12 Milwaukee aldermen condemn "rape" remark of colleague

January 25, 2015

MILWAUKEE - A dozen of Milwaukee's 15 aldermen have signed a letter condemning the remarks of a colleague who suggested there would be sexual assaults on streetcars that are part of a $124 million downtown project that he opposes.

The Milwaukee Common Council has signaled that most members favor the streetcar project, though final approval isn't set until next month. Alderman Joe Dudzik, an opponent of the project, suggested to WTMJ-AM on Friday that violence could erupt on one of the cars and prompt current supporters not to use the streetcars.

"There's going to be a couple of assaults, or maybe a rape or a shooting on one of these streetcars, and the millennials who claim they are going to be riding this thing are going to be nowhere to be seen, and we're going to be stuck with the ongoing maintenance cost forever," he said, according to a news outlet.

The 12 aldermen who issued the joint statement Friday said the remarks were hurtful, divisive and a scare tactic. The two aldermen who didn't sign the letter also are opponents of the streetcar project.

"The message of fear and divisiveness at the heart of the comments is not what we stand for as members of the Common Council, nor does the message resonate in our community," the statement said.

Associated Press