By Nyesha Stone
It was exactly one week before elections on Oct. 30 that Black Male Leaders of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin urged Black men to vote come this Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Ashanti Hamilton, President of the Common Council; Alderman Cavalier Johnson; Alderman Khalif J. Rainey; II’ Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde; State Representative David Crowley and representatives from Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC) stood in front of City Hall to speak to a portion of Milwaukee that tends to be highly mistreated and overlooked: The Black man.
Johnson started the conversation off by bringing up how Donald Trump won the 2016 election by 20,000 votes in Wisconsin. He said we had people in the city who just didn’t show up to vote that year, and that this has to change this time around.
“We need everyone in the games especially African-American men,” he said. “[Because votes] help elect officials that share your values.”
Too many people suffer in this city and sit at home when it’s time to voice their concerns, Hamilton said, when he stepped up to the podium.
“We cannot afford to stay home,” Hamilton said. “We want to push you as hard as we can to let you know your voice has to be heard in this election.”
He continued: “Let’s put our values, communities and voices at the center of this election.”
Bowen then followed suit. He stated that it’s time to decriminalize marijuana in the state of Wisconsin, and the first step to that is voting yes to the weed referendum on the ballot [because] “more Black men would benefit from this economy.”
It is a known fact that Black men are incarnated at an extremely higher rate when it comes to the procession of marijuana compared to their white counterparts. But, by going out and voting for someone who supports fixing issues such as these, change can and will happen.
“There is an agenda that would benefit the Black community,” but we have to vote it in, Bowen said.
Omokunde was the last to speak before Johnson thanked everyone for tuning in. He said the issues people care most about are on the ballot, but just like Bowen said, we have to make that decision to cast our vote to push forward to a better Wisconsin.
“So many people don’t want Black men to vote,” Omokunde said, “[But,] we can get it done.”
Election day is Nov. 6. Make sure to go out and vote. To find out how visit https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/
This article originally appeared the Milwaukee Courier.