Social Equity

 

What will you do to reduce racial disparities throughout Wisconsin?

 

Racial disparity is both a moral and economic problem.  It will require sustained effort and resources to close the gaps between minority and white residents in Wisconsin.  It can be done.  In the 1970’s Wisconsin disparity gaps were better than the average state.

 

Governor Evers recently stated that the disparities between white and black people in the state are “sobering” and “devastating.”  Some of the statistics he cited include:

 

  • The mortality rate for black babies in Wisconsin is the highest in the country, and three times the rate for white babies.
  • One in three black children live in poverty, and that’s 3-1/2 times the rate for white children.
  • 85 percent of white people between 25 and 54 years old are employed, compared to 61 percent of black adults, and that’s the highest disparity in the country.
  • The median household income for white families is a little more than twice as much as for black families.

 

As we work to improve the lives of minority children and families, it is vital to include representatives of those populations from both urban and rural areas as partners in defining causes and identifying potential solutions. We cannot fear failure.  The cost of not taking action is untenable. As such, I will advocate that we will try new programs and approaches and borrow ideas from other states, cities, and countries that have made positive progress on closing the gap of racial disparity.

 

I will champion activities to close racial disparities in the state of Wisconsin.  I believe that the investments we as a state make will be returned to us many times over if our programs are thoughtfully developed and implemented.  The programs should address the following

 

  • Educational programs for teachers and administrators to develop skills to work more effectively with students from all backgrounds.
  • Improved civil rights curriculum and practices throughout K-12.
  • Revised discipline and retention strategies to reduce the number of truant and expelled minority students.
  • Programs to support women with young children who are newly entering the workforce including affordable accessible daycare options.
  • Early education intervention for poor minority children.
  • Improved funding for schools to increase resources to help with challenges of changing demographics of the student population.
  • Work with employers to encourage the recruitment and hiring from low-income minority households.  Training and targeted engagement programs will be necessary.
  • Work experience, youth apprentice/apprentice and summer work programs for minority youth.
  • Increasing the minimum wage to a family support level.

 

If I do become a Wisconsin state Senator, I vow to work with the government, not-for-profits, labor unions and industry to pro-actively address and reduce the disparities throughout Wisconsin.