Milwaukee mayoral candidates participate in Common Grounds forum

NOW: Milwaukee mayoral candidates participate in Common Grounds forum

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson and former alderman Bob Donovan joined in a public forum on Sunday, March 13.

It was organized by Common Ground, a non-partisan group aiming to bring their agenda to the candidates and be taken seriously. 

"Common ground is made up of 40 different member organizations, most of them are faith-based organizations but also schools, universities, nonprofits and small businesses," said Jennifer O'Hear, Executive Director of Common Ground. 

The topics were based on a five and a half month listening campaign involving 982 people. Both Johnson and Donovan replied to each question, heavily focused on solutions to violence in Milwaukee. 

"The issue is around trying to make sure folks don't have access to firearms. We see too much violence in our streets in Milwaukee and Common Ground wants to do something about it," said Johnson. 

"They are all important, I would certainly argue the reckless driving is such at pandemic levels if you ask me, so that certainly was an issue and I think got the most attention from the attendees as well," said Donovan. 

Acting Mayor Johnson also spoke about solutions he is currently working on. 

"One of the things we have in the plan is to bring on a reckless driving coordinator into the mayor's office to coordinate with public works and city development to have the funds and resources to do that," said Johnson.

Former Alderman Donovan says we need a more robust approach to the violent issues in Milwaukee. 

"Due to an atmosphere of lawlessness that has taken over many neighborhoods in Milwaukee, we see it reflected in the terrible rise in homicides and huge increase in stolen vehicles." 

With only three weeks left until election day, both candidates had their chance to say what kind of mayor they would be. 

"I worked in a district that was 70% minority and they returned me to office five times because they felt I took care of business. I pledge to you today my commitment to not only work with Common Ground but with each and every individual," said Donovan. 

"I want to be a mayor that's collaborative and a mayor that builds on partnerships. "I want to be a mayor for everyone across the entire city of Milwaukee," said Johnson.

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