Anita Zeidler

Anita Zeider

Anita Zeidler was, like Charlotte Bleistein, a dedicated and powerful though soft-spoken woman who was both a long term Milwaukee Turner and a Socialist, and both were deeply influenced by Frank Zeidler, Anita's father and Milwaukee's Mayor from 1948-1960. Last September we lost Charlotte, who died in her sleep at 102 after being with us and many others at Fightin' Bob Fest, carrying on the tradition of Bob LaFollette, who thought people's interests came before corporations. This September, on Labor Day, we lost Anita, but at a much younger age (they claim she was 73, but I choose not to believe it). Anita was staffing a table at Labor Fest for the United Nations Assn., which could not be more fitting.  Just as stated in the principles the Milwaukee Turners reaffirmed in 1960 (with input from her dad I strongly suspect), which favor settling international disputes by judicial procedures rather than war, Anita practiced diplomacy in all her public dealings in Milwaukee. The Zeidler Center for Public Discussion honored Anita for her leadership roles and "for her efforts to advance civil dialogue about Milwaukee's most controversial issues." We met with her in recent weeks to plan the 2018 Frank P. Zeidler Memorial Lecture. Anita was also usually present to help represent the family when I and others presented the City of Milwaukee's Frank P. Zeidler Public Service awards, including to Turner friend Reggie Jackson, who fittingly said "She was a true champion of making Milwaukee a better place one conversation at a time." Can we all step up to try to imitate that in the coming months and years?