Monday, August 20, 2007

Technological Breakthrough! SEWRPC On Internet Video's not a SEWRPC-produced or supplied service.
Far be it that a multi-million dollar, publicly-funded operation would add live or recorded video to its dreadfully-archaic website, or regular communications services.

This video instead is produced by Gretchen Schuldt, a neighborhood activist and co-founder of Citizens Allied for Sane Highways, which has pushed SEWRPC for years on highway planning and other related matters.

Schuldt (posted here) a recent SEWRPC presentation on economic justice, with responsive comments by ACLU attorney Karyn Rotker, as SEWRPC's Environmental Justice Task Force, (EJTF), was finally called to order after a long delay.

The EJTF is an effort by SEWRPC to address complaints that the planning agency has excluded minority and low-income participation.

Those complaints have dogged the agency for years, and were forcefully communicated at a 2004 Milwaukee public hearing (nicely summarized again by Schuldt) before federal officials who control a key piece of SEWRPC's role and identity - - the ability to review for approval billions in federal highway spending in southeastern Wisconsin.

Note that the response by SEWRPC was to create a citizen task force, not a full-fledged internal committee or an advisory committee. Nor did the SEWRPC effort come with modern communications to publicize the task force's work and enhance its stature.

Upgrading its website (it has no search capability, for example) and adding streaming video for people unable to get to SEWRPC meetings have been suggested to agency officials, with no follow-through.

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