MKE Plays, Sarah Zarate receive recognition from Public Policy Forum
News release from Alderman Michael J. Murphy
The playground-transforming MKE Plays program and a former staff director for the office of the Common Council President have been selected for 2016 Salute Awards by the Public Policy Forum.
Alderman Michael J. Murphy, who helped launch MKE Plays last year when he was Common Council president, said MKE Plays was recognized for “Public-Private Cooperation,” and Sarah Zarate – who helped execute then-Council President Murphy’s vision of MKE Plays when she served as his staff director – was honored as a “Leader of the Future.”
The Public Policy Forum (PPF) will present the 2016 Salute Awards during a special ceremony on Tuesday, June 21 at the Italian Conference Center, 631 E. Chicago St.
Alderman Murphy said the recognition is humbling and reaffirming. “I’m extremely grateful and humbled that the Forum recognized MKE Plays for what it is doing to help children across Milwaukee, but also for what makes the program so successful – the public-private cooperation it embraces – and the private generosity it has been blessed to receive from foundations and philanthropic entities,” he said.
Ms. Zarate served as staff director to the Common Council President from June 2014 to April 2016, conducting policy analysis and designing public policy initiatives, including MKE Plays and the MKE Peace Project. The PPF credited Ms. Zarate for taking the initiative to design, organize and oversee MKE Plays and the MKE Peace Project, and noted that she “redefined the role of the Council President Chief of Staff position.”
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It features a 90-foot zipline, walking track, fitness equipment, permeable pavement basketball courts, challenging toddler elements, and a 10-foot tall rope dome.