“You’ve entered into these conversations with legislators who don’t live here, they don’t know my kid, they don’t love the city the way I count on you to love the city. I voted for you, but I didn’t vote for you to be in charge of schools. Superintendent Dr. Driver has said very clearly, and I trust her because she is smart, this takeover will dismantle public education. I need to hear from you: What is your commitment to the children of Milwaukee?
– MPS Parent Kelly O’Keefe-Boettcher
Milwaukee Public School parents paid $20 to attend a Wispolitics.com luncheon at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee on Thursday. County Executive Chris Abele spoke on the contract negotiations with city bus drivers and the Buck’s arena deal, but his back and forth with MPS parents over his role in the Takeover of MPS was definitely the highlight of the session.
— No Takeover of MPS! (@NoMPSTakeover) June 25, 2015
Kelly O’Keefe-Boettcher’s question (quoted above) was first. As Abele dodged her question, another MPS parent, Angela Riley, interrupted his rambling response to ask:
“If you could speak to what she’s asking about the Takeover – What she’s saying, and beautifully by the way. I’m an MPS parent for twenty one years and what’s going on is very concerning to me and all the other MPS people in my community. How can you support something that takes our voice away?”
Abele responded that he told Senator Darling and Representative Kooyenga “This is not the way I would approach this…they have the votes to do this.” Riley again interjected that he didn’t have to accept the newly created commissioner position saying:
“Not if you stand with us in opposition to it, if it’s something you don’t like and don’t want to do. There are hundreds of people, I sat in a meeting with over 400 parents and educators that are in opposition to this. This is a very real thing, these are your constituents. These are our children we’re talking about. If you don’t support it then please stand with us in opposition to it.”
The next question came from MPS parent Martha Treder:
Abele replied, “There’s a lot of people that would jump, happily, at this position.” Treder followed up asking who’s interest he was serving by facilitating the Takeover? MPS parent Angela McManaman finished asking:
The Takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools doesn’t happen if Abele turns down this position. Call him and tell him NO to taking control away from our democratically elected School Board.
Watch these four MPS parents holding Abele accountable: