Saturday, March 26, 2011

Journal Sentinel Acknowledges Facts And Consequences Of Regional Segregation

Glad to see a Journal Sentinel editorial about a complaint over housing discrimination in Waukesha County, and the larger context, including gaps in transportation.

"Segregation is a burden on everyone in the region, whether they realize it or not. It's a poison that eats away at the fabric of a community - and at prospects for a healthier economy. Poor minorities, who mostly live in Milwaukee's central city far away from jobs in the suburbs, have a harder time raising themselves out of poverty. It's not the only reason, clearly, but it's a contributing factor.

"Milwaukee bears the brunt of providing services for the unemployed and the poor. But taxpayers in the largely white suburbs pay, too, through taxes to fund those services. Better transportation is one answer, but more affordable housing in adjacent counties needs to be part of the mix...."
"...The county, and municipalities in the county, need to guard against approaches or attitudes that serve to make the Milwaukee area one of the most segregated in the country."
These issues have been documented and analyzed on this blog often - - a sample is here - - and let me add below a few facts from a more recent posting to the transportation and housing issues acknowledged in the editorial:
"As this very moment, Scott Walker has accelerated the spending of $1.7 billion in state and federal highway funds to ease the commute through the Zoo Interchange that sits between the two counties. And more spending is on the horizon west across Waukesha County to the Jefferson County line, and on a separate north-south bypass west of the City of Waukesha without similar expenditures for public transit.

"The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning, headquartered in the exurban Waukesha County community of Pewaukee - - one-third of SEWRPC's annual operating budget comes from Milwaukee County taxpayers - - wrote the freeway expansion and rebuilding plan.

"And has green-lighted the spending of another $23 million in local, state and federal dollars to build The Interchange To Nowhere - - a full-diamond interchange to the never-built shopping mall in the relatively upper-income, sprawly Pabst Farm development in Western Waukesha that is, along with the interchange site itself, on land that the commission's master plan said should be preserved.

"And you still cannot take a direct, public transit bus from the region's major job center that is the City of Milwaukee (with its majority-minority population) to the largest such employment site in Waukesha County - - the New Berlin Industrial Park - - in the same, heavily-white city that, a year ago, blocked after protests, the construction of a housing development to have included so-called workforce, or affordable rental units.

"Some public financing assistance was to have been included in the project.

"Additionally, SEWRPC repeatedly touted its master plan for decades without researching and issuing an updated, contemporary regional housing study - - an ongoing endeavor it agreed to begin, under pressure from fair housing advocates, after a 35-year lull."

See the picture emerging?"


Anonymous said...

Mr. Rowen,
Would it make more sense to fix, or dismantle MPS in order to raise the expectations of Milwaukee's work force? I believe that an educated workforce and a favorable tax climate would draw employers to Milwaukee rather than avoiding the issues of poverty perpetuated by more government solutions? How will Milwaukee ever climb out of this social train wreck if we simply don't address the root cause? Without education, and continued increases in the poverty rate in Milwaukee, we see families of one mom, 6 kids, and 6 sperm donors. There is a direct link between and the lack of education. Running buses or trains to jobs in another geographical area ignores real solutions.

James Rowen said...

was treating your inquiry as a serous question until I got to "6 sperm donors" wisecrack.

You obviously don't give a damn, nor have a clue about what is happening, or why.

I have a daughter-in-law who teaches in MPS and I can tell you that MPS teachers work hard and do wonders in a tough environment that I doubt you'd take on.

Attitudes like yours add nothing to the solutions.

Anonymous said...

Then, if your solution is to provide publicly funded transportation to supposed jobs in another geographical area who are you expecting to hire un - or - undereducated poor?

The problem begins at home Mr. Rowen. "Government is not he solution. Government is the problem."

I did give a damn, Mr. Rowen. But I didn't fit into the social mindset in Milwaukee where I worked everyday to pay for a welfare system where the "poor" made more than I did.

Stop the sperm donor mentality and work on the "real father" problem facing Milwaukee and Milwaukee might have a chance at a new beginning.