Minutes from the January 9, 2012 6:30 pm

Meeting of Martin Drive Neighborhood Association


The mission of the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association, through its programs and projects, is to embrace and foster a sense of belonging and common purpose, in order to create a neighborhood that is beautiful, diverse, secure, and fun for everyone!


Amy began the meeting at 6:35pm. Neighbors introduced themselves and said where they lived.

Mary Kae Nelsen, from the League of Women Voters presented information on the new Voter ID Law. She stated that Dr. Lee, a professor from UWM stated that in 2011, many citizens became more aware of their government. The League of Women Voters since early in the 20th century, has worked on many different areas where a position is formed. They share information with the community, lobby, and support and oppose legislation. They have been around for 92 years. They do not support a political party or person. It is a non-partisan, but still political organization. The Women League of Women Voters opposed the Voter ID bill. Nelsen stated that the bill hurts the elderly, poor, and those without an ID. There have been about 20 people that have voted improperly, a small amount of the total who vote in an election. People can register to vote election day, but you are encouraged to register early, because you can make sure you have a proper ID and proof of address. Having a neighbor with you to say you live at the address is no longer acceptable. Nelsen said that voting is a right and checking out a book with an ID is a privilege.

There is a way to check to see if your name is on the registered list before you vote. Please see this link.



It is a good idea to have more than one proof of an ID and address when you register to vote.

You can use a driver's license to vote if it was expired, it needs to be in valid during the last presidential election.

Sharon asked how to best reach neighbors on the new Voter ID Law. Nelsen said that it is the personal connection for neighbors. Food and drink should not be used as an incentive. Neighbors should let one another know about events and information to vote. To be a special deputy register and be able to register people to vote, go to the event on Saturday January 21st, Unitarian Church on Astor and Ogden, from 10-Noon, there is a 2 hour training to deputize people to register to vote.

Nelsen stated there is a lawsuit pending regarding the Voter ID Law because in the Wisconsin Constitution. It says that all people over 18 have the right to vote, unless you are a convicted felon on supervision or on "paper", and/or had a judge rule that you are incompetent to vote.

Alderman Michael Murphy stated that at 809 N Broadway you can get your birth certificate from the Milwaukee Health Department for free. Murphy stated that the Voter ID Law will affect turnout. He stated that we have a tiny percentage that voted illegally. Nine million will be spend on the implementation.

Murphy said that the recycling schedule will be looked at. Neighbors can ask for an additional cart for free. 136,000 carts are being changed in phases over time to single sort (put all recycling in one bin, not two). There is a project at 60th and State Street, a tunnel and pumps installed so that in extreme cases, basements will be less at risk as water is diverted.

Thirty three million from 5 major banks will be used in the City of Milwaukee to maintain foreclosed properties. Five hundred thousand from this "bank money" will be used to hire kids in the city to maintain foreclosed properties.

Handouts and information about the Voter ID Law were passed out to neighbors.

Wahl said that neighbors were recognized at the Police District 3 Level for their contribution to the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association Block Representative duties "block watch". Neighbors were recognized tonight who could not attend the December 15th Recognition Dinner.

The neighborhood agreed that they wanted to help get the word out on the Voter ID Law and help to get neighbors to register to vote.

Amy stated that she would like to help form a group to help landlords to recognize the importance supporting a good neighborhood. Pat, Maggie and Amy met and wrote a letter that can be used as a template to contact tenants and landlords who are a nuisance to the neighborhood. Anyone that is interested in forming this group can email martin-drive@yahoogroups.com

Neighbors talked about helping support neighbors on North 44th Street between Juneau Ave and Vliet Street. There have been problems for a while. Kong said a nuisance property must have 3 verified offenses in 30 days. A neighbor could call the police, but when the police come, nothing is seen or heard that is wrong and a problem can't be verified. Kong said that only calls can be verified. He encourages all phone calls to the police. 

Noise complaints must be verified by the police. PO Kong stated that holiday parties in the summer are not permission to make noise.

In March there will be a meeting for planning events for 2012. Neighbors are encouraged to join neighborhood projects or think up of ones that the neighborhood can help "you" support. A new idea last year was the outdoor movie. New ideas are encouraged.

Pat please add/correct add any information here for your report.

Last year for the Bloom and Groom Project, there were presold orders, but we sold those and all the extras. Flower flats were sold for $2-4 and somehow we made $84. There are only two Lowes stores open now. There may be two weekends used for the project. Decorative grass perennials could be sold this year. Plans for this years' Bloom and Groom are not final. Please look for updates.

John Gurda will talk about the History of Milwaukee's West Side. Information about Winterfest, hosted by the Urban Ecology Center and pictures from last year's event can be found at www.martin-drive.org

There was a discussion about the borders of the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association. Amy stated that we will discuss this at our next meeting in March (12th, 6:30pm at the Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W Vliet).