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MILWAUKEE – Today, Rick Banks, a Milwaukee community organizer and activist formally launched his campaign to represent the 16th District in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Raised in the District, Rick has dedicated his life to bettering his community. He has a long history as a community organizer and advocate with organizations such as Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC) and the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative (HGNI).
“I’m running for Assembly because I have a vision where the State of Wisconsin invests in communities, not just in corporations, and invests in the people of those communities, not just in the buildings,” Banks said. “Our communities need and deserve living wages, real equity, and exceptional healthcare, childcare, and education. We deserve safety and comfort without having to fear our neighbors or law enforcement. We deserve healthy and clean neighborhoods where we’re not being poisoned by the air or water, and where the streets aren’t destroying our cars.”
The son of working class parents, Rick Banks is a proud MPS graduate of Riverside University High School. Staying true to his hometown roots, he studied political science and economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is also a graduate of the Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI), and the Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) programs.
Rick serves in many volunteering and leadership capacities, including tutoring youth and volunteering with local churches. As a community organizer Rick has listened to the concerns of hundreds of residents and worked to create solutions. He has organized home repair grants, youth programs, neighborhood cleanups, park improvements and other initiatives.
Rick Banks believes that money should stay local for the betterment of the community. To achieve this, he is working to start a community-centered credit union for the 53212 zip code with the goal of providing an alternative to predatory payday lenders, and fostering new community and worker-owned businesses.
A member of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Rick also passionately believes in the rights and dignity of all people, not merely the privileged few. He proudly stands against racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, and all kinds of oppression and will continue to fight for basic human dignity on behalf of all of the residents of the District.
“The economics of the state are not in line with the needs of our communities. We deserve so much more than just ‘jobs’. We deserve fulfilling careers that bring joy to our lives. We deserve entrepreneurship and ownership in businesses that will bring real equity to our communities. We deserve to thrive!” Rick looks forward to bringing his experience and bold, innovative leadership to the State Assembly.
The Democratic Party Primary Election is Tuesday, August 14th.