Friday, August 26, 2016

Walker's $4.5 million grant does not cover lost train work

I'd said in a posting earlier today that I might have more to say about Scott Walker's post-Sherman Park violence $4.5 grant and other aid to Milwaukee he spelled out in the city coincidentally (?) as police shooting victim Sylville Smith's funeral Friday morning was unfolding, and I did want to get a couple of more things on the record:

*  $4.5 million is a real, beneficial sum of money, if leveraged and invested strategically, and I am confident that all the officials and groups involved will do just that.  

But here's how a local expert suggested looking at that sum of money: $4.5 million is a lot less than the value and multiplier impact of millions and millions of dollars in expanded Amtrak operations statewide, in good-paying Milwaukee-based, long-term train set assembly and maintenance jobs,

train cab in production
Assembled in Milwaukee's low-income, jobs-hungry 30th St. corridor, banned in Wisconsin, shipped to the Northwest, with future train business and expansion in Milwaukee and statewide barred by Scott Walker

in several years of rail, train bridge and station construction or upgrades across the state, in future Midwest High-Speed Rail contracts. and in spinoff blue-and-white-collar consulting, supplier and technical work that were all lost to job-deprived Milwaukee neighborhoods when Walker intentionally cancelled the Talgo operation, and with it, a budding state train industry - - just for ideological, partisan and Walker's personal, political agendas.

For goodness sake, $4.5 million is less than half of what the state had to pay Talgo just for breaking an initial, two-train set assembly contract - - and Talgo got to keep the trains!

On which the state spent $50 million. 

* Walker would have looked more sincere today had he simply come to the city and said, 'Milwaukee is part of the state, and the state is glad to be doing the right thing for the people in our largest city,' instead of setting up future political ads in which he could book-end tough-guy images of his National Guard activation of a couple of weeks ago with the condescending language right off his official Governor's webpage today that looks especially ironic in light of his Talgo/Amtrak factory and employment cancellation in Milwaukee, and the failure of his 250,000 new jobs campaign pledge now overdue by more than 18 months:

"This is all about helping people move from government dependence to true independence through the dignity that comes from work.”
As if Talgo assembly, maintenance and Amtrak construction and operations workers - - and people across the city and state engaged in productive and useful work already - - needed that reminder. 

* Sidebar: Powerful language about the regions segregation that appeared in the Journal Sentinel's hard-copy edition today about Walker's grant, and which was also intact in early online editions has been edited out by this afternoon as the story developed today, but I had copied it into an earlier post today, and have placed them on my blog's face page, left margin, because the wording was spot-on truthful and worth memorializing.  

Here it is, again:
"Milwaukee and its suburbs are one of the most segregated areas in the nation, and the inner city has been devastated by the effects of lost manufacturing jobs and high rates of unemployment and incarceration
"[GOP WI Gov. Scott] Walker, a longtime former resident of Wauwatosa, has related better to the conservative suburbs of Milwaukee than to its liberal urban core, first as county executive and then as governor."
- - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 8/26/16

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If they wanted to do something that would address specific issues wouldn't they identify those issues prior to determining how much money is necessary? I can just hear Matt Morony saying something like "throw a little money at Milwaukee and when it fails to change anything you can blame Barrett or the Dem Representatives and Senators."

I hope that MKE leaders will come up with a list of issues they would like to see addressed and a cost for starting that they can counter the Guv's random $4.5 million "for Milwaukee." The way the state is handling our biggest city is just silly and criminal.