Waves of Hope
March 5, 2011 12:53 PM
When Reverend Jesse Jackson visited Madison a couple of weeks ago I went to see him just to welcome him to our city. And I invited him to visit the Mayor's Office when he returned. Yesterday he took me up on my offer.
We spent about three hours together, first meeting one-on-one, then with a small group of union and community leaders. Afterwards he addressed a large group of city employees on the steps of the City County Building and he even took time to stop by a special meeting of alders, city managers and representatives of both unionized and non-unionized employees that we had scheduled to go over the potential impacts of the governor's biennial budget proposal. (More on that later.)
Throughout Rev. Jackson was upbeat. He told us that we were already winning this fight, that other states were watching us and deciding not to go down the same road as Governor Walker. And he told us that our incredible record of nonviolent peaceful protest was being watched and noticed all over the world.
In that regard, he expressed dismay over Governor Walker's apparent consideration of hiring individuals to disrupt those peaceful protests and he recalled similar attempts to disrupt Dr. Martin Luther King's peaceful marches.
But his primary message was that Madison is being recognized as the center of a growing movement. He said: "While the battleground, ground zero, is Wisconsin, it's sending waves of hope around the whole nation."