By Ben Handelman
Sunday morning, May 20th, Milwaukee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett made stops throughout the city of Milwaukee, but these stops had nothing to do with politics. Barrett held his annual "Ceasefire Sabbath," speaking at churches about preventing violence.
Barrett spoke with parishioners inside New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee Sunday morning. "We have to go beyond the police department. We have to go beyond the social service agencies. I need the help of the churches," Barrett said.
For eight straight years, Barrett has picked a Sunday to travel to churches like Pastor Archie Ivy's. "There should not only be ceasefire today, but should be Ceasefire Sabbath every day," Pastor Ivy said.
Pastor Ivy says he believes Barrett's message is helpful to his congregation. "I think he is getting information, educating people, as to the seriousness of this. To stay on top of it and to remind us that we should keep it on the forefront," Pastor Ivy said.
Barrett said he hopes that through conversation and a little help from the community, guns will be off the list of possible reasons someone misses a Sunday service. "I realize that someone who was out until 4:00 a.m. is not in the pews this morning, but they may have a mother, a grandmother, an uncle, a dad, a friend, a girlfriend, a sibling, and I want us as a community to do more to reduce the violence," Barrett said.
Barrett says crime and homicides have both gone down by 20 percent over the last four years. He credits Ceasefire Sabbath and the community for helping.