Milwaukee Pride launches campaign for rainbow crosswalks

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Pride and local LGBTQ organizations have sent a proposal to Mayor Tom Barrett's office requesting the installation of rainbow sidewalks in Cathedral square. 

"This crosswalk, as the first Milwaukee monument to LGBTQ people, will be not just a symbol of local pride, but a testament to historic local triumph," Milwaukee Pride said in a press release. 

This proposal has received support from Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, Cream City Foundation, East Town Association, Friends of Cathedral Square, AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin and many more. Alderman Bob Bauman also offered written support. 

The group also said they want the location of the rainbow sidewalk to be at the intersection of Jefferson and Wells in Cathedral Square, the location that 500 people arrived at after marching from Walker's Point in 1989. This movement is considered to be the catalyst and starting point for Milwaukee Pride. 

Per the proposal, the rainbow crosswalks would be dedicated to the memory of June Brehm. A local business owner and private citizens pledged the money for this project two years ago when it first went to City Hall to honor Brehm. 

In 1968,  Brehm opened the bar This Is It, at 419 E. Wells Street. It was a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for her gay friends.

The proposal asks the city to approve and install the sidewalks. If approved, Milwaukee would join more than 30 other cities worldwide with rainbow sidewalks. 

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