Kenosha mayor pushes community effort, public listening sessions scheduled

City of Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian gathered with local officials, community leaders and clergy members to announce his vision for moving Kenosha forward towards a stronger and brighter future Monday, Sept. 14.

Mayor Antaramian pushed the need for a community effort in announcing "Kenosha's Commit to Action Roadmap" for success, and stressed the importance of listening to the community following the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Rusten Sheskey, Jacob Blake

Rusten Sheskey, Jacob Blake

"If we are not listening to what the people are going to say, we're going to fail," the mayor said. "We can make no change without listening."

Upcoming listening sessions to get public input about how to move the community forward and provide ideas on how to unify will kick off on Sunday, Sept. 20.

Feedback received from the listening sessions will become an integral part of the Kenosha’s Commit to Action Roadmap, the mayor said, noting the basis for the Roadmap was developed in partnership with area faith-based leaders and input from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Messages painted on boarded Kenosha businesses

Messages painted on boarded Kenosha businesses

The mayor said the Roadmap requires convening leaders and citizens across diverse sectors and organizations to work together to identify and implement effective strategies dealing with systemic racism and bring changes throughout the city of Kenosha as it relates to the four areas of police and community relations, criminal justice, employment and education.

“We need to focus on solving the larger problem facing our community, not just fixing the immediate issue at hand,” said Mayor Antaramian. “Racism does not just hurt communities of color; it hurts everyone. It is my commitment that the city will review policies and practices related to those four areas to eliminate inequalities so we can achieve better outcomes for our residents.”

Apparel from the Lettering Machine in Kenosha

The mayor said he will be working with the Common Council to include funding for Kenosha Police Department body cameras in the 2021 budget, as well as evaluating funding options to allocate additional budget toward police training.

“The financial and emotional strain our city has experienced this year is immense, but we’re resilient and our residents have the passion and drive to create change and build a prosperous future,” said Common Council President David Bogdala. “Kenosha is an incubator for innovation and economic development with multi-generational businesses, global brand investments and young entrepreneurial talent that will create a strong path forward.”

Due to COVID-19 and physical distancing requirements, capacity will be limited for listening sessions. The first session will be live-streamed. Specific details regarding the listening sessions, including how to register, can be found HERE.


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