Common Ground Releases Fair Play Survey Report
Preliminary Report to the Community On the Condition of the Outdoor Public School Athletic Facilities in Milwaukee County
MILWAUKEE – June 24, 2013 – Common Ground is a non-profit organization whose mission is to address critical social issues in creative, non-partisan ways. 100+ Volunteer leaders of Common Ground gathered outside the BMO Harris Bradley Center today to release the Fair Play Report, a preliminary report to the community on the condition of the outdoor public school athletic facilities in Milwaukee County.
Jennifer O’Hear, a Milwaukee Public School parent and Common Ground leader, stood outside the BMO Harris Bradley Center with the Fair Play Report in hand. “We believe that public resources should be used for this broader public good. If the Bucks get new, upgraded athletic facilities, then our children and county residents should get new, upgraded recreational facilities. It’s only FAIR ”
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is saying that the 25-yearold Bradley Center is in need of upgrading to meet modern standards.
Common Ground launched the Fair Play Campaign at its April 21st Spring Delegates Assembly with over 450 Common Ground delegates. The Fair Play Campaign states, If public funds are used to build a new Bradley Center arena, then at least $150 million and perhaps as much as $250 million of these funds must be used to improve Milwaukee County public school athletic facilities and recreational spaces.
During May 2013, 100+ volunteers personally inspected each and every public school outdoor athletic/recreational facility at the 290 public schools in Milwaukee County. While surveying the schools volunteers were asked:
How would they rate the overall facilities: Terrible, Poor, Fair, Good or Excellent
Of the 290 public schools in 38 separate school districts in Milwaukee County there are 268 athletic
facility sites that serve these schools. Of the 268 sites, 175 or 65 of them were rated overall as Terrible, Poor or Fair.
“Athletics provide kids with a sense of direction, discipline, and self-confidence; they have an opportunity to chase their dreams. Sadly, the reality is that 65 of our schools do not give our kids this opportunity.” Stated O’Hear Common Ground leader and member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
In addition to the substandard state of Milwaukee County public school athletic facilities, both children and adults in the surrounding community make use of the facilities. An upgrade of these facilities will give our community a vibrant gathering space for activities and events, a place that will foster the opportunity for community engagement, healthier living, and a deeper overall sense of neighborhood pride. Through the Fair Play campaign Common Ground seeks to invest in the future of Milwaukee County —not only through the professional athletes who represent us, but through the thousands of aspiring athletes who call Milwaukee home.
“We have the opportunity to take a transformative step to ensure that ALL public school athletic facilities in Milwaukee County are excellent and truly make our county a world-class community. By updating these facilities, we will foster a sense of pride in our community.” Said Rev Carl Griffin Common Ground Leader and Pastor of New Life Baptist Church.
Next Common Ground will be meeting with parents, students, teachers, as well as business, government, religious and community leaders to brief them on the Fair Play Report.
If public funds are used to build a new Bradley Center arena, then at least $150 million and perhaps as much as $250 million of these funds must be used to improve Milwaukee County public school athletic facilities and recreational spaces.
* For further details please reference Common Ground’s Fair Play Report.
About Common Ground: Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground (CG) is a 501(c)3 organization of congregations, religious groups, small businesses, non-profits, schools and neighborhood associations whose mission is to address critical social issues in creative, non-partisan ways. CG’s 45+ member organizations live and work in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties. Common Ground is a part of a national network affiliated with Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the oldest and largest institution for professional organizing in the United States.
For more information, please contact Allie Gardner at 608/630-3041
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