The case for regional cooperation

    The Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin (UEDA) will present its seventh annual Milwaukee Community Development Summit on Wednesday, June 25.

    The title for this year’s summit is "Transportation & Jobs: The Case for Regional Cooperation – Getting There From Here."

    The summit is open to the general public as well as representatives from government, elected officials, private industry, nonprofits, educational institutions, foundations and others concerned about the economic future of this region.

    It will include two major panel discussions as well as a series of roundtable discussions that will focus on presenting new and dynamic ideas to regional policy makers. 

    More specifically, a morning reaction panel of individuals who are working daily in transportation and workforce will respond to a presentation by Robert Liberty, deputy council president for the City of Portland’s Metro Council.

    Portland has one of the most extensive and advanced transit systems in the United States and has experienced great success in economic development, although not without controversy.

    The discussion will be moderated by Eric Von, talk show host on WMCS Radio AM 1290. This will be followed by an afternoon town hall session, moderated by Mike Gousha, WISN-Channel 12 commentator and distinguished fellow in law and public policy at the Marquette University Law School.

    The town hall will feature a panel of southeastern Wisconsin elected officials and business leaders – people who are responsible for shaping policy for the region.

    Why should the general public and others attend the summit? We think that there are at least five reasons:
    1. Learn about the Portland Metro Council, the only popularly elected, multi-jurisdictional regional government in the United States. What have they learned about regional cooperation that we can apply to southeastern Wisconsin?
    2. Hear what area workforce development, transportation and policy leaders are doing to move southeastern Wisconsin forward in regional cooperation.

    3. Participate in an exciting town hall session, moderated by Gousha, where you can hear the perspective of regional elected officials and business leaders, and respond to what they have to say.
    4. Network with individuals and professionals in community and economic development, government, business, workforce development and transportation, and others who care about this region.
    5. Be part of the effort to grow and strengthen southeastern Wisconsin. An informed public is the best way to help this region capitalize on its assets and form a collaborative approach to support major initiatives to grow southeastern Wisconsin.

    Past Community Development Summits have attracted from 300 to 500 people and topics have included economic development, affordable housing, special needs housing, neighborhood planning and advocacy.

    A large number of past summits have centered on issues addressing the city of Milwaukee and its neighborhoods. This year’s focus is regional and will include attendees from all seven counties and constituent cities of the Milwaukee metropolitan area.

    Why are they attending? Because transportation and jobs are regional issues and addressing them can only be successful with regional cooperation. 

    The summit will be held on Wednesday, June 25, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Italian Conference Center in Milwaukee. To find out more information and register, visit the website of the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin (UEDA) at www.uedawi.org.

    William Johnson is the director of the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin (UEDA).

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