MILWAUKEE -- With Wisconsin's presidential primary election set for Tuesday, April 7, President Donald Trump's campaign hosted an event in Milwaukee Saturday, Feb. 29 aimed at courting black voters. In 2016, Milwaukee saw a 40,000-vote decrease, and both Democrats and Republicans hope to change that.
"I think people are feeling a strong sense of urgency in making sure their voices are heard," said Angela Lang, executive director of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC).
The largest voter turnout decreases in 2016 were in Milwaukee districts with the largest African American populations.
"We knew that we wanted to shift that thinking," said Lang. "Again, we don't proactively bring up the president, but a lot of people feel very strongly about him. What has the president done for me or my community? What type of black agenda does he have?"
"I will vote for Donald Trump," said Jeff Noncent.
"We do have a long way to go, and that's why we need another four more years," said Corrin Rankin, board member.
Topics that arose included the First Step Act for criminal justice reform.
"This is a sincere and genuine outreach effort because we just happen to think the conservative way is the best pathway to those children realizing their hopes and dreams," said Senator Ron Johnson.
Statement from Milwaukee County Democratic Party Chairman Christopher Walton
“Donald Trump has built his legacy on racism. From his time in New York with his discriminatory renting practices to trying to influence the criminal justice system against five innocent African American teens to beginning his political career around the false conspiracy theory that our first Black president wasn't a U.S. citizen he has constantly tried scapegoating African Americans at every turn."
"For him to believe that he can suddenly show up in the Black community and try to gaslight the community is unacceptable. The fact of the matter is, Donald Trump has continuously broken his promises to lower prescription drug and health care costs, raise wages, or pass meaningful common sense gun safety reform. Milwaukee voters aren't going to be fooled by the antics of Trump or Wisconsin Republicans after years of their dog whistling politics and disregard for this community.”