Statement of 10th District Alderman Michael J. Murphy
Congratulations to Alderman Ashanti Hamilton on his election as Common Council President.
I am proud of the work we were able to accomplish in my two-year term as Common Council President. I had a tremendous team working in my office, and it’s really extraordinary to think of all the projects and legislation we saw through to execution.
Our MKE Plays program created new opportunities for young people all throughout the city to enjoy safe, innovative play spaces. As a result of our hard work, MKE Plays raised $1.2 million in private funding (including a national grant) and leveraged $700,000 in city funding to renovate inner city playgrounds. My office wrote and administered all the grants for the program, resulting in an unprecedented investment of capital in 12 new playgrounds throughout the heart of the city.
Amid cries for someone to do something about the questionable business practices of mortgage servicers in Milwaukee, we brought them to the negotiating table and got them to give back to the community. After nearly eight months of negotiations between Nationstar, myself, the Mayor and the City Attorney, we hammered out a five-pronged plan with the servicer that includes bringing $30 million in loan modifications to city homeowners in danger of foreclosure. Then we negotiated a similar deal with mortgage servicer Ocwen.
In my tenure as president, I championed charter school transparency and accountability. We have focused greater oversight on the city’s Charter School Review Committee process. Together with my colleagues, I am working to make chartered entities more accountable by bringing attention to the ones that are failing their students, academicallyspeaking, and we have been more stringent with contracts as they come up for renewal.
Our initiation of the MKE Peace Project aimed to reshape the public dialogue around youth in our city from one that assumed young people are violence perpetrators to one that features youth as part of the solution. The program raised nearly $15,000 in prizes to award to young people who participated, and winners were featured on billboards throughout the city and given a chance to help reshape their neighborhoods.
We’re at a turning point in our city’s history. While progress booms in some areas, Milwaukee still struggles with deep disparities and concentrated poverty in others. In my term as president, and throughout my tenure on the Common Council, I have strived to address these issues with a multi-faceted, comprehensive approach. Though outside forces may try to pit us against one another, I look forward to continuing the work of finding consensus solutions to these problems. I am humbled and grateful that my constituents have elected me to an eighth term as Alderman, and I look forward to continuing to move our city forward. Congratulations to Alderman Ashanti Hamilton on his election as Common Council President.
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