Wednesday, July 14, 2021

An honest discussion of race & Milwaukee must be regional & state

A piece in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel keyed to the Bucks' positive impact on racial harmony leads me to expand that analysis with some data, previous blog posts and commentary.

The story's headline - 

In segregated Milwaukee, the Bucks' playoff run and Deer District offer a glimpse at a more unified city 

- says "Milwaukee" and "a glimpse at a more unified city" without adding the word "area" or "region" to what is segregated and where, or is not unified.

For that I call out editors, not the bylined writers, whom I praise for acknowledging that there is a bigger picture:

And as fans pack the plaza outside the Bucks' arena known as the Deer District, cheering for a common goal in one of the most segregated metro areas in the nation, the team itself has developed a reputation for working to heal the community's racial divide. 

And which is something I have repeatedly blogged about:

I am adding to this [2019] post about environmental justice and government-enabled discriminatory planning in SE WI the schedule of an important television documentary about the destruction of African-American homes, business and neighborhood cohesion by I-43 construction from Milwaukee to the northern suburbs....

[Updated from 1/8/19 - - with news of litigation alleging racial profiling in a traffic stop on a stretch of interstate highway reminiscent of another outburst in Waukesha County which ended in hate crime convictions.]
There should be widespread dissemination of yet another report focusing on Southeastern Wisconsin's worst-in-the-nation segregation, but let's add some history and information to the discussion - - especially with a new Governor more attuned to the needs of cities and their residents.

As I have noted often on this blog, the disparities have been fueled by multiple actions by multiple layers of government as far back as the 1950's - - and 50 years later - - and often involve transit, such the Robin Vos-led prohibition against regional transit authorities which can move people to jobs and housing across local jurisdictional lines, to repeated threats to the sparse bus connections which do link urban workers with suburban employers.

Also here


State and regional governments keep Milwaukee, minorities isolated, part II

This blog has covered these issues for nearly ten years. There are hundreds of posts with supporting documentation. Use the index box at the upper left.

If we're going to have a discussion about segregation, let's look at the bigger picture. 

And note that the two-year budget which Republicans just successfully adopted arbitrarily cut transit funding to Milwaukee and Madison by a flat 50% but left all other transit systems statewide without similar reductions. 

This ultra-partisan approach to transit in Wisconsin will continue what reflects suburban/Republican anti-urban animus extensively documented in Waukesha's case, here


Waukesha Officials To Cut Transit Links, Again - - And Undercut Water Plan, Again

Cutting transit to Milwaukee, again, are we?

Including service from downtown Waukesha to Milwaukee, the Journal Sentinel reports.


Waukesha County Considering Fresh Barrier To Milwaukee Job Seekers

Cut a bus route to the New Berlin Industrial Park.

This is getting routine for Waukesha County...

MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2010

Another Milwaukee-Waukesha Bus Route Eliminated

Now it's a line to Quad/Graphics.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 

Waukesha County Opts Out Of Regional Transit; Milwaukee Should Do The Same With Water

Well, it's official; The Waukesha County Board of Supervisors has decided - - unanimously - - to decline joining a regional transit authority.

- and will keep the City of Milwaukee's minority-majority population intentionally separated from jobs, housing and other opportunities that further deepen the region's many divides.

Again - a reality long recognized by experts and journalists: 

Urban-suburban divide seen in Milwaukee area's employment gains 
The private-employment figures show that Milwaukee County has fared nowhere near as well as its much-more-affluent metro area neighbors since the recession....  
Marquette University economic professor Abdur Chowdhury also noted that the divergence in job creation between Milwaukee County and the metropolitan area's three suburban counties is a long-standing trend.
And with those counties poorly connected to Milwaukee by mass transit, he said in an email, relatively few African-Americans have secured employment in the part of the metropolitan area generating most of the job growth.

Let me add one list of links below - click through to the full charts which do not easily reproduce - or to the summarizing US Census website which shows the racial breakdown - among other information - of the populations of Milwaukee County and the three so-called WOW counties of Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington which surround Milwaukee.

And you might say, 'Wow! That couldn't have happened by accident.' 

The categories and terminology are the US Census Bureau's language:

* Waukesha County: White alone, 92.5%. Black or African American alone, 27.2%

* Ozaukee County: White alone, 93.8%. Black or African American alone, 1.7%

* Washington County: White alone, 95.5%. Black or African American alone, 1.4%.

* Milwaukee County: White alone, 64.2%. Black or African American alone, 27.2%.

You can dig into the Census web site and the links for expanded, or more granular, comparative numbers, but the data - from race to income to housing and so on - speak to disparities, policies, and intentions which extend beyond just Milwaukee.

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. Poor transit connections have long kept City of Milwaukee residents and people of color separated from jobs, housing, schools and recreational opportunities suburban communities which surround the city and county of Milwaukee. 



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