Tonight the City of Milwaukee failed ALL of its immigrant and refugee communities as they were left with less tonight than when the day began.

The largest city in the state has failed its people because of poor advice from the Office of the City Attorney.

Members of the Judiciary and Legislation Committee, elected representatives of Milwaukee’s Latino community, and community advocates were hoodwinked. We were led to believe that we could draw a more diverse map for Milwaukeeans, in particular on the city’s south side, but the committee meeting was a farce as assistant city attorneys implored us to go into closed session, only to tell us none of it was possible based on their legal opinion, which was not made public until today (the day of the hearing). The legal opinion can be found in the file here.

I am devastated and incensed that a city would do this to its people. I have lost so much faith in the supposed democratic process of government. Today is akin to February 25, 2011 when the Wisconsin State Assembly rolled the vote on the Budget Repair Act and 28 legislators were not able to cast their vote because they shut it down. I was one of those legislators, and my district’s voice went unheard because the Republican majority railroaded us.

Today, it feels as if we were railroaded again. I am struggling with how to explain this to my community, and I want to express how much I understand your frustration and anger.

All I can do is continue to commit myself to fighting for us, for our voice to be heard, and for a seat at the table.

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