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Is Wausau a Community for All? Controversy Ignites Over County Resolution

WAOW Television

Wausau community leaders came together yesterday to name the city a "community for all."

The proclamation comes in the face of a New York Times piece on a recently failed county resolution of the same name.

The Marathon County Executive Committee debated the resolution for nearly a year.

It was meant to embrace inclusion and acknowledge disparities faced by local people of color.

However, the executive committee ultimately voted against the resolution to call the city a “community for all” – and the New York Times covered that decision.

Mayor Katie Rosenberg said it was heartbreaking to read what was written about Wausau in the New York Times.

“I felt like it was very necessary for us to make a strong unified statement that we are a community for all despite what we read in those comments in that article,” she said.

Rosenberg issued a proclamation that closely mirrored the one the County Board's executive committee voted down, along with an added paragraph stating the opposition to diversity expressed in the story does not reflect the city's opinion, values, or commitment to diversity and inclusion.

At a press conference yesterday, Rosenberg and three Marathon County supervisors pushed back against the Times story.

Supervisor William Harris, the lone Black member of the Board, said that's not the community he knows.

“I don’t believe that those comments of those individuals are representative of the community or the community we want to see moving forward,” he said.

All three supervisors present during Tuesday's press conference expressed a commitment to finding a workable "Community for All" resolution to bring to the board in the future.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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