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Kenosha mayor, assistant police chief hold first of four listening sessions in community

Posted at 5:48 AM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 06:48:51-04

KENOSHA — Discussions for change in Kenosha were held Sunday afternoon.

City leaders held the first of four listening sessions in Kenosha. This came in response to the unrest following the Jacob Blake shooting.

Inside the walls at Journey Church in Kenosha, a discussion with city leaders about how to move forward following the unrest. The mayor said he plans to compile it into a report on how to do better as time goes on.

“It’s not going to go away. We as a nation have to deal with racism,” said Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian.

Kenosha’s mayor and assistant police chief were joined by community members for a raw discussion on where things are and where things can improve in Kenosha.

Longtime Kenoshan Cynthia West spoke out about tensions in the only community she’s known.

“I'm sad about this community. Sad it’s burned down. Somebody could’ve died. Homelessness. We can do better,” West said.

A number of topics were heard including calls for more diversity in police, additional mental health resources and making sure Kenosha's damaged Uptown area, where many businesses once stood, doesn’t rebuild and become hard for minority business owners to re-occupy.

Some making the case that Kenosha leaders should’ve been more present as well, during the unrest.

“I think it was a good listening session,” Antaramian said.

Antaramian said after the meeting, Sunday’s session was all about listening and a report on ways to move forward as one, will be put together but it all has to come after an honest and open dialogue.

“If we are going to move forward as a community, we’re going to be asked some tough questions. And we’re going to have to deal with it,” Antaramian said.

The following sessions will happen as follows:

  • Sept. 27, 2020 at Second Baptist Church
  • Oct. 4, 2020 at Kenosha Public Museum
  • Oct. 11, 2020 at St. Mark's Catholic Church

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