I am a few days late on this…but I need to give credit where credit is due.
Governor Scott Walker announced that $4.5 million in state and federal funds will be made available to Milwaukee for help with job training, business development and repairing/removing foreclosed homes. This all is coming in the wake of the riots in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee on August 13 and 14, 2016 after Sylville Smith was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer.
Now, $4.5 million isn’t a great deal of money when compared to the poverty and joblessness in Milwaukee’s minority neighborhoods…and at this point it is essentially just seed money. But it is the right thing to do and I thank Governor Walker for his efforts here. Although he will be hard pressed to do so, hopefully he can find additional funds in the next state budget.
Here is a break down on the funds:
The initial response, which does not need the approval of lawmakers, includes:
•$1.5 million in federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money to work with city officials to run employment programs for those in need of jobs.
• $2 million to help the City of Milwaukee to demolish 50 foreclosed properties owned by the city and renovate 60 more. With matching dollars from the city, the money will help employ 200 young and unemployed area residents who will work on the homes as well as clean up all vacant lots, alleys and other blighted properties in the city.
• $1 million to Milwaukee businesses to help them train workers in the city.
• An effort by the Department of Workforce Development to send out mobile teams into distressed neighborhoods, where they’ll set up job centers in churches and community centers to give the unemployed better access to work.
• Work by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to see whether the state can use existing jobs programs to help businesses that were damaged or destroyed during the burning and looting.
Hopefully there will be full transparency in how these funds are used…and we will see this as just the start of a concerted effort to solve the problems facing Milwaukee.