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Common Ground Leaders Stop Notorious VLive Strip Club


Dozens of community members and members of Southeastern Wisconsin’s Common Ground attended the License Committee meeting at City Hall. | Photo Credit:  Teran Powell WUWM

Common Ground brought over 35 people to a Milwaukee License Committee hearing on March 6th and stopped the notorious VLive franchise from coming into the neighborhood at 35th Street and Capitol Drive. Rotiesha Nelson, Common Ground member, mother and area resident, lead the opposition: “A strip club in the community is not what we need. Us as a community already face enough challenges.”
 
We had heard from several sources that Tatou, a club located at 3945 N 35th Street, planned to renew its licenses and then sell to VLive strip club and transfer the licenses.  Tatou has been doing renovations and even put up a VLive sign on their building. Furthermore, auditions were held and a VLive franchise opening in Milwaukee was being promoted on social media.
 
We feared VLive would bring an increase in crime or sex trafficking as it did in Chicago and Houston. In Chicago, VLive was the source of the highest number of police reports in the area – mainly assaults and theft. That location is now closed. In Houston the County Attorney sued to close down VLive because of crime, including drugs, gambling, prostitution, sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, robbery and murder. VLive Houston was shutdown.
 
Milwaukee has consistently ranked among the top five cities in the nation for sex trafficking.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported that many young trafficking victims come from group homes. There are two girls’ group homes on 37th St between Capitol and Keefe – just a few blocks from Tatou.
 
Common Ground leaders walked the neighborhood around 35th and Capitol talking to parents, residents, businesses, neighborhood groups, churches, daycares, and schools. Despite intimidation, in six days Common Ground collected 234 signatures opposing VLive coming into Tatou’s club. Many of those we met through our walks came to City Hall for the hearing to show their opposition.
After learning that Tatou will not partner with or sell to VLive, Jennifer O’Hear, Director of Common Ground United Parents, said, “We want to thank Alderman Rainey for helping us to stop VLive. We thank the Licensing Committee for acknowledging Common Ground’s role.” She concluded, “We want our concerns to go on the record. We will be watching.”
 
Because of the outpouring of opposition from the community, not only was Tatou forced to amend this and all future license applications to say they will not partner with or sell to VLive, but also Tatou’s application to renew their alcohol and public entertainment licenses was denied.
 
Common Ground Lead Organizer, Keisha Krumm, reflected, “In that hearing room we experienced the power of organized people. By coming together in an organized collective, we stopped this deplorable strip club from coming into our neighborhood. We persisted in the face of intimidation and won for our children and the common good.”
 
“This just shows what we can do when we come together,” said Ms. Nelson after the hearing.
 
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Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 08:24