Applications Open for New Commission: Help Ensure Equity and Inclusion in South Milwaukee

We face a generational moment, giving all of us a chance to do better when it
comes to addressing race, equality and opportunity in South Milwaukee — past,
present and future. We will seize that moment, and start with discovering what our citizens believe to be important surrounding these foundational issues.

The Common Council is considering engaging and enabling a broader community dialogue through the formation of an Equity and Inclusion Commission.

Aldermen gave “first reading” approval to forming the commission at its July meeting. Final approval will be considered at its August 18 meeting.

We are now accepting applications to join the seven-member commission (and any of our boards and commissions). To fill out the brief application, click here. The deadline to apply is Thursday, August 27.

You can learn more about the commission here, and in the draft ordinance, which defines the commission as “an advisory body to the common council and the mayor in providing comment and support regarding appropriate strategies to develop and implement activities, resources and services that promote a positive environment of equity, inclusion, and the celebration of diverse identities in the City of South Milwaukee.”

The commission will work in the following areas to discuss and bring forth goals to ensure all citizens are represented and have the same opportunities:

  1. Set and achieve goals for safety, health, education, housing, and economic mobility helping to ensure equity and inclusion of all who live, work, learn, and play in the City of South Milwaukee.
  2. Serve and represent a broad spectrum of residents, business leaders, students and employees from diverse backgrounds and all geographic areas of South Milwaukee.
  3. Promote a vibrant business, educational, and cultural community by supporting an environment that is welcoming and inclusive of diverse backgrounds.
  4. Recognize, promote, and celebrate efforts to further the advancement of equality and inclusion of diverse identities in the City of South Milwaukee.
  5. Report to the common council on the interests, needs and recommendations concerning matters of inclusion and equity in South Milwaukee.

I will be nominating Alderwoman Peggy Clark to chair the commission. She will be a strong, empathetic and consensus-building leader for this body.

And we will be working with the South Milwaukee School District in bringing forth a school representative. I look forward to having our youth be big part of the dialogue, working to make sure they grow up in a city that embraces and encourages everyone.

Census data shows South Milwaukee is more than 91% “white alone,” but that is changing, and I suspect 2020 data will show that. It’s certainly the case at South Milwaukee schools, which as of last summer were 35% non-white.

That is a good thing. We should embrace and celebrate our growing diversity, learning lessons from our our past (and what we’ve seen in recent months across the country) for a more promising, more inclusive, future.

Let’s start that journey. Join us.

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