Jonathan Gramling
                                   Reflections on the Holiday
was just one of the volunteers there for the kids.

I like Tony because he isn’t shrill and speaks with a lot of double talk. He is mild-mannered and straight forward. And he is very matter-of-
fact about what is agenda is. He wants full funding for Wisconsin’s public schools and the Medicaid expansion from the Affordable Care Act.
And most impressive is that right out of the blocks, he said that he wants to restore in-state tuition for the children of immigrant families, no
matter what their status, and allow immigrants to obtain Wisconsin driver’s licenses.

Often times, politicians will make all kinds of promises to people of color on the campaign trail and then after the election, they will say, ‘Yes,
I’m for it, but it will have to wait. It’s just not politically feasible right now.’

But Evers promised it on the campaign trail and then led off in January that he intends to pursue these policy changes.

I like Tony because he doesn’t do violence to people I his rhetoric and actions. And while Dr. King almost always found himself on the other
side of the negotiating table with politicians and elected officials, I can’t help but feel that Dr. King would like these initial steps in Evers’

And it must be that the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has it going on. Not one, but two of its members have been sworn in to state office this
January. Long time community leader Carolyn Stanford Taylor is our new state superintendent of schools and will be heading up the WI
Dept. of Public Instruction where she has been a deputy superintendent for the past 20 years. Carolyn has always done yeowoman’s work. I
remember when she was the principal of Lincoln Elementary and Wright Middle School at the same time during a transition in leadership.
Carolyn will be a wonderful asset to state government and a fine leader of our state’s public schools. No one is more deserving.

And then there is State Representative Shelia Stubbs who is the first African American to represent Dane County in the state legislature. Shelia
has put in her dues as a Dane County Supervisor for the past 12 years and as a probation and parole agent. She will be a needed voice in the
state legislature.

And locally, we are enthusiastic about the appointment of Dawn Crim as secretary of the WI Dept. of Safety and Public Services. She then
appointed Nia Trammell as her deputy. They will be quite a one-two punch at the agency, dedicated to community, service and
professionalism. We know they will do well.

And of course we need to note Mandela Barnes election and swearing in as Wisconsin’s first African American lieutenant governor. Mandela
is another nice guy who has been elected to office. With his legislative experience, commitment to progressive policies and his demeanor,
Mandela should complement Tony Evers very well.

I am more hopeful about the direction of state government now than I have been for eight years. With a Republican-led legislature, I pray that
Evers doesn’t become Wisconsin’s President Obama where he is not able to push legislation through — legislation supported by the majority
of citizens — because of intransigence. I hope and pray that Evers and the Republicans can find some common ground for the sake of all
Wisconsin residents.

Let’s move forward together.

Happy King Holiday!
by Jonathan Gramling
I must say, as I always do, that the King Holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is my favorite
holiday of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving, Christmas and all of the other holidays
spent with family and friends throughout the year.

But the King Holiday is one that hasn’t been commercialized yet — and I pray to God never does get
commercialized. It is a time for reflection and contemplation not only on civil rights, but deeper than that.
It is a time to reflect on our common humanity and how we treat one another.

I must say that I am very encouraged by the election of Tony Evers as governor of Wisconsin. Beyond
the usual partisan rhetoric, I find Tony to be a decent man. Many people conjectured that he couldn’t get
elected because he wasn’t personally calling out his opponent and calling him all sorts of vile names.

I’ve only met Tony when he has volunteered with the 100 Black Men Backpacks for Success event
where he has volunteered for the past four years. It wasn’t a gambit and I think he truly enjoyed
interacting with the kids and their parents as he handed out backpacks filled with school supplies. He is an
educator after all. He wasn’t there in campaign mode making sure that he was seen by one and all. He