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Issue of the Week:

A Simple Way to Aid Domestic Violence Survivors

Oct. 15, 2008
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The campaign to require paid sick days to all Milwaukee workers rightly emphasizes the boost in health and productivity that will be provided to employees, employers, parents and anyone who encounters sick employees in their workplace.

But the paid sick days referendum—which will be on the city of Milwaukee ballot on Nov. 4—also would allow survivors of domestic violence to take time off of work without fear of being fired or disciplined or losing their wages. Domestic violence survivors can use these days off to get medical treatment, access the law enforcement and court systems, find new shelter and help their children. An estimated 8,500 city residents were victims of domestic abuse in 2006. Not allowing them the time they need to cope with their basic physical, emotional and health needs is nothing short of inhumane.

On Nov. 4, Milwaukee voters can choose to help working men and women maintain steady employment and provide stable homes for their children. The solution is simple: Provide earned sick leave to employees so they can take time off when they’re sick or suffering from abuse at home.

Hero of the Week: Jeannetta Robinson

The community lost a tireless advocate for the underprivileged this week with the passing of Jeannetta Robinson, founder and executive director of Career Youth Development, which provides educational and social service programs to the inner city. The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors’ Black Caucus said of Robinson, the “community will never forget the helping hand she lent to one and all. The vision shared by Jeannetta and her mother, Claretta Simpson, led to the building of an organization that is vital to giving hope to those who have nowhere else to turn. She was a great soldier and had the ability to take care of those who need the help most. This vision is a true inspiration to all of us. While we will never fully replace this loss to the community, Jeannetta’s legacy will live on through the thousands of lives impacted during her stay with us.”

Jerk of the Week: Steve Baas

Steve Baas, former aide to Assembly Republican and convicted felon Scott Jensen, currently scampers about town as a big-business lobbyist screeching warnings about the paid sick days referendum on November’s ballot, arguing unconvincingly that businesses would migrate en masse out of the city rather than provide modest sick leave to their valued employees. In an amusing bit of tortured logic, Baas told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that not having sick days is “better than not having a job. They won’t have to worry about sick leave if they don’t have a job to take it from.” Curiously, Baas himself accumulated 150 sick days while working for the state, and used one-third of them, according to public records obtained by One Wisconsin Now (OWN). OWN Executive Director Scot Ross says that if Baas “is so opposed to paid sick days for Milwaukee workers, he should return the 51 days of sick pay the taxpayers footed for him.”

Blog of the Week: Kay’s Blue Racine



“What did John McCain do [in response to the economic crisis]? He laid out some new attacks on Barack Obama. The distinction could not be clearer: One guy is fighting for you and the other guy is fighting mad.” —Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Seminary Woods, by Matthew Sliker

"While driving down Lake Drive the other day, I spotted two deer posing for the perfect fall picture!"

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