Milwaukee community group chooses not to endorse any mayoral candidates

NOW: Milwaukee community group chooses not to endorse any mayoral candidates

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Despite having seven candidates to choose from, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, better known as BLOC, has decided to not endorse anyone in Tuesday's mayoral primary.

"After lots of feedback, not just from our team directly and how they feel, but the community, we felt that we deserve a little bit more from the candidates and how, specifically, they view safety and policing," explained Angela Lang, founder and executive director of BLOC. "We don't believe that the solution to the challenges in our city involve adding more police. It was really hard for us to come up with an endorsement when nearly every candidate that we saw had advocated for police."

Lang says that adding on to the candidates' stances on policing, she and members of her organization, along with the community, have been disappointed by the negative messaging that has become a part of this mayoral race.

"As a whole, people have really been talking down about Milwaukee," Lang said. "People aren't always excited when that is the constant, dominant message; something that's so negative."

Despite the organization not endorsing a candidate, team members of BLOC spent Tuesday canvassing neighborhoods on the city's north side, speaking with folks and informing them about the election taking place. It's a job that Anita Winston takes great pride in.

"What we want people to understand is that your votes do count," Winston said. "We can't make changes if we don't vote. It starts there and it starts locally."

According to Lang, the opportunity is still out there for one of the two finalists in the mayor race to receive BLOC's endorsement, however, that candidate will need to prove that they are working to make a greater Milwaukee for all.

"We want people to really dream. We haven't had this opportunity in nearly 20 years. Let's think about a new vision for the city and let's get creative," Lang said. "We really wanted to underscore that the choice is really at the hands of the candidate, and that there is an opportunity, but the ball's really in their court."

Lang says that whether BLOC decides to endorse a candidate or not, she hope people will participate in the democratic process and cast their vote.

"It's going to be a busy election year. It's the first of four elections and so we see February as a way to lead up to April, August and November. We're hoping that if people aren't feeling as engaged and inspired at this particular election, they will still continue to come out," Lang said. "People can still make sure that their voices are heard and we encourage people to make sure they they're voting all four elections despite how they feel about some of the candidates."

BLOC's statement regarding the decision to not endorse a candidate can be viewed here:

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