MILWAUKEE — After the shooting in downtown Milwaukee near the Deer District, a community activist and leader is asking for more action from the city's elected officials, businesses, and organizations, especially when it comes to investing in and supporting the Black community.
Reggie Jackson is a community activist and the lead trainer at Nurturing Diversity Partners. He spoke out publicly Monday after a night of violence following the Bucks game on Friday night.
"Everybody is responsible for it," Jackson said. "Residents of the metro city, residents of the metropolitan area in general. This is all our responsibility to do something about it if we want to continually enjoy the entire city"
In a column he wrote for the Milwaukee Independent, he describes the city as a person with a bad heart, and in this case, the Black community is the heart of the city.
"I want Milwaukeeans to understand very clearly, that this is not something new," he said. "It may have been new to downtown in terms of the level of violence we saw. These things that are creeping in to parts of Milwaukee that people have considered to be safe places. But unless we do something to help that bad heart, then we're going to see these other organs, other places of Milwaukee, impacted."
He talks about disinvestment in the city's Black community since the 70s and calls for re-investment in things like education, fair wages, health care, and paths to home ownership.
"There are solutions that are out there," Jackson said. "There are solutions that people have been talking about for a number of years, but unless we hear the voices of people that are calling for these things, that are advocating for these things, this won't be a lesson that we learn from the three shootings that happened after the Bucks game."
He says its time for city leaders, organizations and businesses to do more than just talk. He referenced the Office of Violence Prevention's 2017 blueprint for peace.
"They crafted a really, really good plan, but we haven't acted on it," Jackson said.
Ultimately, he said we as a city have to address the disparities and discrimination the Black community has faced.
"If we wanna have everybody continue to enjoy (Deer District), then we have to say, listen we have to really put some time and effort and energy and advocate to improve the conditions in the Black community so that those problems that we see don't spill over into other communities and particularly don't continue to exists in those Black communities either," he said.