Milwaukee’s Latino And Afro-American Communities Lack Adequate CDBG Funding For Growth And Development

Walker’s administration, Kleefish and Republican controlled legislature’s failure to adequately fund CDBG!

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

September 17, 2015

Madison, WI – It’s unfortunate that community based organizations in both Milwaukee’s Southside Latino community and Northside Afro-American community including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Common Council remain quiet about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s administration, Lieutenant Rebecca Kleefish, and the Republican controlled legislature’s failure to adequately fund the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
The State of Wisconsin is facing a $2.2B budget deficit, lack of job growth and no living wage.
The first quarter of 2015, WI ranked 39th in job creation at 1.72%, but not surpassing the first quarter of 2011 at 1.9%. In the last four years, there has been less job creation per quarter in the state, since 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What happened to employment growth in Wisconsin in the last four years? HNNUSA found that in 2011, Governor Walker had appointment Manuel “Manny” Pérez as Secretary of the Wisconsin Development of Workforce Development (DWD). Shown in a graph published by the Cap Times with stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Wisconsin in 2011 at 20th position for job creation at the end of Governor Jim Doyle’s (D) term, then it improved briefly to 17 position as best in the nation at the growth rate of 1.9%. This rate not only exceeded the national rate for the same period, but also has not been able to be exceeded by the State of Wisconsin in the last year’s. Then it fell precipitously to 38th position, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the latest stats graph published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The current improvement in the 30’s -while an improvement- it is a small improvement compared with the 17 best in the nation during the first quarter in 2011. Walker promised that 250,000 jobs would be created during his first term, but only achieved more than half of what he promised.
In 2011 during the first quarter, Secretary Pérez was part of Walker’s Cabinet. Sources on condition of anonymity at the DWD confirmed to HNNUSA that Secretary Pérez, the first Hispanic moderate Republican in Walkers cabinet, implemented successful approaches to help individuals from all walks of life without using any politics to get back to work, he was also very strict with financial controls, and ethics and he supported workforce and economic development with a passion and sincerity, according to the DWD sources. 
Under DWD Secretary Pérez in 2011, Wisconsin jobs creation and job employment reached 1.9%, which has not been met nor surpassed by anyone Walker has appointed as DWD Secretary in the last four years. Former DWD Secretary Pérez respectfully gained the reputation as the “People’s Secretary,” DWD sources say. Unfortunately, Governor Walker accepted DWD Secretary Pérez resignation. If Wisconsin had continued to see employment growing under Secretary Pérez, Walker would have had a chance to lock down the Republican nomination for President, but instead has lost his appeal in the race for job creation and has been bumped from a front runner in the Iowa polls to 10% this month and ending with less than 2%. 
Walker was declared a loser in the latest CNN Republican debates by the Washington Post, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WISN News 12 including others. Governor Walker will most likely end his bid for the Republican nomination for President.
The Walker campaign is expected to announce a major shake-up (removal or terminations) of key campaign staff members this weekend, but the end of the Walker bid for President is eminent.
Pérez could not be reached for comment.

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