Presidents Corner

President's Corner: by Art Heitzer

President's Corner: by Art Heitzer

On August 7 Mayor Barrett and others joined as we launched  the dynamic new signs in front of Turner Hall, which generated considerable media coverage. As part of the dedication I noted that “Turner Hall is here only because of the dedication of immigrants and refugees from oppression abroad to promote physical fitness and social justice in America, and in Milwaukee in particular.”.

As we were leaving, some 600 Lutherans marched past Turner Hall, en route to the Milwaukee office of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), posting 9.5 theses to demand closing of the camps holding asylum seekers and separating families.

This was at least the third time recently that large numbers of religious affiliated people marched on that office, making similar demands. Some focused on camps closer to our southern border, but this same office has been involved in tearing prominent leaders, including clergy, from communities in southeastern Wisconsin.

An August 1st, a Jewish led action (#NeverAgainIsNow, www.neveragainaction.com/) was prepared for civil disobedience; their action caused the ICE officials to close down entirely, even though the demonstrators made clear that they would not obstruct any one from entering the building for their appointments. 

President's Corner: by Art Heitzer

President's Corner: by Art Heitzer

Despite the polar vortex and a variety of other unique challenges, Milwaukee Turners are off to a great start for 2019. Here’s a brief update, and we welcome your membership, renewal, and support in all appropriate ways.


First, we are thrilled to welcome our new Executive Director, Nicholas La Joie who began coinciding with the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday in January. Nicholas has taken the reins (& there are many of them) firmly in hand. These include our 130 year old building suffering from the slings and arrows of invading snow and arctic air, freezing and aging pipes (despite the best prevention efforts), and some significant shaking as our multi million dollar neighbor across the street had its roof imploded and massive steel and concrete are still crashing down as I write this.  We and structural engineers are assessing the results. 

President's Corner: by Art Heitzer

President's Corner: by Art Heitzer

Despite the polar vortex and a variety of other unique challenges, Milwaukee Turners are off to a great start for 2019. Here’s a brief update, and we welcome your membership, renewal, and support in all appropriate ways.


First, we are thrilled to welcome our new Executive Director, Nicholas La Joie who began coinciding with the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday in January. Nicholas has taken the reins (& there are many of them) firmly in hand. These include our 130 year old building suffering from the slings and arrows of invading snow and arctic air, freezing and aging pipes (despite the best prevention efforts), and some significant shaking as our multi million dollar neighbor across the street had its roof imploded and massive steel and concrete are still crashing down as I write this.  We and structural engineers are assessing the results. 

President's Corner: by Art Heitzer

President's Corner: by Art Heitzer

As we enter on 2019, I am struck by the divergence in expectations for the year. On Saturday, the board chair of a leading non-profit Black arts organization began by stating her optimism and hope for the year 2019.  That same day, another dedicated colleague whose been a leader in our MTI work for criminal justice reform asked “who is not having darker visions these days?”

Anita Zeidler

Anita Zeidler

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.