Supervisor Biddle bullish about “banning the box” at state level

Source: Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors

Milwaukee County Supervisor Eyon Biddle, Sr., is publicly supporting State Senator Lena Taylor’s effort to “ban the box” at the State level. “Ban the box” legislation enables job seekers with criminal pasts to clear the first barrier to employment and demonstrate their skills, abilities and evidence of rehabilitation to prospective employers.

Earlier this year, the County Board adopted a resolution authored by Supervisor Biddle to remove questions related to prior conviction and pending criminal charges from the initial job application for Milwaukee County employment, develop a policy for uniform background checks on all candidates selected for hire, and encourage the State of Wisconsin and all public and private employers to follow Milwaukee County’s lead.

“I led the fight on ban the box here at the County level. Now, we need to focus our efforts on Senator Taylor’s legislation at the State,” Supervisor Biddle said. “I thank her for her commitment to this crucial issue.”

Instead of advancing Senate Bill 207, which makes it easier for employers to discriminate against individuals with felony convictions, Sup. Biddle believes the Legislature should instead adopt Senator Taylor’s Senate Bill 309. “I am calling on the Senate’s Committee on Labor, Public Safety and Urban Affairs to hold a public hearing on the bill, so it can be considered when the Legislature returns to the floor in 2012,” he said.

“There have been some similar discussions at the City of Milwaukee. It would be great if they follow suit as well with this valuable progressive reform to limit discrimination in the hiring process and provide equal opportunities to all job seekers,” Supervisor Biddle added. “Every unit of government, along with non-profit, faith-based, and community organizations, should support this legislation. It’s pivotal to local job growth. We all know that discrimination still goes on. Banning the box diminishes discrimination and allows individuals to at least have a fair interview process.”

“Ultimately, we need to spur a larger discussion about hiring reforms in general. Minorities, women, and ex-offenders are disproportionately left out of jobs. We must develop a comprehensive plan to limit all forms of discrimination. We need to keep the pressure on defeating SB 207 and supporting SB 309. We have to be aggressive in tackling this problem every step of the way.”





Do you think bicyclists should be provided access to the Hoan Bridge?

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“That’s a good question. What would be the alternate route if not?” —Steve Peplin, N. Second Street

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“Yes, I do because of the fact of that when people ride their bikes through this area on the street [Kinnickinnic Avenue], a lot of people don’t tend to see them and there’s been a lot of people who have gotten hit more than once or gotten close to hit more than once. I’ve been a driver for almost three years and I’ve seen lots of crazy stuff around here with bicycle riders so I feel really bad for them.” —Kelly Osgood, S. Lenox Street

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“I ride a bike a lot and wouldn’t really use it probably that much. I guess it wouldn’t be a bad thing though…some place to get across, but I’d rather see people on the regular streets. Too much traffic up there. And you never know what’s going to fall.” —Wilbur Lorge, S. Kinnickinnic Avenue

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“You’re talking an expense there that I don’t think a lot of people would use. If you’ve ever done one of those walks up and down the bridge, for example, it’s pretty steep. It’d be pretty hard cycling, and limited from May to September. I don’t think they should go through the expense of providing an additional lane.”
—Rick Spangler, S. Logan Avenue

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“Yeah, I think they definitely should. I guess it’s busy when you go down First Street by downtown… It can suck having to abide by the lanes down there. I’d rather they don’t get hit. A lot of cities—I think it’s Portland—they have the bridges and bike lanes that go from place to place in the city and cross the bodies of water.”
—Eric Scott, E. College Avenue

Would you consider raising chickens in your backyard?

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“As long as they don’t disturb the neighbors, I don’t see no problem with it. Not me personally. All the poop and all of that. And chickens can be noisy. As long as they don’t make no noise, I don’t see a problem with it, but me personally, I wouldn’t do it.”

—Sylvester Harris, N. Second Street

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“I wouldn’t raise chickens in my backyard, just for the simple fact that it would be just too time-consuming, too loud. I wouldn’t mind my neighbors owning chickens, but I wouldn’t personally. That’s not what I’m into.”

—Lewis Rad, Delaware Avenue

“I would raise two chickens, ’cause it’s not that many, but then you can still get eggs.”

—Mariah Ochoa, Burrell Street

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“I don’t think I would raise them, and as long as they’re not as loud as my neighbor’s dogs, I think I would be okay with it.”

—Charles Dwyer and Napoleon, Lincoln Avenue

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“Personally, I wouldn’t raise chickens in a city. In more of a country setting—I would find better for the chickens. I eat a lot of organic food so I find humane treatment of animals hard to come by in the city. I definitely wouldn’t raise them in the city. I would definitely prefer living in the country. My family has chickens in Indiana. It’s great, it’s a lot of fun, it’s good for kids, but not in a city.”

—Meghan Jungbluth and Elvis, Allis Street

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“No. One, I don’t want to clean them. Two, they’d make too much noise. If I have a party in my backyard and the next-door neighbor’s raising four chickens, no, I wouldn’t like that. But who am I to say what other people can do? I’m cool with it. Just don’t let it get out of hand. If it starts to disturb me and my family and we have to think about the nuisance law, too. I like peace and quiet. I don’t want to hear ‘gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble’ all day long. I’m actually not opposed to it.”

—Patrick LeMieux, E. Conway Street


What do you think about Governor Walker’s first few months in office?

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“[Laughs] Lousy. Not good. I don’t agree with the—I don’t think he should have been elected in the first place. As far as, because I’m a smoker, well I heard rumors about something that they were going to look into it for the bars again, but I don’t know if that’s true or not, I just heard it from other people. As far as the restaurant, I can see; a bar, I don’t…”

—Kevin Smith, First & Mitchell

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“I don’t know where to start. I don’t know… I wanted a train. That’s about all I gotta say. Not really happy with the other stuff, too. I went down to Madison when they, you know, tried to pass the bill. Now it’s passed, but it ain’t going through. I don’t even know. I want the guy gone, basically.”

—Nathan LaForce, Shorewood

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“Rocky. Rocky. Yeah, it seems like he’s got his ideas. And it just would be helpful if he would collaborate with other people more. Because that’s sort of Wisconsin’s reputation, is to be constructive yet we’re progressive at the same time.”

—Rosemary Stetzer, Dakota Street

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“He sucks.”

—Patrick Dubrey, Howard Avenue

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“Um…I’m definitely not for it. [laughs]”

—Darin Dubinsky, E. Becher Street, with Jazzton Dubinsky

“I guess, okay.”

—Jazzton Dubinsky


What do you think of the proposed Voter ID act (Senate Bill 5)?

Tommy Svendsen
“I think it’s a good idea. I think if you’re going to vote you should have some form of identification.”

—Tommy Svendsen, E. Homer Street

Sam Fink

“I think it’s a good thing. It lets American citizens and people that can vote, do vote. And I think it encourages a better upkeep of who’s voting so there’s not two, three people voting at once and stuff like that.”

—Sam Fink, S. Kinnickinnic Avenue


“I think it’s stupid because it’s going to hurt the people that don’t have IDs or are less likely to come out and vote because they have to show an ID. I believe it’s going to hurt the community more than it’s going to help it.”

—Adam, E. Linus Street

Nick Miller

“I think anything to help legitimize voting so there’s no fraud is beneficial to everybody.”

—Nick Miller, S. Brisbane

What advice would you give Wisconsin’s next governor?

Adam Shea
—Adam Shea, S. Dayfield Avenue

“My politics are a little different. The advice I’d give to the new governor…don’t listen to Fox News? I guess I don’t have much of a comment, I definitely follow politics, but it’s so messy right now that it’s really easier for me not to pay attention to it, keeps the blood pressure down. It gets frustrating to get wrapped up in it too much.”

Kesan Holt lightened

—Kesan Holt, E. Oklahoma Avenue

“Oh wow. First and foremost, construction planning. [Laughs] I’m finding that that’s pretty much been the main issue for myself and a lot of people I work with. And just in general, you have to take a detour to Point A to Point B especially when the bridge over there [gestures toward Kinnickinnic Avenue bridge] … it was a huge inconvenience for everyone getting out of Bay View heading north.

Jason Henn

—Jason Henn, S. Burrell Street

“What advice? We have to do something about companies outsourcing our jobs, for one. Right now, I’m laid off. I mean it’s the biggest thing in my eyes. I think something has to be passed as far as corporate greed. There’s a lot of corporate greed that goes around in bigger corporations, and I think it’s overlooked. It’s always the middle class employees who always have to give something up as far as pay cuts, or pay more for health and welfare, and nothing is ever looked at as far as the white collar side goes. So I think there’s some legislation, pass some sort of a law mandating that a little better than they do.”

Heather Henn

—Heather Henn, S. Burrell Street

“[Laughs] God, where do you start? I guess for one, to start lowering taxes so that Wisconsin isn’t up in the top 10. Start bringing jobs back here. Stop wasting our money on a bunch of crap that no one cares about. Is it only one thing? And then my other thing was to start doing something about the health care issue.”

John Dillon Anthony

(from left to right) —John Brander, S. Wentworth Avenue; Dillon Johnson, S. Adams Avenue; Anthony Jeffrey, W. Forest Home Avenue

Dillon: “Oh man, I don’t watch TV.”

John: “Create new tax incentives for small business to help small businesses stay afloat during the double-dipping recession. That would work for me.”

Anthony: “He pretty much took the words out of my mouth. Small businesses help the community thrive, versus big corporations, at least in my eyes.”

John: “And free money—stimulus!!”

Anthony: “It’d also be nice to see this health care bill go through and all that get worked out.”

John: “Oh yeah, medical marijuana, we need that, we’re lagging.”

Anthony: “Yeah, also that’s been sitting for a while now. And I think it should be decriminalized at least.”

John: “Yeah, Michigan’s already doing that.”

Now that the smoking ban is in effect, what do you think bars did with all of the ashtrays?

Joe Dembiec

They’re keeping them in back so when they repeal or whatever it they can use it again. Either that or they gave it to all of their customers and they took them home.”

—Joe Dembiec, E. Bennett Avenue

Sarah Holzum and Sava Parisi

Sarah: “They joined all their other friends in a landfill somewhere.”

Sava: “Really bad craft artwork.”

Sarah: “Oh, there you go, that’s a good one.”

—Sarah Holzum and Sava Parisi, S. Wentworth Avenue

Jason Loveall

“Well, there’s got to be some sort of a condemned dungeon for where the ashtrays need to live now. They’re shamed, they’ve been completely discredited. They used to be loved, so cherished. But now there’s just a dark space. You know every single bar, every single location has that deep dark corner of the dungeon, sort of where the moths live. I think the ashtrays must be making love to the moths.”

—Jason Loveall, Van Buren Street

Mario Malacara

“They probably still have them. They don’t know what to do with them, they just threw them away. Maybe aliens abducted them.”

—Mario Malacara, S. First Street

Ryan Pace

“Tough question. I’d say Bush is using them to store all the oil he’s got in a manifest in Texas somewhere. I dunno, does that work?”

—Ryan Pace, W. Highland Boulevard

If you could take Lady Gaga anywhere in Bay View, where would you take her?

Charles Lemiux

“Well, I don’t know. Honestly. Probably that restaurant down the block. I don’t know what it’s called [Honeypie].”
-Charles Lemiux, Linus Street

Rob Risch
“If I could take Lady Gaga anywhere in Bay View? Oh God, the Bronze Fonz-[that’s not in Bay View]. Oh, God, yeah, that’s right. I’m sorry. I don’t know much of Bay View. I’m from the East Side…we just came for the record store [Rush Mor Records]…(his friends from Green Bay chime in: “Take her to Pipe Dreams!”)…I guess I would take her to Blackbird. That’s my favorite bar around here. Yeah, I’d take her to Blackbird to meet Ashley. She’s the singer from Redneck Lottery.”
-Rob Risch, East Side

Jim Liedtke
“Ah, the community center down here [Beulah Brinton Community Center].”
-Jim Liedtke, N. 29th Street

Scott Starr and Peter Driscoll
Scott: “I’d take her in here [Rev Pop] to record a song.”
Pete: “Ah, McDonald’s [laughs]…Honeypie [instead].”
Scott: “We’ll go record a CD at Rev Pop, then go to Honeypie for lunch-because it would be done in an hour or so [laughs].”
-Scott Starr, Howell Avenue (right), and Pete Driscoll, Waukesha

Steve Wraskowski and Lori McGrath
Lori: “I don’t like her [laughs].”
Steve: “I don’t know. The ice cream parlor over there [Babe’s] or Stone Creek Coffee? I don’t know. ‘Cauz she says she’s celibate, she doesn’t want to-”
Lori: “I’d take her to Maritime Savings Bank [laughs].”
Steve: “Stone Creek Coffee. Stone Creek Coffee. Otherwise, there’s Rush Mor over there, see if she’s got her album in there. But those are resale, so I don’t know. I feel there’s a lot to do, but-Oh, the Alchemist Theatre. Alchemist Theatre. Bay View Library.”
-Steve Wrzaskowski, Second Street, and Lori McGrath, West Allis

Do you think the Gulf will recover from the oil spill?

Patrick Fleis

“Economically it will recover. The communities will recover. However, the long-felt needs will be there much longer. We’re still seeing the Exxon Valdez problems there environmentally, also the Mexico spill that was in 1979, I believe, they’re still seeing problems with that. And quite honestly, the spills in 1969 off the coast of California, there’s still ramifications with that…Whether it is going to have a detriment to the fishing and the shrimping and the crabbing, I think it will—it may not be as drastic—but it’s definitely going to be a long-felt need.”

—Patrick Fleis, Whitnall Avenue

Morgan Hopp and Rick Guerra

Hopp: “No.” Guerra: “I don’t think so either. If you look at the other oil spills that they’ve had and the effects that they’ve had there’s still swamplands and everything that after 30, 40 years and they’re still finding stuff in there. I don’t think it will ever be back to where it was.”

—Morgan Hopp & Rick Guerra, Kinnickinnic Avenue

Liam Maltz

“Maybe. I really don’t know. I hope it does because I like the fish that comes from there. I love cooking with the stuff, it’s good. Not to mention we need a clean ecosystem if our species is to survive. If we keep ruining every single thing we come in contact with, we’re going to ruin ourselves, and you know, we’re just going to go, we’re going to go and we’re going to be obsolete.”

—Liam Maltz, W. Wisconsin Avenue

Elizabeth Sowell

“With time. It’s Mother Earth and she takes care of herself.”

—Elizabeth Sowell, Delaware Avenue

Jose Ortiz

“Oh yeah. The same thing happened in Campeche, Mexico about 20 years ago [actually in 1979], and the oil spill disappeared because of the natural elements in our water or whatever it is…this will go, within time, it’ll take awhile, it’ll clear up.”

—Jose “Barber Extraordinaire” Ortiz, S. Herman Street

Do you know it’s now legal to raise bees in the city? What do you think?

Dave Hakes

“I didn’t know that and I don’t know why you wouldn’t be able to. They’re not a nuisance. I think you should raise chickens, too.”

-Dave Hakes, Dover Street

Jaclyn Jankowski

“I did not know…I guess it’s okay. I don’t know, I like bees, as long as I don’t get stung by them, ’cause then I’d die.”

-Jaclyn Jankowski, Fifth Place


“No, I didn’t. But I’m also unaware of any bee problem. I love bees, but they’re all kind of dying anyway, and that sucks. So, there’s probably no place for them in the city, I guess. If I was stuck in the city, I would want to have some bees. Some people are afraid of bees. I read once that pennyroyal, an herb in the mint family, keeps bees away a lot, which might also keep your flowers from re-pollinating.”

-John, (Kinnickinnic Avenue)

Emily Conigliaro

“Hmm, I didn’t know that. I guess it’s okay, if people want to make their own honey, do their own thing, I can understand why you’d want to do that. But I wouldn’t want bees in my backyard.”

-Emily Conigliaro, Linus Street

Jim Luepke

“Wow! No, I don’t. I don’t see any problem with it. Wow, totally uninformed on the subject, sorry!”

-Jim Luepke, Oklahoma Avenue

In March, the Milwaukee Common Council approved an ordinance that allows bees to be raised in the city. Urban beekeepers must obtain an $80 annual permit.

Have you heard about Alterra’s proposed Bay View (bakery & café) project?… What do you think?

Michael Jarozewski

“I hadn’t heard of it…Where the Maritime Bank was? I never heard about that going on. There’s not enough exposure about that going on, on the south side. Big corporations just take over anything they want.”

-Michael Jarozewski, 11th & Lincoln

Jodie Hansen

“Yeah…I think we have enough coffee shops. I mean, I really like Alterra but I’m not sure that this would be the best location for it because we already have two right on the same corners.”

-Jodie Hansen, Howell Avenue

Jerry Love

They should build over the parking lot a structure, right here; tear down this here building right here [former Pandora/Magnum]; and then make it a café in back and a bakery in front, right where this building right here is supposed to come down, in the back of this Maritime Savings Bank, this here [front of Maritime along Lincoln], a pharmacy right here.”

-Jerry Love, Lincoln & Howell

Brennan Stehling

“Actually, I attended the session [April 12]…I actually am a regular here at the Wild Flour, and I plan on staying a regular. I think it’s great that they’re going to move in because I’ve seen what they did at the lakefront and at Humboldt, where I live near. It’s just drawn activity to the neighborhood, so it only seems to help the neighborhood. Some people are bothered by the financial scenario, but I think they’ll be able to pay back the loan no problem, so I think it’s generally a positive.”

-Brennan Stehling, Commerce Street (works in an office in Bay View’s King Building)

Vinko Smolcic

“No, I’ve not heard about it…Oh, over there on the corner? Yeah, I think that could be put to a bakery over there. Yeah.”

-Vinko Smolcic, West Allis

Does your employer recycle and if so what?

Barb Koenig and Janet Kujawa

“I work for MPS and so the kids in our school [Hamilton] are just starting a recycling program. We used to have one. And we will be recycling mostly paper and plastic bottles.” -Barb Koenig, Linebarger Terrace (right)

Greg Pekel

“He recycles paper. We’re a sales office so we really don’t have much disposable goods. It’s pretty much just paper, but we do recycle paper.” -Greg Pekel, Muskego

Joe Zilinski

“Yes we do. Basically we recycle everything. I work for a millwork company. We recycle wood. We recycle all our cardboard, paper, everything.” -Joe Zilinski

Jonathan Winkle and Elizabeth Warne

“My employer? Yes. Paper and plastic materials.” -Jonathan Winkle, Illinois Avenue

“I’m self-employed, so yes, I recycle.”  -Elizabeth Warne, Illinois Avenue

Carrie Bickerstaff

“No, we don’t recycle in my building right now, which seems really old-fashioned, but we’re moving into a new building in August and we’ll have recycling there, so that’s good.” -Carrie Bickerstaff, S. Eighth Street