Make the vision a reality.
Welcome back Brown Girls Ashanti here. The founder of the broncos Guy to politics, the Stop Shop podcast for women of color who want to hear and talk about the world of politics. As we continue with our collaboration with she, the people we're highlighting women from their twenty color to watch twenty twenty less. These are all barrier-breaking women Kerr changing the political landscape this year and beyond. ME, insight thought and Jennifer APPs Addison Jennifer at Edison is the president and CO executive, director of the Center for Popular Democracy, which works with affiliates partner organizations across the country to build a more inclusive equitable society and political institutions that worked for everyone. Jen. How are you doing today, i. Doing as well as anybody can be expected I'm surrounded by family I have been able to be in close contact with you know parents in loved ones, and of course I know protected with the benefits of a good union workplace so I, you know all things considered I. I'm feeling very blessed. We love to hear that in before we start the interview we were chatting in. We're talking about being on the road so much doing this work. What inspired you to get involved in community? Organizing I? Mean I think my mother was just born this way you know I grew up a black woman in the state and city that has been named the worst place in America to be Black Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I know most people don't think of black folks when they think of Wisconsin, they think of like beer cheese in the packers, but you know there have been generations of deeply entrenched. Racial segregation in in problems that have. Led to this dichotomy of Wisconsin, being one of the best places in America if you are a white child in the worst, if you are black and so I think I recognized that from an early age felt really passionate about it in a high school student I became really politicized around the around school funding around the idea that you know. Schools in the suburbs were getting twice as much per pupil. Than you know the school that I was going to in the city of Milwaukee. You know the reality is. Is that every single thing that we hold to be sort of like a part of the American dream was. Fought for and won by people organizing their communities in taking collective action in so You know I feel very blessed to be able to spend my life. Really working with folks to help as many people as possible in this country, find their voice empower. That is that is very powerful. What you just said. and. You mentioned being from Milwaukee. Were in the middle of the virus, and we're seeing it as a city where the majority of the black population there is infected with the virus in that has also just spur conversations to about how so many people still had to go to work, and how are essential workers a lot of them? Grocery workers aren't getting a fair wage in Eve. Let so many different campaigns including fight for fifteen. So how are you connecting at the moment all the work that you've been doing with fight for fifteen for people to have a fifteen dollar an hour wage in what you're seeing with essential workers who are putting their. In their lives on the line right now to make sure that we are able to get the benefits that we need and say stay in our homes. I mean first of all. What we saw just as pass Tuesday in Wisconsin was a travesty, a failure of democracy There's no way around it. You have a city. The largest city in the state. Multiple, times, the population of any other city. That is used to having over one hundred fifty polling places that on Tuesday, in the midst of a crisis in which we are not supposed to gather in large crowds, crowds over ten had five polling locations open for a critical election had A. Tens of thousands of people who had requested absentee ballots who had not received them as of Election Day, and the you know the impact on on my community on my people is is not an accident, right? It is the product a decade's worth of policy passed by elected officials who are incredibly hostile towards the city of Milwaukee on the city's behalf towards sort of neo liberal You know business oriented. Democrats who have allowed the city's most vulnerable populations to suffer in struggle and become the scapegoats of the, and so you know I'm really grateful for groups like black leader, organizing communities in the Laki and leaders igniting transformation who are organizing You know black folks. Brown folks in in the city to really demand the future they deserve in at the end of the day. All of these campaigns, the fight for fifteen, the fight for paid sick days. Many people don't know that. In Milwaukee we passed a referendum with more than two thirds of the voter support to require any business in the city of Milwaukee to provide paid sick leave earned sick leave to their workers, and that a law that was passed by voters was overturned by preemption at the state level. At the at the request of the crack mayor when we talk about the now eighty seven percent of the people who have died of Covid nineteen in Wisconsin are black. We have to understand that this is a consequence of lack of. Political Power and UVA intentional suppression of in particular Black Communities in the state of Wisconsin, and so it's important that we're having this conversation in the context of she, the people of you know a movement of a women of color who are demanding more than just to see at the table, but who are demanding real power. That, we can use to transform the lives of our people. That's what women of Color braying and I. Think you know it's if we look at what's happening in Wisconsin through the Lens of women of Color, we begin to understand the multiple layers enrich raises on in sexism and capitalism are creating. This you know are exploding the impact of this crisis in places like Milwaukee, Detroit and New York. City another's