to the Dollar Tree located on MLK Dr. and North Ave. This particular corner is considered the heart of the historic Bronzeville neighborhood.

 In the last few weeks community members, organizations, and elected officials have been protesting the opening of Dollar Tree for various reasons. Community members argue that a Dollar Tree is not in line with the idea or purpose of Bronzeville which is to serve as the cultural and artistic corridor for the African American community in Milwaukee. For older residents, the Bronzeville neighborhood represents a time when jobs were plentiful, the nightlife was exciting, and raising a family was easy. Needless to say, erecting a Dollar Tree in the heart of this rich historical center is thoughtless and erroneous.

In addition to this issue, residents are upset that a Dollar Tree was introduced instead of the grocery store that was promised. A grocery store that Andy Kuhmar was granted a low rate, city loan in the amount of $400,000 to build. A grocery store that was guaranteed to be stocked with a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables. A stark contrast to a Dollar Tree  packed full of processed and packaged goods that provide little to no nutritional value.

At the end of the day, the Common Council upheld the smaller committees decision, 14-1, to withhold the food license, in effect preventing the opening of Dollar Tree in the heart of Bronzeville on MLK and North Ave. Make no mistake, this is a win for everyone involved and sets a sends a strong message to those wanting to build in this neighborhood and others that we will not be taken advantage of, that we will fight for what we deserve and in the end we will win. How symbolic that the community came out, stood up for what they thought was right and made a difference than on a street named Dr. Martin Luther King Dr?