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Monday, May 12, 2008

Signs Point Positive in Milwaukee

By Keith Schmitz

I want to second Gretchen Schuldt's post on the good effects of Joesph Zilber's $50 billion kick-start gift to revitalize Milwaukee and Marcus White's appointment to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

From a personal standpoint as Chair of the Interfaith Conference Congregational Action Network, it has been both a pleasure and an inspiration. working with Marcus. Hate to see him leave considering how much he got done with Interfaith, but the resources and connections through the GMF will magnify Marcus' ability to effect change here in Milwaukee.

Two other things that auger well for the metro area.

Though it got some mention for their launch last month, the new Common Ground organization will be bringing together groups -- conservative, moderate, liberal, religious, social justice, labor, business -- to find common solutions to metro-wide problems.

Milwaukee has been notorious as a city that is way too splintered, and this movement will find issues and approaches that will encourage joint efforts across all spectrums. Very refreshing when you think of it.

The second is a national trend. More people are waking up to the idea that government does have a constructive role in bringing progress. Over the last 25 years we have seen the effects of limiting government's role as evidenced by our crumbling infrastructure, our falling behind in research world-wide and the idea that in our financial markets we have to have a referee to prevent chaos on the playing field, thanks to the sub-prime mortgage blow-up.

Also polls show that Americans are warming up to government financed health care.

Looks like Milwaukee might be heading in the right direction.

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