From my inbox (also available here):

Friend,

Yesterday I published an op-ed in Urban Milwaukee about the work we have been able to accomplish in our city through federally funded programs that are now in jeopardy under our new President’s budget. I wanted to share it with you in the hopes that you will share with your network and stand with me in asking Congress to do better.

Yours,

Chevy Johnson
Milwaukee’s 2nd District Alderman

In recent years in Milwaukee, we’ve built a number of projects throughout the city and in the 2nd Aldermanic District, most notably the reconstruction and improvement of Westlawn Gardens. These projects helped keep our residents safe, helped educate our young generation, and supported families and businesses working to stay afloat.

They had one more thing in common: They received federal funding. Because of our continuing efforts at Westlawn to ensure that residents with lower incomes also have the opportunity to live with dignity, in 2015 we received a $30 million Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development — one of several federal programs now threatened with elimination.

The new federal budget plan recently released proposes funding cuts of more than $54 billion. Many community programs would be eliminated altogether. That includes programs that provide heating for elderly homeowners, cleanup for polluted areas, training for new teachers, weatherization assistance for homes, research for medical cures, food for hungry families, college for first-time students, rebuilding support for natural disasters, support for homeless veterans, wastewater treatment for rural areas, backing for farmers’ co-ops, staff loans for small businesses, after-school programs for teens, and funds for clean drinking water (and that isn’t even everything).

As a member of the National League of Cities (NLC), I work with more than 1,700 other city leaders to represent our communities and make sure that the federal government listens to the people. That’s what we’d like to see now – especially in this most unpredictable time.

That’s why I’m standing with my fellow NLC members and calling on Congress to throw out this dangerous budget proposal and come up with a plan focused on infrastructure, education, safety and prosperity. Our country is greatest when we invest in building great things and support working families.

We can’t afford to go backward in communities like ours. It’s up to Congress to find a better way to spend wisely and invest in our future. I hope you’ll stand with me.

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