Shares Economic Progress; Highlights Effort to Support City’s Children and Youth
Highlighting Milwaukee’s progress and growth, Mayor Tom Barrett presented the 2019 State of the City Address on Monday at the Fiserv Forum.
Mayor Barrett emphasized the City’s efforts in strengthening neighborhoods, promoting job growth, building healthier and safer communities, and improving educational initiatives in Milwaukee.
“The State of our City continues to improve. Overall, our economy is stronger, our neighborhoods are safer, and our future is brighter,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “Of course we have challenges, and we need people across Milwaukee, and beyond, to come together to address these challenges, and make sure Milwaukee is an inclusive, respectful, and fair city.”
Mayor Barrett opened his address by expressing his gratitude to City of Milwaukee employees who work daily to serve the residents of our city, often risking their lives. Amongst those highlighted were the three Milwaukee Police Department officers, Charles Irvine, Jr., Michael Michalski, and Matthew Rittner, who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Mayor Barrett also highlighted the efforts of the Milwaukee Police Department citing that last year car jackings were down 7%, more guns were recovered, fewer shot spotter alerts were detected and both fatal and non-fatal shootings were down markedly. He expressed his content with the direction of the department as more officers are in the neighborhoods patrolling the streets and making Milwaukee safer. In regards to the Police Department’s hiring efforts Mayor Barrett expressed he wants police officers to come from, live in, and care about Milwaukee.
Mayor Barrett highlighted economic development throughout the City. He congratulated JoAnne Sabir and Juli Kaufmann on their fabulous work to build the Sherman Phoenix, a story of rebirth in the Sherman Park neighborhood.
He also mentioned the excitement for development projects underway on our city’s near south side first with Komatsu then with Michel’s Corporation.
In his remarks he also touted the launch of The Hop presented by Potowatomi Hotel and Casino which drew over 16,000 riders during its first two-and-a-half days. He re-emphasized plans to extend streetcar service to the Bucks arena, Bronzeville, and Walker’s Point. Most notably, when it comes to ensuring the economic success of our city’s residents, Mayor Barrett called on business and government leaders to work with him to bring 3,000 jobs to city residents and neighborhoods over the next three years.
During his remarks Mayor Barrett issued a powerful challenge: “Imagine a Milwaukee child born today. Will her life begin with a solid foundation, continue with a good education, lead to a quality career, and, ultimately, a life fulfilled? What can we – government, the business community, and community partners – do to make sure this child thrives?” To answer this question, Mayor Barrett listed the various initiatives that our City of Milwaukee is taking to ensure children and youth have a promising future.
One such effort is the launch of the Milwaukee Public Library’s Office of Early Childhood Education which will work to ensure that all children are ready to learn by kindergarten.
Efforts to advance our city’s residents into productive adulthood include the announcement that the library is launching Career Online High School, a program for adults to earn a high school diploma. The Mayor also highlighted Compete Milwaukee’s success in connecting underemployed City residents with on-the-job training within city departments.
Mayor Barrett affirmed that Milwaukee’s water has always met the federal standards for lead safety. Even so, his administration has taken bold and proactive steps to replace lead service lines. The Mayor acknowledges that one of the most serious health risks our children continue to face is exposure to lead paint.
The Mayor, together with the City of Milwaukee Health Department, have made continual progress in reducing the number of children with high lead levels.
“Yes, a child born today will grow up in a city that addresses the challenges before it. I’m proud we are a city of strong partnerships. I’m proud that residents, neighborhood and community groups are vested in building a stronger Milwaukee,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.
“I am enthusiastic and optimistic about our future: a future where every child is part of an inclusive, vibrant city that is thriving economically and culturally. I invite everyone to share my optimism and join us as we move