FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHO: Milwaukee Democratic Socialists of America and coalition partners
WHAT: Delivering thousands of signed petitions calling for public ownership of public utilities
WHEN: Friday, April 21, 2023, 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Milwaukee City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Milwaukee, Wis. —At noon on Friday, April 21, community organizers from the Milwaukee Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and coalition partners will deliver thousands of signed petitions to City Hall calling for a publicly owned energy utility.
Organizers behind the Power To The People campaign say it is time for the city to use Chapter 197 of the Wisconsin State Statutes to replace We Energies with a utility that is owned by the people.
The Greater Milwaukee Green Party, North Side Rising, Our Wisconsin Revolution and the Milwaukee Party for Socialism and Liberation are joining Milwaukee DSA in this campaign coalition.
“We hope these petitions, delivered the day before Earth Day, will move both the mayor’s office and Common Council to see the urgency of this issue for our communities,” Milwaukee DSA organizer Greg Brown said. “If not, there are plenty of working-class folks in this city who have not yet heard about how we can take on We Energies, and we will be speaking with them.”
Statistics suggest moving to a publicly owned electrical utility would benefit working-class families in Milwaukee. Municipal electric utilities in Wisconsin average 59 minutes of downtime a year, compared to 133 minutes a year for private utilities, and nationwide municipal electric utility rates are 15% lower on average than investor-owned utilities, which for some could be a difference of life and death.
“When my lights got cut off, despair and anxiety was the least of my worries, but being scared and not sleeping with my CPAP machine was the worst feeling I ever experienced,” said Debarla Wright who lives in the Sherman Park Neighborhood. “I didn’t know if I was going to wake up.”
Milwaukee DSA is Milwaukee’s largest socialist organization calling for a democratic economy, a just society and a sustainable environment.
“We Energies’ parent company recently reported revenues up more than 16% over last year, exploiting customers to the tune of $500 million more dollars than even expected as they raised the bills of working-class families,” Brown said. “You don’t have to be an economist to see how that fails the people here in favor of an extra buck for Wall Street.”
More information is available at https://PowerToThePeopleMKE.org/.