The Milwaukee Autonomous Tenants Union will be hosting a press conference to respond to the inaction on the part of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to protect people from eviction during this global pandemic and economic crisis. We will be responding directly to his claim that, while he is sympathetic to our aims, he does not have the power to do anything. We demand that Mayor Barrett stop passing the buck and takes responsibility for the crisis that is happening in the city that he is supposedly the leader of.
To quote Barrett: “I’m very sympathetic to their aims.” Sympathy doesn’t keep people housed. Sympathy doesn’t do anything to reduce the trauma of losing one’s livelihood and then being kicked out onto the street by a greedy landlord. The Coronavirus does not care about Tom Barrett’s sympathy for people who are demanding housing.
As the chief executive of the City of Milwaukee, Mayor Barrett has vast powers given to his office by Chapter 62 of the state constitution and state statute Wis. Stat. secs. 62.11(5). We demand that Mayor Barrett use these powers to put a city wide eviction moratorium in place. He was able to close bars and restaurants using this power, now we ask that he preclude landlords and property managers from collecting rent and filing evictions under the same pretext.