MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN — On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Common Council confirmed Griselda Aldrete as Executive Director the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission by a 10-1 vote with 3 abstentions. Prior to the vote, members of the Coalition for a People’s Sheriff spoke during a public hearing to urge the Council to delay a decision on Ms. Aldrete’s confirmation until after the August recess, so community members and organizations could have more time to meet with her and so the public could learn her positions on specific issues that affect communities of color. Prior to Ms. Aldrete’s confirmation, a motion to delay the vote failed by a 5-7 margin with 2 abstentions, with Ald. Bauman, Ald. Coggs, Ald. Rainey, Ald. Zielinski, and Ald. Stamper voting to delay the vote (meeting minutes here).
On July 25th, 12 member organizations of the Coalition for a People’s Sheriff sent a letter to Common Council members urging them to delay the vote until after August. The letter was signed by the African-American Roundtable, AFSCME Council 32, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC), Citizen Action, Genderqueer Milwaukee, Hmong American Women’s Association, Leaders Igniting Transformation, Red Umbrella Justice, Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin Justice Initiative, Wisconsin Voices, and the Wisconsin Working Families Party.
The Coalition for a People’s Sheriff released the following organizational statement in response to Ms. Aldrete’s confirmation:
“The Coalition for a People’s Sheriff is disappointed in the Common Council’s decision to not delay the vote for the Mayor’s nominee for the Fire and Police Commission Executive Director until after the August recess. Over the last several days, the Coalition and its allies have made calls, spoken at committee hearings and talked to Alderpersons in person to explain why it was important to put a hold on the vote until after the August recess. We believed that this was necessary so that members of the community could have more time to get to know the nominee and see for themselves how she will interact with the community. We believed it was also necessary to truly hear her ideas and philosophies around specific issues that affect communities of color.
“The Coalition also recognizes the Alderpersons who voted to delay the vote until after the August recess, many of whom have acknowledged the lack of transparency and the lack of a deeper community presence and involvement throughout this short process. Despite the outcome of this vote and the rushed nature of this confirmation process, the Coalition for a People’s Sheriff and the African American Roundtable are committed to working with the next Executive Director of the Fire and Police Commission to ensure accountability and transparency are carried out with the Fire and Police Commission for years to come.”
The Coalition for a People’s Sheriff is a grassroots coalition of Milwaukee community organizations formed in 2017 that is working to expand public safety, defend civil rights, and end mass incarceration.