News

Deanna is often featured in the media and speaks with the press.  Here is a timeline of recent issues and events in the news. 

  • November 2, 2017

    County Board Votes Down Sunset Rule on Wheel Tax

    MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee County Board today voted on Supervisor Alexander’s proposal that elected policymakers be required to take a separate vote on the Vehicle Registration Fee (VRF), also known as the Wheel Tax, each year it is considered for continuation.  This measure would have created a sunset rule for the wheel tax.  Supervisors Alexander, Sebring, and Staskunas provided the only votes supportive of this policy of transparency. The County Board is currently required each budget season to separately vote to approve the property tax levy billed to area residents; this proposal would have set a similar policy for the Wheel Tax, requiring the board to go on record annually with a vote either reauthorizing or denying continuance of the Wheel Tax.
    “I try to be very transparent with the public and my constituents and think that if we are going to tax them, we have a duty to not simply set up a tax with a single vote in 2016 to carry on a tax indefinitely into the future, never to be thought of again. It is important that each elected official be asked each budget year to go on the record to vote in favor of authorizing or ending the wheel tax,” said Supervisor Alexander.
    Most surprising were other Supervisors’ comments opposing this common-sense policy. Objections heard on the record today from the naysayers included:
    • “This will create a false hope.”
    • “I’m not comfortable giving people the impression we have the ability to rescind it.”
    • “I don’t understand why we would vote on this - it’s political grandstanding… The wheel tax is here because… it’s a necessary element. We have to have a wheel tax.”
    • “Anyone with good political skills doesn’t need that cover – it’s just grandstanding. I don’t want to have this conversation every single year. It’s not necessary to explain why you voted the way you did.”
    Supervisor Alexander said, “This call for an annual reauthorization vote would have helped protect the public from a single vote that perpetuates an indefinite tax, possibly never to be considered for repeal. I am very disappointed that the County Board did not see fit to hold itself accountable in this way.” Failing passage on a vote of 15-3, the transparency measure, Item 17-591, was opposed by all members of the County Board except for Supervisors Alexander, Sebring, and Staskunas.more
  • October 5, 2017

    Hope is Not a Plan: Statement on Firearms Training Event

    This week our country experienced a shocking massacre of innocent lives as a mad man opened fire on a crowd attending a music festival in Las Vegas.  My heart goes out to all who were involved.  Any one of us could been a victim in a situation like that, and I know you join me in sending thoughts and prayers for those experiencing grief during this difficult time.
     
    My political opponents are shamefully self-promoting and preying on the fears of Americans after the massacre in order to make gains on their political agenda.  They got wind of my plans for a campaign fundraiser at a shooting range and complained to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, claiming that anyone considering shooting guns after a national tragedy is insensitive and owes someone an apology.  The story was then picked up and covered across at least five additional media sources including WISN TV, The Jay Weber Show, The Vicki McKenna Show, RightWisconsin, and WTMJ/620.  My event, which was planned long before this week's tragedy, has nothing to do with my opponents’ claims, the events in Las Vegas, or the gun control debate.  My event has everything to do with embracing the healthy fear that brings about self-preservation, self-educating, and taking precautions to minimize risks.
     
    State Representative Dale Kooyenga and I have planned an evening out at the local shooting range that he, I, and many of our other neighbors often practice at—a place for us to learn about the responsible handling of firearms, to see and use several types of guns, and to continue supporting common-sense leadership and fiscal responsibility for Milwaukee County.

    I was honored to serve in our nation’s military where I was first exposed to guns, but I have still sought out more training as a civilian. Several area residents have committed their support to this event… but have also admitted to me that they have never handled a gun… they are joining us because they want to be educated, to feel safe, and to know what options are available to them if they do chose to arm themselves for self-protection. As one resident put it, "I'm fiscally conservative, but I've never shot guns - I'm not a gun guy.  To be honest, I've never even touched a gun; but I worry about my and my partner's safety and for that reason, I am going to educate myself."   A woman said, "This morning, Jay asked on the radio if the fundraiser at WFTC is in bad taste after the shooting in Las Vegas.  Interestingly enough, since the shooting, I have been thinking that I need to get to the gun range to further educate myself on all types of firearms and to become more comfortable with them.  The potential for any one of us to be in a situation that may involve a firearm is unfortunately increasing, and even if we don’t carry, to know what kind of weapon someone else may have would be to our own benefit.  The fundraiser is quite appropriate for that reason, and there is a good chance that I will attend the event."
     
    As we all know, “hoping for the best” is not a plan; but preparedness is.  Despite calls from our opponents to cancel this event, we will be moving forward and I will not be intimidated by those who would silence us.  They claim that “now is not the right time” – but I ask, “then when?”  They will never give us a response and we would never follow their directive because, the truth is, they are just politically motivated to get this fundraiser and any future fundraiser cancelled.  They want me out of office because I have provided a strong and consistent pro-taxpayer, fiscally conservative voice in our local government and they need to silence me to push forward with their own hyper-political agenda.  
     
    I hope my concerns resonate with you and that you, too, will seek out education on firearm safety, without allowing anyone to scare you away from knowledge that could help save a life.
    Sincerely, Deannamore
  • September 20, 2017

    Alexander's Legislation Declares October Bullying Prevention Month

    Update! The County Board voted in favor of this resolution.  October is Bullying Prevention Month in Milwaukee County!  Please join the conversation by talking with your children and family about bullying.  There are many online resources to help you learn more about the problem of bullying, such as http://www.pacer.org
    MILWAUKEE (September 20, 2017) – A resolution authored by Supervisor Deanna Alexander recognizing October as Bullying Prevention Month advanced through a committee of the County Board today, and will be considered by the County Board of Supervisors next Thursday, September 28. "By bringing attention to the problem of bullying, we help start the conversations that let victims know they are not alone and connect them with groups and organizations that can help," said Supervisor Alexander. If adopted by the County Board, the resolution would establish a partnership with the PACER National Bullying Prevention Center, and recognize the 25th of October in 2017, and in each succeeding year, as Unity Day. Unity Day is envisioned as "a day to speak out against harmful actions and treatment of our fellow human beings, and to make special efforts to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion." Additionally, the resolution calls for promoting Unity Day by wearing the color orange in order to initiate conversations about bullying, and to draw community attention to the problem of bullying. The resolution would also commit the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors to:
    • Stand up for the value of every person, recognizing that love for humankind is not an emotion, but a decision.
    • Stand up against unacceptable behavior or treatment of others, and to never be a silent bystander, should any member of the body witness an act of bullying.The resolution also calls for all Milwaukee County departments and cultural institutions, along with area public and private schools, students, parents, recreation programs, religious institutions, and community organizations, to engage in a variety of awareness and prevention activities designed to make our communities safer for all people.

      ###

    more
  • September 18, 2017

    Alexander Proposes Sunset Rule for the County’s Wheel Tax

    MILWAUKEE (September 18, 2017) -  Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander is calling for a sunset provision on the County’s Vehicle Registration Fee, also known as the wheel tax, and will bring a resolution to the County Board this month detailing the plan.
    "The voters of Milwaukee County sent us a message in April saying that 72% are opposed to more fees like the wheel tax. We should heed their warning and recognize that raising taxes instead of cutting waste and finding new efficiencies is the wrong way to get our fiscal house in order," said Alexander.
     
    “Taxpayers get the short end of the stick if we simply rely on a single vote from elected officials back in 2016 – prior to the knowledge we now have from the referendum – that would push this fee onto taxpayers year after year into the future. If Milwaukee County is going to have a wheel tax, we have a duty to genuinely consider each year if we must keep it going, and if a majority opposes it – sunset the tax,” she continued. If adopted, Alexander's proposal would require a majority of Supervisors to vote in favor of continuing the wheel tax prior to November 15 of each year, in order to authorize the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to collect the fees during the following calendar year. In any year where a majority of Supervisors vote against continuing the wheel tax, the fees would not be collected in the following year. “This policy holds us as elected officials accountable to the voters we represent so that we are making reasoned decisions and never forgetting their interests. Officials who truly believe their districts support the fee will be free to vote to reauthorize it, and officials who hear from their constituents that the fee needs to go, will be at liberty to oppose it,” said Alexander.
    Alexander's wheel tax reauthorization process would align with the county's annual budgeting process. The budget is revised and adopted by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors during October and November. The proposal is listed as File #17-591 and is expected to be heard as agenda item #12 for the next meeting of the Finance & Audit Committee which will meet at 10:30am on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 in Room 203R of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.
    ###
     
    more
  • August 15, 2017

    Supervisor Alexander to Attend Opening of Memory Café

     Update: The opening of the Memory Café was wonderful!  There was good southern style food, and the owners really demonstrated how committed they are to the community!  I was honored to attend!
    MILWAUKEE (August 15, 2017) – Supervisor Deanna Alexander will attend the opening of a new "memory café," in Milwaukee at 1:00pm on Thursday at Daddy’s Soul Food Grille, located at 754 N. 27th Street.
    The Milwaukee County Department on Aging has established several memory cafés in coordination with the Alzheimer's Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, the Aging and Disability Resource Center, the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute. Thursday's ribbon cutting event will celebrate the opening of the memory café at Daddy's Soul Food Grille, one of many such cafes in Milwaukee County, but only the second one in the City of Milwaukee.
    Memory cafés are important building blocks in creating dementia friendly communities. They are designed to make quality of life measurably better for individuals and families impacted by dementia.
    Supervisor Alexander will join County Executive Chris Abele as well as several other dignitaries and community members, including those whose quality of life was improved due to their participation at memory cafés. WHAT: Ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate memory cafe WHEN: 1:00PM, Thursday, August 17, 2017 WHERE: Daddy’s Soul Food Grille, 754 N. 27th Street, Milwaukee WHO: Supervisor Deanna Alexander, County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Department on Aging, community members ###
    more
  • June 5, 2017

    Hasty Action by Supervisors Pushes Valuable Leader Out the Door

      MILWAUKEE (June 5, 2017)– Hector Colon, the Director of Milwaukee County's Department of Health and Human Services, announced Monday that he would be leaving Milwaukee County to take a job as the president and CEO of the highly regarded Lutheran Social Services. Supervisor Deanna Alexander released the following statement: "The Milwaukee County Board’s poorly considered action to drown county employees in uncertainty has already caused the County to lose one of its most valuable and effective managers. "Despite being warned that cutting the pay of department heads and other senior staff would result in the loss of key employees and make it difficult to attract and retain the most qualified applicants, the Board charged ahead with an ill-conceived action and we are now seeing the consequences of that decision.
    “The Board was not even interested in reviewing salary levels in relation to duties and market rates, they just slashed. Just because the board has the power to cut salaries, does not mean it should, especially abruptly and with no notice to employees.
    "Having been confirmed for another two year term - redoubling his commitment to Milwaukee County just a few months ago - there is no doubt in my mind that the Board's hasty action to slash his salary contributed to Hector Colon's decision to leave." "Hector has had tremendous success at the helm of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and his six years of leadership made him invaluable as we continue to modernize our services for the people of Milwaukee County. It should be no surprise that Hector was able to find another executive level position continuing in Wisconsin public service so easily. Based on statements from Lutheran Social Services, it is clear that they feel they hit the jackpot. How can it be that Milwaukee County’s board so easily let go someone so hotly pursued by the boards of other major Wisconsin employers? It is a tremendous shame! "Director Colon is highly respected by the employees who serve under him and he has successfully tackled some of the biggest challenges facing the county. The loss of his leadership is a real blow to the county and sets us back in our efforts to reform mental health and take on other vexing challenges like the problem of homelessness. "Now that the salary for the DHHS director has been slashed by nearly 1/3, and the county has a reputation for slashing salaries arbitrarily, it will be a miracle if we can find someone to take on this role and actually bring about the successes that Milwaukee County needs.
    ###
    more
  • May 25, 2017

    Rescinding Raises While Blaming Workers Will Hurt Milwaukee County

    MILWAUKEE (May 25, 2017) – The Milwaukee County Board voted Thursday to reverse raises other county officials had granted employees over the past several years. The Committee of the Whole adopted the resolution 16 to 1. Supervisor Deanna Alexander was the lone dissenting vote and released the following statement:
    "Supervisors rescinded raises with no notice to the employees affected. This will have a significant negative impact on the county's ability to recruit and retain talent.
    "The District Attorney's office testified that a special investigator, who was recruited from another state, will be forced to contend with an immediate 23% cut to her $61,000 salary with virtually no notice from her employer. She never received a raise – but was instead offered a starting salary in-line with similar positions across the nation. While she accepted the job to help track down car-stealing thieves and the drug addicts robbing pharmacies, she will certainly be a victim of the County Board's knee-jerk reaction to learning that it has the legal authority to alter previously granted salary raises.
    "As the District Attorney's office recognized, "When the elephants fight, the ants get trampled!"
    "The political spat between the county board and the county executive is having a horrible chilling effect on staff morale and must stop. "The Milwaukee County Board's decision today to hastily cut salaries of hardworking public servants, such as our special investigators, was predicated on thin reasoning and is quite simply, bad management. "This action will further demoralize existing employees and make it even more difficult to hire new employees who are among the best and most qualified in their respective fields. "While the supporters of this action may tout that the salaries are 'illegal,' or that they voted today to 'save taxpayer dollars,' the reality is that employees accepted raises because their supervisors and department heads granted them, and the small amount of tax dollars being saved will likely be lost to continuing legal fees and the cost of retraining when staff turnover unnecessarily increases. "A reasonable and evenhanded approach was needed; instead, the County Board unfortunately chose hot-headed retaliation, aimed at the County Executive, but landing on employees.
    ###
    more
  • December 15, 2016

    Jail Deaths Bring Empty Promises and Political Witch Hunt

    MILWAUKEE (December 15, 2016) - The County Board today voted on a proposal calling for independent investigations into deaths that occur at the jail and the House of Corrections (HOC). But the County’s attorneys acknowledged that the proposal would only legally affect the HOC, not the jail, where there were four in-custody deaths in 2016. Supervisor Deanna Alexander provided the single vote against the misguided policy. While a stream of politicians and public commenters chastised Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr. as personally responsible for four allegedly preventable county jail deaths, Supervisor Alexander spoke out against the premature blanket judgements. “People are looking for an easy target to judge, and it’s been rigged from the start as a political witch hunt to go after Clarke,” she said.
    “The public wants a better system, not empty bloviating on citizen deaths in county facilities. How dare the whole conversation be an attack on the Sheriff and the jail, only to pass a policy that won’t make an ounce of difference at that facility? This is just political posturing, smoke, and mirrors,” said Alexander.
    Alexander noted that Sheriff Clarke has launched internal investigations on each of the in-custody jail deaths, that at least one of those investigations was referred by the Sheriff, himself, to the District Attorney for review and consideration of criminal charges, and that the District Attorney retains the authority for independent oversight and external investigation on each of the remaining inmate deaths. Alexander said that the Board’s true aim should be on Armor, the contractor that is supposed to provide medical services and take responsibility for the health needs of jailed inmates. The Armor contract is currently up for renewal and the County Board does not have the authority to stop the renewal, which is in the hands of the HOC Superintendent and the County’s attorneys.

    ###

    more

ajax-loader-gif

Load More Posts