Minutes from the January 8, 2007

Meeting of Martin Drive Neighborhood Association


Fifteen people greeted Senator Spencer Coggs when he arrived at our meeting.  Senator Coggs has been the representative for the Martin Drive Neighborhood in the Senate, since 2003 when he defeated former Senator Gary George.  Senator Coggs handed out a past newsletter to introduce us to his political family starting with his uncle Isaac Coggs, his uncle's wife, Marcia Coggs, and his cousin, Beth Coggs-Jones.  It was a good introduction to the man himself.

His next step was to inform us of some of the issues he has concerned himself while working as a state senator. 

1. At the top of the list was Lead Paint abatement.  He will be bringing that issue to the floor again in hopes of making it a priority to provide money in the form of loans to help homeowners and landlords eliminate the lead paint in the houses built before 1950. 

2. The topic of elimination of paychecks for city of Milwaukee police officers who have been fired will also be a main concern for Senator Coggs

3. One of the loop holes in the responsible gun owner law is that a person can sell a gun to another person without having a background check.  Owners of gun shops are required to run a background check before selling a gun.  However, the one who purchases the gun from the shop can turnaround and sell the gun to person B without running a background check.  Senator Coggs is working with other senators to eliminate that loop hole. 

#4 is the bully bill requiring school districts to have a uniform policy regarding discipline of children involved in physically bullying another child.  The neighbors encouraged Senator Coggs to make sure that the situation included all areas of a school day including playground, buses, field trips and walking home from school.

 5. The Senator tackled the quality of life issues as being an extremely important topic for our next police chief.  He remarked about the enforcement of curfew as an improvement in the city.  He appears to think that community policing will add to the quality of life for our citizens.  Neighbors questioned whether the state could provide money in the form of grants for the overtime costs that would be incurred. 

6+ Other topics covered were shared revenue, the formula for money for schools, the concealed carry law, the laws concerning the sale and use of private fireworks, picture IDs for voting, and electronic machines for voting. 


Positive comments were shared about the red ribbons decorating the neighborhood.  Our thanks go to Pete on 45th and 46th streets and to the other unknown people who helped us celebrate the Christmas holidays by displaying the red ribbons.  It would be good to include the names of the unknown if you would just send the names to me.

Will there be rebates this year for renovating projects?  Pat Mueller volunteered to check with the appropriate agencies to give us time to make use of that kind of money.

The old boat house in Washington Park now called the Urban Ecology program needs help cleaning the building on January 15th.  All able bodied people interested in helping should show up at the boat house on Monday, January 15th.

Maggie requested that chairpersons of events send her the dates that the events will take place this year.  We are grateful to Senator Coggs for his comments, ideas and suggestions presented to us this evening.  The neighbors remarked they feel connected to the Senate in Madison again.  We have had that connection with Representative Tamara Grigsby, and before her, Lena Taylor.  It remains our responsibility to contact our Senators and Representatives to keep them aware of the needs of their constituents.


Maggie B.