Activists hopeful for Biden administration: 'Change is here'

On his first night in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order addressing racial equity. It is an issue the 46th president of the United States has promised to advance since hitting the campaign trail.

In that executive order, President Biden asked federal agencies to prioritize racial equity and review policies that currently reinforce systemic racism.

"My fellow Americans, in the work ahead, we're going to need each other," President Biden said.

Local activists from Milwaukee to Kenosha told FOX6 News that they are hopeful for the new administration. As the Biden administration transitions into power, those fighting racial and social injustices said they are hopeful for the future.

Justin Blake outside the U.S. Capitol on Inauguration Day 2021, Jan. 20.

Justin Blake outside the U.S. Capitol on Inauguration Day 2021, Jan. 20.

"Change is here. People have been fighting hundreds of years to get what I think we are going to get in 2021," said Justin Blake. "It’s time for unity."

Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake who was shot seven times by a Kenosha police officer in August, attended President Biden's inauguration alongside Jacob Blake Sr. and a relative of Breonna Taylor.

Jacob Blake

Jacob Blake

Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police executing a search warrant in March 2020. The shootings of Blake and Taylor, and other incidents of police brutality, including the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, prompted nationwide outcries for change.

"It definitely sounds like he’s going to make a move to do something to stimulate growth, and equality, and liberty into our community," Blake said. "We can’t wait to see what it looks like."

Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor

Meanwhile, at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee, Inauguration Day 2021 also marked Dontre Hamilton's birthday. Hamilton was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer in 2014. He would have turned 38 years old Wednesday.

"It’s important for me and my family because it’s been seven years, and the police continue to take Black lives, and nobody is being held accountable," said Maria Hamilton, Dontre's mother.

Dontre Hamilton

Hamilton is looking ahead but said the work is far from finished.

"I’m hopeful. Period," Hamilton said. "Today we are here to deliver a message to Milwaukee and the United States that we will stand together, we will continue to move to change these laws, to keep our people safe."

At Red Arrow Park on Wednesday, loved ones and supporters of the Hamilton family laid flowers and candles in his memory.

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Wisconsin lawmakers introduce police reform package

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