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Legislators, law enforcement officials, civil rights leaders and faith organization members make up racial disparity task force

Legislators, law enforcement officials, civil rights leaders and faith organization members make up racial disparity task force

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The state’s 32-member task force aimed at addressing racial disparities and policing standards consists of a range of state lawmakers, civil rights and faith leaders and law enforcement officials.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, on Wednesday announced the members of the Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities, which was announced earlier this year in response to civil unrest in Wisconsin.

The task force was created after the GOP-led Legislature refused to convene on a package of nine bills introduced by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers that would ban no-knock warrants, mandate training on de-escalation techniques and create statewide standards on police use of force. Evers ordered a special session after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha on Aug. 23, but Republicans have not held any formal discussion on the bills.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, and Rep. Shelia Stubbs, D-Madison, are co-leading the bipartisan task force, which will hold an introductory meeting later this month.

“More than 100 people applied to be on the task force. After a month of interviews, we will now move forward with an unprecedented, community-focused group,” Vos said in a statement. “The membership represents a diversity of experiences, backgrounds and geography of the state. I want to thank the legislators and community members for agreeing to be part of the task force.”

In September, Steineke said the task force will follow a “fairly aggressive schedule of meeting every two to three weeks.”

Officials say the hope is to have a bipartisan package of bills ready for the next legislative session, which begins in January. Vos will have the final say on any legislation proposed by the task force.

Members of the task force include:

  • Rev. Marcus Allen, of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Madison.
  • Kalvin Barrett, law enforcement instructor at Madison Area Technical College.
  • Damond Boatwright, regional president with SSM Health.
  • Keetra Burnette, a senior director with the United Way of Dane County.
  • Rebecca Burrell, activist, entrepreneur and singer/songwriter.
  • Marty Calderon, of God Touch Ministry in Milwaukee.
  • Danilo Cardenas, secretary and treasurer of the Milwaukee Police Association.
  • Ricardo Diaz, retired former executive director of United Community Center in Milwaukee.
  • Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman.
  • Pastor Dannie Evans, of the House of God Church in Janesville and former probation and parole agent.
  • Linda Fair, academic advisor at Blackhawk Technical College.
  • Tony Gonzalez, founder and co-chairman of Toward One Wausau.
  • Dr. Eve Hall, president and CEO, Milwaukee Urban League.
  • Rep. Kalan Haywood, D-Milwaukee.
  • Tehassi Hill, chairperson of Oneida Nation.
  • Dr. Jeremiah Holiday, chief academic officer with Milwaukee Public Schools.
  • Pam Holmes, retired Milwaukee police officer and president of the National Black Police Association Wisconsin Chapter.
  • Theresa Jones, vice president for diversity, inclusion and equity at Children’s Hospital Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
  • Ossie Kendrix, president and CEO, African-American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.
  • Veronica King, Gateway Technical College instructor and former Department of Corrections social worker.
  • Tory Lowe, co-founder and CEO of Justice of Wisconsin.
  • West Allis Police Chief Patrick Mitchell.
  • Ted Nietzke, CEO of CESA 6 and former West Bend School District superintendent.
  • Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.
  • Rice Lake Police Chief Steven Roux.
  • Fred Royal, president of Milwaukee NAACP.
  • Pastor Jerome Smith, of Greater Praise Church of God In Christ in Milwaukee.
  • Wayne Strong, retired lieutenant with the Madison Police Department.
  • Rep. Robert Wittke, R-Racine.
  • Rev. Yao Yang, of the Cross Church in Wausau.

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