Marquette University
Press Release

Marquette Law School, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel conference to examine public attitudes toward collaboration in the Chicago ‘megacity’

New Marquette Law School Poll surveys residents of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana

By - Jul 14th, 2015 10:22 am

MILWAUKEE – Marquette Law School and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will present a conference titled, “Public Attitudes in the Chicago Megacity: Who are we, and what are the possibilities?” on Tuesday, July 28, from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St.

The conference will examine public attitudes toward economic, political and social collaboration within the tri-state region spanning Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana – an area that has been referred to as an emerging “Chicago megacity.” The event will include a special Marquette Law School Poll: Under the direction of Marquette Law School Poll director Charles Franklin, the poll has surveyed more than 1,800 residents in 21 counties in all three states on a variety of issues.

The poll will highlight common and sometimes conflicting views of the region and the degree to which citizens view our fortunes as linked. Should the three states collaborate on transportation or tourism? Should politicians look out for their own state first? Respondents also talk about their work lives, the preparation for their careers and their willingness to take economic risks.

Since its inception in 2012, the Marquette Law School Poll has received national acclaim for accurately capturing public opinion in Wisconsin. This marks the first time that the poll has expanded to survey residents across state lines.

“The people of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana have unique identities and their own sense of civic pride, but we all have much in common as well,” said Michael R. Lovell, President of Marquette University. “Through this conference, the Journal Sentinel and Marquette Law School will help lead the way in examining public attitudes and exploring new avenues for residents, businesses and government agencies across the Chicago ‘megacity’ to collaborate.”

The poll’s findings will be discussed by a group of panelists—including business, nonprofit, and government leaders—who will use the results as a foundation for a larger conversation about the region’s challenges and opportunities. Conference participants will include the following:

  • Ellen Alberding, President of the Joyce Foundation, Chicago, Ill.
  • Tom Barrett, Mayor of the City of Milwaukee
  • Todd Battle, President of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance
  • John Dickert, Mayor of the City of Racine
  • Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of the City of Gary, Ind.
  • Mike Gousha, Distinguished Fellow in Law and Policy, Marquette Law School
  • David Haynes, Editorial Page Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Michelle Nettles, Chief Human Resources Officer, MillerCoors
  • Kelly O’Brien, President and CEO, Alliance for Regional Development
  • Carmel Ruffolo, Wisconsin Operational Chair, Alliance for Regional Development

Seating is limited; registration is available online. For those who can’t attend in person, a “watch now” button on the registration page will provide access to a live video stream.

The conference is a continuation of the conversation that began in 2012, when Marquette Law School and the Journal Sentinel sponsored its initial megacity conference. That first megacity conference was prompted in part by a report from the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, arguing that closer ties between the Milwaukee area, Chicagoland and northwest Indiana are crucial to improving the economic fortunes of the region.

This year’s conference is supported by the Law School’s Sheldon B. Lubar Fund for Public Policy Research and a grant from the Patrick and Anna M. Cudahy Fund.

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