She gets the job done and can run a meeting
I did not appreciate until Tuesday’s Common Council meeting (07-02-19) that it was Barzini all along — I mean, Madison’s new mayor — who broke the impasse between the school board and the city over cops in schools, although it was there for all to see.
The Madison school board had insisted it could reassign school resource officers at will; the police chief insisted that is his prerogative, alone. There it stood for six months under Mayor Soglin. Then Satya Rhodes-Conway got elected.
It was “Mayor Satya” who broke the imbroglio. Drop the reassignment clause; replace it with the option to remove a cop entirely from one of the high schools, with advance notice. That was a fig leaf for board members eager to keep their social justice card current without forfeiting their progressive frequent-flier miles.
She has done it before. During the very meeting in April in which she was sworn in as Madison’s mayor she announced the city and county had reached a compromise on maintenance for the reconstruction of Buckeye and Cottage Grove roads. Soglin had dug in his heels.
Where were the crazies?
Almost as impressive is that last night’s meeting was fairly civil. No chanting, no disruptions. Rhodes-Conway began the meeting by firmly stating that everyone would get their three minutes and no more and that she was running the show. It also helped, however, that Freedom Inc. did not flood the meeting with protestors. In fact, their turnout was anemic. Was their some back-channel communication with the social justice disrupters? That’s the rumor but the Policy Werkes cannot confirm.
Blaska chose not to attend Tuesday night’s Common Council meeting. He watched it on cable (in between catching Our Milwaukee Brewers). Kudos to James Mand, Duane Steinhauer, and Bob Schaefer for attending and speaking out.
It also helped that it was widely known that alders overwhelmingly supported SROs. The final vote was 15-4-1. (Voting no: Foster, Kemble, Reddy, and Rummel.)
The great abstainer and paradigm shifter
Tag Evers was the abstention. The new alder represents the Bay Creek/Vilas-Monroe Street area, Madison’s heart of high-income, establishment progressivism. He is a music concert promoter in his day job. The man speaks well. Watch him.
Evers admitted that teachers begged him to vote for the contract. Moreover, they are the right kind of teachers: “without exception, progressive, good-hearted individuals.”
But Evers sided with Freedom Inc. (They are “right on!”) He demanded a “paradigm shift” to combat the racism he knows must exist in Madison schools or what else explains the racial disparity in school discipline? (See the follow-up from Chief Koval.)
Which raises these questions:
- The teachers in your district, are they racists?
- How about the school nurses who demanded the SROs be retained? Racist?
- How about the principals at the four main high schools — two of whom are minority?
- The kids at West high school, who voted overwhelmingly for SROs?
- You alders who represent that attendance area, are their parents racist?
- The four school resource officers — three black cops and one hispanic female cop — Seriously?
- For that matter, alders, how about yourselves? Racists?
Or maybe it is not race but behavior.
Yes, our black and brown children (but not yellow) have disproportionate behavior issues. (Blaska is not the one making this about race.) While you progressives are curing poverty and racism, young people need to know they are accountable for their actions in the meantime. If not in high school, then on the job — or in the courtroom.
Memo to Evers: We are all very impressed how “woke” you are. But you do not abstain from a vote unless you have a direct financial interest in the question. Alders vote; that is what they are elected to do. Abstaining is dereliction of duty and cowardly, to boot.
Nobody’s denying that there are achievement gaps and economic disparities – of course, we all want to see everyone achieve. Blaming the cops, laying the problem completely at “society’s” feet, playing the race card, and demanding more social programs is intellectually dishonest and does all of us (including the people the “woke” claim they’re trying to help) a great disservice. Also, I’m sick of hearing politicians talk about social programs without specifics, a plan to quantify our investment, and not duplicate results.
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