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Building the Relationships for Collaborative Governance: Case Studies from Across America

November 17, 2021

In recent years, a more collaborative form of democratic engagement has emerged, primarily at the local and state level, as well as internationally. Collaborative governance, or co-governance, refers to a broad range of models of civic engagement that allow people outside and inside government to work together in designing policy. This new form of engagement seeks to break down the boundaries between advocates and officials and is not only more democratic, but also more inclusive and open to those served by the government. How are co-governance relationships best developed, sustained, and supported? The clearest way to answer this question is not in theory, but from the learned experiences of co-governance, at the neighborhood, city, and state level. In this report, we highlight five of these cases in communities across the country where progress has been made to improve the quality of life and strengthen the bonds of community for all through the collaborative work of democracy.

Improving Community Safety Through Public Health Strategies: Lessons From Atlanta and Milwaukee

July 20, 2021

This report offers early lessons and recommendations from work the Annie E. Casey Foundation is supporting in Atlanta and Milwaukee to prevent gun violence. These communities are part of a national movement to increase safety and heal trauma by examining root causes and addressing these issues from a public health and racial justice perspective. Residents in both cities are shaping and leading safety strategies with the support of local nonprofits and other public and private partners. Their stories highlight the many ways that philanthropic and system leaders can help catalyze alternative public safety models and support their development and implementation — including helping to establish a new narrative about what it takes to keep communities safe and building and sharing evidence on effective public health interventions.As the work featured in this report shows, both public and private entities have roles to play in supporting a public health approach to safety. Residents in Atlanta, with funding and support from Casey and other investors, established a neighborhood-based advisory group and began implementing the Cure Violence model. In Milwaukee, another place where the Foundation is supporting Cure Violence, the movement to reimagine public safety is being driven by the city's Office of Violence Prevention. Each community developed strategies and programs based on local goals, needs and circumstances. One common thread underpinning their efforts has been the purposeful engagement and inclusion of people living in the areas directly affected by violence.

Public-Private Partnerships in Emergency Response: A Case Study of Milwaukee’s Civic Response Team

July 6, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic was an all-hands-on-deck moment. As communities were jolted into emergency response on many fronts—health, jobs, housing, education, childcare, food, and mental health—collaboration and coordination became essential. In Milwaukee, the Civic Response Team united local governments, philanthropy, and nonprofits to collectively manage response and recovery. In just weeks, they housed hundreds of people, delivered tens of thousands of meals, built and promoted a COVID-19 testing system, distributed hundreds of thousands of masks, provided families with technology to connect to school, rescued childcare providers, and soothed anxieties and grief.This paper studies how the public-private partnerships within the Civic Response Team worked during their first year, and shows what we can learn from them to support better partnership and emergency response in the future.

Collective Impact in Emergency Response: A Case Study of Milwaukee’s COVID-19 Civic Response Team

August 17, 2020

Milwaukee's COVID-19 response has been a remarkable mobilization of resources and organizations to address needs for shelter, food, testing, Internet connection, and more. Necessity has forced such collective efforts in many cities, but Milwaukee's may be unique in the civic architecture that has been built and that may be sustained beyond the crisis.The experience in Milwaukee provides a window into a city's comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis that also offers six lessons for how collective impact initiatives can be most effective in both meeting emergency needs and pursuing systems changes.

Police Brutality Bonds: How Wall Street Profits from Police Violence

June 24, 2020

This report focuses on just one aspect of the cost and profits of policing—the use of borrowingto pay for police-related settlements and judgments. This report serves to uncover the lengths that municipalities have gone to hide both how the costs of police violence and who profitsfrom it. In our research, we found that cities and counties across the United States issue bonds topay for police brutality settlements and judgments. The cities range from giant metropolises such as Los Angeles to smaller cities like Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Our report includes details on police brutality bonds in twelve cities and counties, including five in-depth case studies: Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Lake County, Indiana. 

Greater Milwaukee Foundation 10 Year Impact Report: A Decade of Distinction

October 1, 2019

From 2008-2017, Metro Milwaukee has benefited from rising opportunities, inspired by the vision that the community and Greater Milwaukee Foundation share for a thriving and equitable region. Milwaukee saw significant progress in education, youth development, neighborhood economic development and other areas, continuing a century-long commitment by the Foundation to strengthen the region through philanthropy. Data and stories reflecting the investment and impact of this 10-year period illustrate the shared success that is achieved through partnership among donors, community stakeholders, and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

From Failure to Freedom: Dismantling Milwaukee's School-to-Prison Pipeline with the Youth Power Agenda

April 1, 2018

The systemic criminalization of youth of color, youth with disabilities, and youth of color with disabilities in schools is one of the most blatant and egregious examples of structural racism and violence in this country. The presence of police officers, guns, handcuffs, and metal detectors in schools creates hostile teaching and learning environments that are reinforced by harsh, punitive, and exclusionaryii school discipline policies. Together these practices constitute what is widely referred to as the school-to-prison pipeline. As this report demonstrates, Milwaukee's reliance on punitive approaches to discipline is ineffective, costly, and, most troublingly, racially biased.

Voices from the Tables

December 14, 2017

The report summarizes the outcomes of On the Table MKE, an initiative led by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation that provides a unique opportunity for civil conversation among people interested in building new relationships, generatingideas and igniting action for the benefit of the community and its future.In its pilot year, thousands of people across the four county, metro Milwaukee region gathered in small groups on Oct. 17, 2017, to share a meal and discuss topics that matter as well as corresponding action – both individual and collective – that can improve quality of life in the community.Three themes emerged as the most salient within these discussions: connecting and collaborating, education, and race, equity, and inclusion.

The "Crime Gun Intelligence Center" Model: Case Studies of the Denver, Milwaukee and Chicago Approaches to Investigating Gun Crime

May 1, 2017

One recent development in the battle against gun violence has shown promise, however. That involves the use of technology to streamline and support police enforcement and investigatory efforts against criminals who carry guns. This report examines one of these promising technology-based applications: the Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) model. CGICs are an interagency collaboration among local police departments, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and other partners such as state and local prosecutors, to identify perpetrators of gun crime for immediate investigation, apprehension, and prosecution. CGICs combine state-of-the-art analytical technology, data processing systems, and good old-fashioned detective work to help police agencies more quickly analyze ballistic evidence, establish connections among seemingly unrelated crimes, and build criminal cases targeting both gun traffickers and trigger-pullers.

Latino Milwaukee: A Statistical Portrait

April 21, 2016

A new study commissioned by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation offers an unprecedented look at conditions in the Latino community and the trends that continue to shape our region. The Latino community in greater Milwaukee has unique strengths and challenges characterized by a growing population, an expanding workforce, income disparity, concentrated poverty and many other factors."The dynamics of our region are always changing, and as a community foundation, we are in a strong position to observe these transformations and contribute valuable knowledge to public dialogue," said Ellen Gilligan, President and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. "As the area's Latino community grows, it is important that leaders in government, business, nonprofits and neighborhoods all have accurate data to inform their decisions, which is why the Foundation commissioned this comprehensive report."Latino Milwaukee: A Statistical Portrait was developed for the Foundation by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development. The study provides comprehensive data examining how Latino Milwaukee has changed through the years, how the Latino community compares to other groups in metro Milwaukee, and how conditions for Latinos in this region compare to those in the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.Latino Milwaukee: A Statistical Portrait examines indicators pertaining to demographics; income, poverty, housing and social assistance; employment and earnings; business ownership; health and health care; education and schooling; incarceration; and politics.

Promising Practices in Young Adult Employment: Hands-On Career Exploration

August 22, 2015

This case study focuses on promising findings from two programs supported by the Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance. These programs were designed to expose high school students to promising careers in design, construction, and information technology. Drawing from these programs, this report considers which program characteristics fostered success and how other cities can design similar programs.

Lessons Learned from Manufacturing and Automotive Programs

July 24, 2015

This case study focuses on promising findings from automotive and manufacturing programs supported the Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance, The Dan River Region Collaborative, and workforce Central. Drawing from these programs, this report considers which program characteristics fostered success and how other cities can design similar programs.