High quality jobs are far too scarce in the neighborhoods outside of Milwaukee’s downtown. A serious, long-term commitment led by the state partnering with the City and County, is necessary for sustained economic growth throughout the city. Efforts should focus on the neighborhood level, redeveloping commercial corridors block by block and with the direct input of neighbors. Much of this work exists, but must be scaled up. In order to do so, Wisconsin should allow local units of government more flexibility to raise revenues. Without additional revenues, these local communities don’t have the resources to begin the redevelopment on the scale needed.
Individuals deserve dignity of their work, including a living wage, workplace rights, quality benefits, and an opportunity to invest in their own retirement. Wisconsin’s minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour and must be raised and workers deserve the right to join a union and use their collective voices in the work place. Public employees have access to one of the country’s best retirement systems. Wisconsin should allow and encourage all Wisconsin workers the opportunity to save and invest in their futures through an accessible retirement system.