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Michael Johnson: 10 solutions to racial injustice

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County President and CEO Michael Johnson, a longtime advocate for Madison's Black community, is calling on leaders to come together and speak up.

Johnson spoke out Wednesday in open letter to Madison. In it, he offers ten solutions to racial injustice in Dane County.

1. Repurpose $8.6M or 10% of MPD’s budget to community policing, mental health services and community policing strategies to be managed by black led organizations who are culturally competent, including grass root groups and other communities of color.

2. Hire ten Peer Support Coaches and Parent Outreach Officers at every High School and remove police officers from schools;

3. Create a $30M endowment as a public/private partnerships to help black Madisonian’s start businesses in Dane County and to help purchase homes. Do the research and see why this is important.

4. Hire 1,000 youth this summer and in the fall for paid internships at $20 an hour for five hours a week to give them practical work experience and diversify C suite positions in Dane County across all sectors.

5. Stop defunding public schools and lobby for legislation to support targeted programs for underperforming students who traditionally don’t do academically well in Madison.

6. Create an endowed fund to subsidize state subsidies to ensure pre school is free for all children in Dane County.

7. Create a Public Safety Officer position that will report to a community policing oversight Board that would manage resources and work with community organizers and MPD on issues that impact local neighborhoods;

8. Release non-violent offenders in Dane County jail on signature bonds and seek other forms of rehabilitation;

9. Provide mental health therapist for families at every community center and homeless shelters and use federal pass through dollars to support this effort.

10. Meet with the youth organizers, MPD and bring philanthropists together to finalize a plan and move Madison Wisconsin forward in an effort to close and fund racial disparities in our community.

Johnson says he realizes these ideas are nothing new.

"These are ideas that we have gotten from people in dozens of town hall meetings that I've been a part of over the years I just try to construct all those thoughts into one message."

Johnson also condemns the violence that took place during Tuesday night's protests.

"I think there are some people in the movement who are taking advantage of the situation, and I think it actually sets our agenda backward."

To move forward, Johnson says collective leadership is needed now more than ever.

"There are things that are happening in our city where we should be supportive, but there's also a time for all of us to be uncomfortable and to speak up and to speak out."

Karley Marotta

Weekend Sports Anchor

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