Common Council President Cavalier Johnson
Press Release

New grant programs can help Milwaukee build long-term economic sustainability

Statement of Common Council President Cavalier Johnson August 24, 2021

By - Aug 24th, 2021 11:39 am

Today Governor Evers announced $250 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding would be utilized to create new grant programs to help support communities across the state. I applaud the Governor for his continued action to uplift Wisconsin as we continue through the COVID-19 pandemic.

$200 million is being used to create a Neighborhood Investment Fund grant program to help communities deliver innovative public services. I would encourage the administration to apply for these funds as they represent another significant opportunity for Milwaukee to build long-term economic stability.

In particular, I believe this grant program can provide funding support for the city as we continue to look for creative ways to uplift under or unemployed Milwaukeeans into family supporting careers in the trades. These funds could serve as a catalyst in creating a partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Area Technical College, workforce development agencies, and the trades to get more people into apprenticeships which can provide a pathway toward family supporting careers.

But the possibilities don’t stop there. I would also suggest that we use these potential funds to leverage other dollars to create more affordable housing in Milwaukee, and even investigate more imaginative ways in which we can build out public spaces across the city. I believe there is a pathway to creating smaller, Deer District type spaces, in partnership with our Business Improvement Districts across the city. Not only would this provide more gathering spaces, but it would also promote economic activity and job growth as well.

I’m excited about the number of possibilities that are before us, and I look forward to collaborating on these potential community-enhancing projects.

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