Joe Davis, Sr.
Press Release

A Bold Plan to Address the Crisis

Statement of Alderman Joe Davis, Sr. July 10, 2015

By - Jul 10th, 2015 02:31 pm

On Monday at the Community and Economic Development Committee meeting, I plan to take a consistent position to allocate federal funding back into the community in order to address the ongoing crisis of poverty and violence here in the City of Milwaukee. The plan to reallocate CDBG funding from city services has been a longtime request of mine to the Barrett administration. The surge of violence here in Milwaukee is unacceptable, and we have allowed it to get out of control. My proposal takes a bold approach to fund our solid community partners who have given it their all every year with the same, or worse yet, reduced funding.

My initiative will increase funding to our Neighborhood Strategic Planning organizers by $10,000 each so that they can fight the increase in violence head-on, using city resources to augment their street smarts. This proposal will also include an additional $15,000 to each NSP coordinating agency for outreach and organization of solid, active block watches and neighborhood associations. These organizers, such as the Southside Organizing Committee and Sherman Park Community Association, have put their lives on the line, and it’s about time we include them in this critical objective of identifying the threats in their areas.

In addition to funding organizers’ positions, I propose to increase funding to Safe & Sound to neutralize the idiotic behavior that is on the increase, including this uncontrollable gun violence. Safe & Sound’s reputation of mobilization is the missing link to fighting the illegal drug-dealing issues that are plaguing Milwaukee’s streets and destroying children’s families. This partnership must be expanded due to the crisis that is before us.

And then finally, I propose to offer funds directly to the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation—without issuing a request for proposals—through our Special Economic Development category, to concentrate on blighted retail corridors and abandoned businesses. Their charge would be to put together a citizens’ panel that would oversee the resources’ allocation. Criteria would be used to address the Business Improvement Districts’ needs by recruiting new, or existing, businesses back into the area. Certain uses and businesses would be prohibited.

This is the type of bold action needed to address the out-of-control homicide crisis we are experiencing. Let’s not deny that inaction has put us in this place, and let’s not play politics with our citizens’ neighborhoods.

I’ve been asking Mayor Barrett for a plan. The best he’s offered is an initiative to steer $2 million to the Police Department. Now I’m stepping forward to offer my own plan, because it’s time to give the citizen soldiers a chance.

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