-For Immediate Release-
MILWAUKEE – Media Trackers last week discovered that four incumbent white Democrat state lawmakers appear to be leaving their current Assembly districts and moving into newly drawn or redrawn majority-minority districts. The four lawmakers are Representatives Sandy Pasch, Josh Zepnick, Corey Mason, and Fred Kessler. Representative Kessler would not confirm or deny his impending move but sources indicated he was poised to move into a seat designed to give African-Americans another legislative district.
Democrats and liberal groups had championed a legal challenge to the newly redrawn legislative district map arguing that minority representation would suffer. However, minority community leaders told Media Trackers that they are frustrated that white Democrat incumbents would leave their current districts and work to retain their power in Madison by running in districts specifically designed to boost ethnic and racial minority representation. If any of the Democrats win their races it could lead to a decrease in the number of racial or ethnic minorities serving in the Assembly.
Mike Holt, a Milwaukee African-American community leader and columnist for the Milwaukee Community Journal suggested the developments were about a power grab that would lead to African-Americans losing some control over their own future. ” There is a point beyond liberalism and it is a form of new racism, he observed.
“The public deserves to know why exactly these liberal lawmakers are leaving their current districts and moving into majority-minority districts to retain their jobs,” Brian Sikma, communications director for Media Trackers, said. “Their silence about the impact of their actions on the minority communities of Wisconsin, and in particular Milwaukee, is hypocritical after their party waged an outspoken legal fight couched as a defense of minority representation. If this really is about power, then the public needs to know that,” Sikma concluded.