Director of violence prevention says groups once at odds are beginning to come together in Milwaukee
Community efforts to bring about meaningful change after the unrest last summer in Sherman park creates a challenge because so many different groups are doing so many different things.
Some of those groups and activists are controversial because the way they demonstrate is viewed as confrontational with law enforcement and includes burning American flags.
One such activist is Vaun Mayes who tells CBS 58 News that he identifies with Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback from Milwaukee, who has yet to find a job after his protest of not observing the National Anthem became a nationwide debate.
"There's still the underlying issue that the symbolism of the flag is not true for everybody. Even though that's my personal ideology I do not push that on to the community. I still have a job as a leader to mediate."
Reggie Moore, the Director of Violence Prevention with the city of Milwaukee says over the past nine months he's seen groups that were once on opposite sides, actually come together.
Most recently in a demonstration to demand justice for the stray bullet killing of Milwaukee child Justin Evans, Junior.
"We see this issue of unifying," Moore tells CBS 58 News. "Regardless of where we may differ, I think it's intolerable that we are losing children to gun violence in the city. And if we can agree on that. Then we can do anything from that place."
The City of Milwaukee is working on a blue print for peace with community input on core issues and solutions.
The next opportunity for public comment is Saturday, August 26th and St. Matthews Church at 9th and Locust from 9-noon.
To see the entire Reggie Moore interview click here
Mayes says he's done a mixture of community patrols and organizing activities so kids aren't left just wandering the streets.
He says some of the same issues remain that existed last year. Namely, a lack of opportunity and jobs and no funding for community groups.
Plus, a lack of trust of police.
He does not consider himself a conduit to police. But, he still want a role in improving relations.
"We understand that law enforcement has a job to do. We do offer deescalation as part of our own investigations."