David Hewitt, Elections, green bay, Mayoral, Uncategorized

Crowded Field Competes for Voters in Green Bay Mayoral Race

The mayoral race for Green Bay, Wisconsin is on and the ticket for voters to choose from to replace Mayor Jim Schmitt is more crowded than ever. [1] A total of eight candidates pledged their candidacy by the January 2nd, 2019 deadline.  Green Bay voters will get to narrow the all-male field down to two with a primary run off on February 19th, 2019. The mayoral election itself takes place on April 2nd, 2019.  The field consists of the following candidates:

  • Paul Boucher. Having been out of work for 15 years, Boucher has “been studying the city and trying to make the world a better place.” [2]
  • Patrick Buckley. A retired police officer and now businessman, Buckley is running on a non-partisan ticket but nevertheless has an endorsement from the local GOP. [3]
  • Patrick Evans. Evans has served as Brown County supervisor for 16 years and prides himself in having previously beaten outgoing Mayor Schmitt in a previous primary election (although ultimately losing to him in 2011.) [4]
  • Eric Genrich. Having previously served six years as a Democrat district assembly representative, Genrich is now running on a non-partisan ticket for Mayor. [5]
  • Joe Moore. A former alderman and current residential real-estate agent, Moore was elected to Green Bay city council in 2012. Declining to seek re-election, Moore is now running for the office of Mayor. [6]
  • Nick Mortensen. Working for a local sign company, Mortensen focuses on a distinct slant of utilizing technology for the benefit of Green Bay – “utilize…data to make smarter decisions…” [7]
  • Mark Steuer. Placing a campaign emphasis on “transparency and civility [8]”, Steuer is a three-time alderman and also presently serves as council president.
  • Guy Zima. Another former alderman of the city and Brown county supervisor, Zima was the last to announce his candidacy on the final day for submission. Zima is presently suing Mayor Schmitt, alleging defamation and slander. [9}

With a field of eight, the voters of Green Bay will head to the primary polls on February 19th, 2019 with a variety of choices before them.  The League of Women Voters of Greater Green Bay are set to hold a Mayoral forum on January 9th, 2019; giving voters an opportunity to cast an eye over the now confirmed field.


The LWV-Green Bay Candidates Forum will be held at the Brown County Central Library auditorium on 515 Pine Street. The forum is scheduled to begin at 6pm on Wednesday, Jan. 9th.
Find out more by visiting: www.facebook.com/events/374230990051477/


Written for Intellegere Project by: David Hewitt, MIS, BSc


References

[1]  https://greenbaywi.gov/655/Election-Information

[2], [3] & [5]  https://fox11online.com/news/election/former-alderman-zima-turns-in-papers-to-run-for-mayor?fbclid=IwAR18MA3ZXgrI5B3dINljXv6U7ncPr8-EJPCf5TshXnMg_zZCBhhitOY3d_U

[4]  https://www.wbay.com/content/news/Race-for-Green-Bay-mayor-is-growing-484358931.html

[6] https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/01/02/green-bay-mayoral-race-zima-brings-list-candidates-8-spring-election/2369072002

[7]  https://nickmortensen.com

[8] https://www.wearegreenbay.com/news/local-news/steuer-evans-announce-plans-to-run-for-green-bay-mayor/1212943324

[9]  https://www.nbc26.com/news/local-news/list-for-green-bay-mayoral-candidates-released

 

Uncategorized

Last Week, ICE Targeted Wisconsin. What Do We Do Now?

Photo courtesy of Angela Colmenares, Organizer of Peaceful Protest Against ICE – 9/26/18

A week ago, between Friday and Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 9 individuals in Brown County and 83 statewide [1]. The details and motivations for these arrests are not yet transparent, though previous ICE efforts in Wisconsin have targeted mostly immigrants not lawfully admitted to the U.S. [1]. The Green Bay Police Department (GBPD) was not made aware of ICE’s arrival prior to the four-day operation [2]. Though the surge of arrests reportedly ended Monday, individual reports concerning ICE activity flood social media while Green Bay’s Latinx and other vulnerable communities continue to fear for their safety [1]. In the wake of the fear and unrest the operation unleashed in Wisconsin communities, here’s what you need to know:

• Undocumented immigrants are the primary targets of ICE operations, but lawful permanent residents, refugees, and visa holders are subject to arrest if they have certain criminal convictions ranging from felonies to select misdemeanors [3]. Misdemeanors classified as those involving “moral turpitude,” a nebulous catch-all definition of immoral criminal behavior, committed within 5 years after the date of U.S. admission are considered grounds for arresting and deporting lawful residents [4].
• ICE agents CANNOT legally (except in limited, preapproved circumstances such as imminent danger to the public) make arrests at defined sensitive locations, which include schools, medical treatment and health care facilities, places of worship, religious or civil ceremonies or observances, and public demonstrations [5].
• ICE agents CAN make arrests at workplaces, courthouses, as well as at traffic stops or on the street so long as they have probable cause to do so [6].
• ICE agents routinely identify themselves as ‘police’ and not immigration officials when conducting raids. Agents used this tactic in the most recent operation [7].
• Immigrants have the right to remain silent, do not have to give out their name or immigration status information, and can refuse a search of their residence, vehicle, or possessions without a signed warrant [3,8].

With a lack of information about ICE’s policies and the rights of immigrants, some Wisconsinites fear going to work, school, or leaving their homes when there is news of ICE arrests [1]. Operations like the ones which took place in Wisconsin last week can cripple Latinx and other vulnerable communities unless residents are aware of their rights and know where they are safe. Casa ALBA, Voces de la Frontera, the Green Bay School District, and the GBPD have been instrumental in educating and reassuring Brown County citizens while a peaceful protest last week allowed individuals to raise a voice for change.

Now is the time to take action. A piece of legislation currently stalled in the House of Representatives, the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act, seeks to limit ICE actions at sensitive locations and clarify the powers of immigration officers at those locations, a vital step to minimizing the disruption immigration operations inflict on communities [9]. This bill would expand sensitive locations to include courthouses, DMV offices, emergency relief locations, and Social Security offices among others [10]. ICE activity should not interrupt access to these vital facilities. Representative Gwen Moore is the only Wisconsin legislator to cosponsor the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act. If you want to limit ICE’s ability to spread panic in sensitive communities, call your representative and tell them you approve of protecting and expanding sensitive locations. This bill is a small step, but it is a vital one in the fight to improve the lives of Wisconsin’s immigrants.

The links below contain more policy and constitutional information than that which is summarized above.

 
[1] https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/2018/09/25/ice-agents-arrest-9-brown-county-83-wisconsin-4-day-operation/1423165002/
[2] https://www.wbay.com/content/news/Chief-Smith-Discusses-ICE-Arrests-in-Green-Bay-494272611.html
[3] https://www.immigrantdefenseproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/IDP-ICE-Raids-Flyer-ENG-Jan-13-2018.pdf
[4] https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-5684.html
[5] https://www.ice.gov/ero/enforcement/sensitive-loc
[6] https://www.politifact.com/california/article/2018/sep/04/does-ice-have-unlimited-authority-make-courthouse-/
[7] https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/crime/2018/09/26/ice-says-its-accurate-agents-call-themselves-police/1432369002/
[8] https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/what-constitutional-rights-do-undocumented-immigrants-have
[9] https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1815/text
[10] https://bonamici.house.gov/sites/bonamici.house.gov/files/documents/170331SensitiveLocationsSummary.pdf

Uncategorized

861 Lead Water Pipes Remain in Green Bay. Other WI Cities Still In Crisis

In 2011 the Green Bay Water Utility (GBWU) found that the lead levels in some homes exceed the allowable limits set by the EPA [1]. It was determined that the source of the lead was service lines installed prior to 1944 as well as lead solder used until 1984 [1, 2].

  • GBWU has been working to replace lines. As of May 2018, 861 known lead service lines remain in Green Bay. [3]
  • Homeowners are responsible for the costs of replacing the portion of the service line extending from the “curb stop” into the home. This replacement, on average, costs $4800.00 [4].
  • Wisconsin DNR established a two year program which provides funding to municipalities in order to offset the costs to homeowners of replacing lead service lines. Green Bay received $500,000 in FY 17 and $300,000 in FY 18 as a part of this program [5].
  • In addition the city has spent $300,000 in Stadium Tax money to address the issue [6].

While several cities, Green Bay and Madison, have been successful in their efforts to locate and replace lead water pipes many others in our state have not. For example, Milwaukee reports that 11.6% of children have lead poisoning (national average is 3%) [7].  “The simplest answer,” according a WisContext investigation, “is that federal, state and local officials aren’t coming up with enough money to remove and replace old lead service lines.” [8] It’s rare when a public health issue can be so clearly defined and the solution be so apparent, why then are law makers unable to address it?

[1] http://gbwater.org/water-quality/general-lead-information/

[2] https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-08/documents/epa_lead_in_drinking_water_final_8.21.17.pdf

[3] http://gbwater.org/water-quality/who-is-affected-by-lead-service-lines/

[4] https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/2017/05/12/city-continues-push-remove-lead-water-pipes/101518144/

[5] https://dnr.wi.gov/Aid/documents/EIF/privateLSLreplacementFundingProgram.html

[6] https://fox11online.com/news/local/green-bay/27-applications-turned-in-for-green-bays-excess-stadium-tax-money

[7] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/milwaukee-parents-concerned-lead-levels-after-troubling-report/

[8] https://www.wiscontext.org/milwaukees-long-festering-lead-problem-becomes-politically-toxic

Uncategorized

Brown County Board Votes Wednesday on Inclusion of Marijuana Referendums

On Wednesday, July 18th, the 26-member Brown County Board will take a vote on the inclusion of two advisory referendums concerning the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, respectively. Several other Wisconsin counties including Dane and Milwaukee have already approved marijuana referendums to appear on their November ballots. [1] [2] With a 2016 Marquette Law School poll suggesting that 59 percent of Wisconsinites questioned approve the full legalization—with regulation—of marijuana, these referendums seem like an opportune use of a ballot questionnaire to inform state lawmakers about a majority voice for legalization. [3] However, an important minority population faces the greatest injustice under Wisconsin’s current marijuana laws.

  • In Wisconsin, black individuals were 6 times more likely to arrested for marijuana possession compared to whites despite making up less than 10 percent of the state’s population, according to a 2013 ACLU report [4]
  • The same report found Brown County to have the greatest racial disparity in possession arrests statewide with blacks being 7.6 times more likely to be arrested than whites in the Green Bay area.
  • Racial disparities in arrest percentages persist while the number of arrests continues to grow. In 2017, Wisconsin arrested 17,022 individuals for simple possession of marijuana, a 5% growth from the previous year. [5]

Despite rates of marijuana use being only marginally different between races, black populations in Wisconsin are disproportionately affected by the laws which criminalize the drug. [6] Including advisory referendums on marijuana legalization gives Brown County residents the chance to decry a set of laws which allow the subjugation of black individuals under a guise of pursuing a public good. Brown County Board Chair Patrick Moynihan Jr. (who could not be reached for immediate comment) has previously spoken against including a marijuana question on the November ballot [7]. If you support the referendums, let Chairperson Moynihan know by signing Intellegere’s petition. Let the board member who represents your district hear your voice before Wednesday’s vote by contacting them by phone or email. A district map with board member information can be found here.

Tell the Brown County Board to keep marijuana criminalization’s racist footprint in mind this Wednesday.

[1] https://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/dane-county-board-approves-advisory-referendum-on-legalizing-marijuana/article_51aac3f0-ab47-5037-b165-d8204e86bc13.html

[2] https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2018/05/10/county-panel-endorses-marijuana-referendum-nov-6-ballot/591566002/

[3] https://www.wpr.org/marquette-law-school-poll-shows-majority-wisconsinites-want-marijuana-be-legal

[4] https://www.aclu.org/report/report-war-marijuana-black-and-white?redirect=criminal-law-reform/war-marijuana-black-and-white

[5] https://www.doj.state.wi.us/dles/bjia/ucr-offense-and-arrest-data-agency

[6] https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.pdf

[7] https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/2018/07/10/marijuana-legalization-weed-pot-brown-county-board-mulls-medical-recreational-referendum-alex-tran/766768002/