Common Ground and Common Council Leaders Commit to For Neighborhoods & Youth in 2017 City Budget
Leaders asked elected officials to commit to up to $7 million in capital investment for the funding of an indoor sports complex on the South side for youth sports as well as other recreational, educational and cultural activities.
Over 300 community members of Common Ground gathered with local elected officials pushing for new money in the 2017 budget for neighborhood improvement projects. This Common Ground effort is the MKE Neighborhoods Now campaign, which focused on public investment of $19 million for five catalytic neighborhood projects in next year’s budget.
“It would be tempting after last night’s tragedies for us to say that our plan to invest $19 million in neighborhood projects is the solution to our city’s problems. It is not. But, it would also be wrong to say that our plan has nothing to do with these problems. Investing in these projects is a necessary start to the City taking us and our needs seriously as residents of Milwaukee,” said Gabriela Dieguez who led the Common Ground action.
The focus of the action was the need for recreational spaces for youth on the North and South sides of the City. Families, coaches and players see soccer as a way to involve kids in positive activities and keep them off the streets. “When children have sports in their lives there is less risk that they would be involved in behaviors that can be harmful for themselves and for the community,” said Dr. Francisco Enriquez, Co-Chair of Common Ground’s South Side Caucus.
South Side officials Alderman Pérez and Alderman Borkowski committed their public support for the complex on Sunday. A letter to Mayor Barrett stating support for the funding in the 2017 budget was signed by Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman José Pérez, Alderman Tony Zielinski, Alderman Bob Donovan, Alderman Mark Borkowski, Alderman Russell Stamper II, Alderman Bob Bauman, and Alderwoman Chantia Lewis.
Alderman Pérez, who represents the 12th District on the City’s near South Side, has championed the effort: “This sports complex is critical for our communities. I am committed to this effort. Myself and my colleagues on the Common Council believe that this is the kind of project the City needs to invest in to strengthen neighborhoods.”
Common Ground leaders alongside representatives from the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation/Mexican Fiesta (WHSF) also made commitments of their own: raising $1 million in private funds for the indoor complex. “The Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation is 100% in support of this new complex for families and kids in our community and we will do all that we can to help make it a reality. Beginning with fundraising $1 million privately with Common Ground,” said Ruben Burgos, President of the WHSF Board.
Common Ground plans to attend the Mayor’s Budget Presentation on Tuesday, Aug. 16th at 6:00pm at the Zeidler Building.
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