MILWAUKEE – There wasn’t much advance notice given to the Milwaukee community that President Joe Biden would be visiting the city just before the holidays. But that didn’t stop the masses and several local dignitaries from gathering at the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce on 29th and Vliet on the city’s west side Tuesday.
Joining the President at the lectern were Governor Tony Evers, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, and the President of the Black Chamber of Commerce Ruben Hopkins. Biden was introduced by the owner of Hero Plumbing on the city’s north side, Rashawn Spivey, who was visited by the President earlier in the day.
“President Biden’s support of black-owned businesses has helped us live up to the ‘Hero’ name” said Spivey. “Thanks to his investments, we’ve been able to replace 600 lead lateral pipes across the city.”
The removal of lead pipes was a focal point of Biden’s speech Tuesday, where he expressed confidence that his economic strategy of “Bidenomics” would uplift not just small business owners, but communities at large.
“Before I came to Milwaukee, Milwaukee was slated to take over 60 years to replace the lead pipes. But last month, we proposed a new rule, that’s going to require the lead systems in Milwaukee to be fully replaced within 10 years” said Biden.
After the President’s speech, some of the above-mentioned local dignitaries stopped by to share their thoughts on the President’s visit. The President said when it comes to getting ahead in the business world, the black community “has gotta know how to know” what’s available to them, citing a phrase used by basketball player Peter McLaughlin. Ruben Hopkins told WTMJ that sentiment is critical for an underserved people group in Milwaukee.
“They need to know how important their personal credit, their business credit, and their financials and business plan are” said Hopkins. “If those three things are on point, you can have access to capital, that’s what they need to know.”
In a subtle touch to the day’s highlighting of black small businesses in Milwaukee, the coffee served to those in the press area was provided by Coffee Makes You Black, a breakfast establishment near Teutonia and Hadley on the city’s north side.
County Executive David Crowley said anytime a visiting POTUS is in town, it serves to uplift the entire community. “We’ve been able to utilize many of his policies, and a lot of the investments he brought back to local units of government to invest back into this community” said Crowley.
Just outside the facility, a group of protestors could be heard chanting, while a helicopter buzzed the tower overhead.
WTMJ’s Wyatt Barmore-Pooley was with the protests today, which you can read more about here.
And then, just as quick as he arrived, the President was whisked away to Milwaukee Mitchell International, boarded Air Force One, and headed back to D.C.
TOP HEADLINES FROM THE WTMJ NEWSROOM:
- Four students arrested after fight at Wauwatosa West
- Archbishop Jerome Listecki to begin resignation process in 2024
- Donald Trump removed from Colorado presidential primary ballot
- Vice President Harris to visit Wisconsin in January
- Waukesha painting company gives Humane Animal Welfare Society a makeover