Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
UPDATE: The Panhandler Dilemma
During the mid-1980’s while working for WUWM, I covered a speech by Mitch Snyder at the Varsity Theater on the campus of Marquette University.
Snyder was well-known as the Hero of the Homeless.
Somewhere in my basement amidst hundreds of cassette tapes is the recording of Snyder’s speech. I don’t remember much about it to be honest. However I do recall Snyder emphatically telling the audience members that if they encountered a homeless person, by all means offer some change or a buck or two so the homeless person could at the very least get some coffee or a donut.
I wonder what Snyder, if alive, would say today.
Thirty years after Snyder spoke here, a Milwaukee alderman proposed a crackdown on panhandlers in the city, claiming the beggars have gotten out of control.
As WUWM reported, Donovan said:
“This is undoubtedly a symptom of a larger problem of disorder that we’re seeing in an increasing number of neighborhoods in Milwaukee.”
Give cash to the homeless, a la the advice of Mitch Snyder?
“These individuals are taking the money that they receive by good well intentioned citizens, I have no doubt, well intentioned citizens. They are using that money to fuel their drug habits, or perhaps their alcohol abuse.”
While panhandling is a problem, Donovan proposed legislation that was far from perfect, making it illegal to stand in a median to collect money. Anyone who does could be ticketed.
Can’t stand in a media? The panhandlers will (and have) just move over.
A ticket? Think you’ll be able to collect?
Maybe an all-out ban (as other cities have implemented) is in order. The panhandlers have gotten more aggressive, coming up to car windows pleading their case. I’ve had it happen. I see it about twice a day. I’ve also seen them confront women in their vehicles. Can’t be the happiest of experiences.
Sorry, they do look unsavory and capable of potential harm.
Will they use any donations for purposes not intended by the donors? I’m betting yes.
I’ve been told by folks they’ve seen the panhandlers at the end of their "shift” hand off their hand printed sign and bag to someone else.
There are plenty of resources available that can provide much better help than standing on a busy roadway or going up to car windows with hands out.