County Board passes measure creating Office on African American Affairs

Resolution by Supervisor Khalif Rainey Seeks to Identify and Address Issues In the African American Community 

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Supervisor Khalif Rainey calling for the creation of an Office on African American Affairs.

The Office on African American Affairs would include as its objectives: the examination and definition of issues central to the rights and needs of African Americans; recommendations for changes in programs and laws that disproportionately impact African Americans; development and implementation of policies, plans, and programs related to the special needs of African Americans; and promotion of equal opportunities for African Americans. 

The Office is designed to investigate and address issues concerning the African American community, including: 

· Health metrics

· Education

· Food deserts

· Unemployment

· Issues affecting young people and children

· Affordable housing

· The disproportionately high numbers of African Americans in the prison system

· Small business creation



“This is only a first step, but it’s an important first step in addressing the issues affecting the African American community,” Rainey said. “It is not a panacea, but it is an initial step toward making Milwaukee County a better place for African Americans.” 

The Board’s Committee on Finance, Personnel, and Audit has already approved a measure that will provide $300,000 in funding for the office. County Executive Chris Abele has 45 days to create the office, and the Board passed an amendment urging him to place the office in the independent Office of the Comptroller. 

“I believe this measure could be a model for other communities across the country,” Rainey said. “Milwaukee County is notorious overall as a place that is not good for African Americans. But Milwaukee is not alone. I hope we can become a model for African American advancement and that other communities follow our lead so that African Americans across the country can live better lives.”

 

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