From the President

A Letter from the President: May 2017

In order to deepen commitment and find ways to scale what works for our children to help them succeed in life from cradle to career, Milwaukee Succeeds leadership focused on finding solutions in a day-long, intensive retreat. Research shows the ability to read proficiently by the 3rd grade is critical for success down the road. Therefore, Milwaukee has put much time and energy to figuring out what works; focusing on Reading Foundations in early grades allows children to develop a strong set of skills allowing them to build confidence and to flourish in all subjects. Not surprisingly, a young reader is developed at home, in the classroom, and with the help of a qualified tutor. Adopted from Minnesota, an evidence-based tutoring program called Wisconsin Reading Corps has seen great success in its first two years of operation in Milwaukee. But we are not reaching enough kids through philanthropic contributions alone, so a number of people who care about education across the political divides came together to solve the issue.

Did we do it? We will know soon. Tim Sheehy came up with a great political strategy to reposition funding in the proposed state budget. Dr. Darienne Driver, Dr. Vicki Martin, Mark Mone and Michael Lovell made a commitment to extend training in Reading Foundations across all the political divides to include every K-3 teacher in Milwaukee.

This is the big success of Milwaukee Succeeds. It is coordination, cooperation and partnership. It is the trust to create sustainable change. It is the opportunity to set aside differences in philosophy for all children and the commitment to find the resources. Milwaukee Succeeds work across all sectors is a major step forward.

We’ve been at this political war for so many years. And we still struggle to educate our children because we can’t isolate education from the broader systems of poverty, crime, incarceration and violence.

Yet despite the war, we see individual successes school by school though not as a community or as a broader system.

Dr. Jill Biden visited Bradley Tech at the invitation of Dr. Vicki Martin, President of MATC and Bradley Tech Commission President on Friday prior to giving the commencement address at MATC. The Bradley Tech students are amazing whether they are welding, creating CNC patterns on Illustrator, creating apps or working on automated processes in Project Lead the Way. Seeing and talking with the students grounds us in all the potential that goes beyond politics, scores and stereotypes. It grounds us in the future.

 

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

A Letter from the President

Today’s shooting of a City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services employee, is an unthinkable and inexcusable act of violence. The Greater Milwaukee Committee sends its deepest condolences to his family and friends, the City of Milwaukee family, and others who have been effected by violence.

After 33 years of service, at the age of 64, his life was met with an incredibly tragic ending. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Violence is, and should be, seen as a public health issue. As we continue to strive for a safer Milwaukee through Safe MKE, and project created in partnership with the Office of Violence Prevention, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Northwestern Mutual, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, 371 Production and the Prevention Institute, we ask that all people take time to reflect on the situation and how we can work together to build a safer, violence free Milwaukee.

As a member of the Steering Committee for the Mayor’s Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), we are looking at a large systems approach to violence prevention in a year that will more than likely see record breaking numbers of homicides and other violent crimes.

We hope you are on board and will be involved in our efforts to make Milwaukee a safer community.

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

A Letter From the President: March 2017

Did you know that the lifetime risk of imprisonment by age 35 for African American men who do not complete high school is 70%? This is an astounding statistic. Educational attainment is one of the top societal investments to prevent violence, increase earnings and live a free life.

As a member of the Steering Committee for the Mayor’ Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), we are looking at a large systems approach to violence prevention in a year that will more than likely see record breaking numbers of homicides and other violent crimes.

Arnold Chandler of Forward Change presented a riveting presentation culled from numerous field studies of what strategies work, and what don’t, in a broader prevention system. Some strategies that work are not for the reasons we think. Youth employment programs decrease youth violence by 50% when combined with cognitive behavioral based programming, and have impact for two years following the initial employment. We think youth employment is important because it creates career exploration and work skills, but studies show its biggest impact is long term deterrents to violence.

What can each of us do to create a safer, more equitable community? This level of change looks incredibly hard at the individual level. But there are actions we can take that cumulatively make a big difference. The GMC has supported the Mayor’s Earn and Learn program for years. There is always more young people who want to be in the program than there are funds to support. We are looking at new approaches to internships, learning experiences and summer youth employment that work in today’s world of increased regulations, privacy issues and leaner teams to still provide a transformative experience for the young person and the employer.

The Safe Zone approach is another proven strategy that prevents violence from happening on the ground level. There is the opportunity to expand and further test this model over this coming summer.

There will be more to come from the Steering Committee under Reggie Moore and the Prevention Institute’s guidance, but for now if we want a safer Milwaukee, let’s invest in summer jobs and safe zones in Milwaukee.

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

A Letter From the President: February 2017- Special Edition

Today celebrates the transition of Greater Milwaukee Committee Board Chairman from Ted Kellner to Rich Meeusen. Over the past two years, the GMC has had the pleasure of working with Ted on many initiatives and projects. He has been an incredible champion of the work of the GMC, his dedication apparent at each and every board meeting, members meeting, and community engagement.

 

The combination of his work ethic and love of Milwaukee reflects in his endeavors with Fiduciary Management, and that of the many civic and charitable organizations he is a member of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ted, we are grateful for your service and wish you a lifetime of continued success.

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

and the entire Greater Milwaukee Committee Staff

A Letter from the President: February 2017

Taylor, Julia

Two businesses opened doors in Milwaukee over the past few months that will impact Milwaukee much more than normal business openings.
Zurn’s new Headquarters building became the first company to locate in the Reed Street Yards, a water technology and research park. And, Tandem, a new restaurant in Lindsay Heights, opened its doors and created a new business structure for neighborhood ownership and talent curation.
 
The move of the Zurn Headquarters to Milwaukee demonstrates the impact and growth of the water cluster and the work of the Water Council and its partners, including UWM’s School of Freshwater Management and MMSD. Zurn’s parent company is Rexnord, whose headquarters are located in the Global Water Center a few hundred yards away. Since 2007, under the leadership of Todd Adams, President and CEO, Rexnord has invested in the water management industry that today makes up 40% of Rexnord’s sales.
 
So, why pick Milwaukee for the Zurn Headquarters site?
 
According to Todd, it’s the talent, the cluster of water technology industries, the research, and the Water Council that make Milwaukee an attractive site. The City and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation both invested in the move, and from the beginning, supported the Water Council and the water technology cluster. This is another tangible outcome of the belief and work of many in the Water Council over the years including Dean Amhaus, Rich Meeusen, Paul Jones, Todd Adams, Mayor Barrett, Rocky Marcoux, Lee Swindall, Carlos Santiago, Mike Lovell, Mark Mone, Kevin Shafer, David Garman and of course, the GMC. I will always remember Rocky drawing a circle on a map during the Strategic Action Session eight years ago around the vacant and contaminated old railroad switching yard called the Reed Street Yards and committing to develop a tax incremental financing district for a Water Technology Park. Today, I can look out my office window at the Reed Street Yards, a showcase of green infrastructure and sustainable site design with the new Zurn Headquarters right there in plain sight, and know we are just starting the growth of Milwaukee as the world’s water hub. If you haven’t toured the Global Water Center or seen the Reed Street Yards development, please get in touch and I will give you a tour.
 
In December, Gary Witt, Executive Director of the Pabst Theater Group, invited me to lunch at Tandem, a restaurant that recently opened at the original site of the Wally Schmidt Tavern. Tandem is at 1841 W. Fond Du Lac Avenue just a few miles from the Sherman Park uprising this summer. Tandem plays a number of key roles in the community. In a neighborhood with few restaurants and a connecting point to downtown, Tandem is in the right place to connect the dots. Juli Kaufmann of Fix Development and Jeremy Davis from Walnut Way Conservation Corp. undertook the development and renovation. There are now over 40 small investors in the project who live in the neighborhood and have provided either cash or sweat equity. Chef and Manager Caitlin Cullen, formerly with the Top 30 Restaurant Bavette, is also an educator and created a marvelous menu. Her work with Tandem has led to a recipe (pun intended) that many can learn from in creating a neighborhood talent pipeline. She employs young neighborhood people and trains them to work both in the back and front of the house and the kitchen, preparing them to be able to move to positions with other restaurants. Caitlin is working with the Bartolottas on this talent pipeline project.
 
When Gary and I had lunch, there was a large table of 15-20 neighborhood women celebrating a birthday, several downtown young professionals, and my neighbor at a nearby table. Our server was a young man who had worked for two weeks with the professionalism of an experienced, successful server. And, the food was great! Gary was setting Caitlin up with a DJ turntable and music for the evening crowd.  He is a great community advocate for this restaurant with a double bottom line. So, please, stop by The Tandem, 1841 W. Fond Du Lac Ave. for lunch or dinner and call them for catering opportunities. Let’s support this important neighborhood investment. Caitlin Cullens’ contact info is caitcull@gmail.com or call 248-508-9535.

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

Page 1 of 512345