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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2022
A response statement to Milwaukee Common Council Members from Voces de la Frontera Action, Never Again is Now, SEIU Wisconsin State Council, Freedom Action Now, and BLOC
(Milwaukee, WI) Wednesday, members of the Milwaukee Common Council voted 13-0 in approving a framework contract that moves the city closer to hosting the 2024 Republican National Convention. The agreement will go into effect if Milwaukee is selected as a host city by the Republican National Committee. In a joint statement released by seven council members, they claimed “pride” in “this important step”.
We are appalled that the 13 members of the Milwaukee Common Council and Mayor Johnson are legitimizing and normalizing the contemporary Republican Party that has become a modern-day neo-fascist party inspired by Donald Trump’s unapologetic allegiance to white supremacist ideas. The Republican Party has declared war on our nation’s democracy. Republican Party leaders enabled and then excused a violent insurrection at our nation’s capital and are continuously working openly and aggressively to undermine our voting rights. Consider that a recent survey shows 66% of Republicans believe the “great replacement theory” that inspired the shooting in Buffalo, NY this May, as well as those in recent years in El Paso, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia. Given these facts, how can our city’s leaders assure our community will be safe with the RNC in our city?
The Republican Party is not welcome in a majority people of color city with the largest number of immigrants and refugees in the state of Wisconsin. We do not want acts of racist violence against our community or our city turned into a militarized zone.
The Republican Convention will not have a positive impact on the vast majority of Milwaukee neighborhoods. The claims of a $200 million impact are little more than public relations talking points. They overestimate any real financial gain because Milwaukee’s hotels and restaurants are already filled during the summer. The RNC convention will simply replace those who normally visit our city. The most comprehensive study of the impact of national political conventions found they have no discernable impact on employment, personal income, or disposable personal income.
For at least two decades the Republican Party has been sticking it to Milwaukee. Republicans have blocked Milwaukee from passing a living wage through preemption, stopped paid sick days after a citywide Milwaukee referendum vote, slashed funds for public schools, blocked restoring driver’s licenses for immigrants, and they have refused to allow Milwaukee to generate its own revenue.
We are deeply disappointed that the voices and concerns of Milwaukee’s Black, Brown, and immigrant communities and the community members and organizations who publicly opposed the RNC being hosted in Milwaukee were ignored by this vote that normalizes an organization that has embraced white supremacy, authoritarianism, and acts of violence. Inviting the Republican Party to hold its convention in Milwaukee is like inviting the fox into the henhouse.
Voces de la Frontera Action, Never Again is Now, SEIU Wisconsin State Council, Freedom Action Now, and BLOC
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