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Jobs, gun violence & new arena: Mayor Barrett presents his State of the City address

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett presented his State of the City address on Monday, March 9th at Alverno College on the city's south side. From jobs to gun violence and a new Bucks arena -- Barrett's speech touched on some of the city's biggest issues.

Jobs topped Barrett's State of the City address. He told those gathered that city programs put people to work -- including the Police Ambassador Program. Just last week, 17 young adults were sworn in and will work with Milwaukee police for the next year.

"Our goal is to match workers with jobs and employers with a strong workforce," said Barrett.

Mayor Barrett also addressed the many city development programs underway -- including a plan for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.

"We can come to an agreement that will not include raising property taxes to finance a new arena and spur economic development," said Barrett.

As for the newly approved streetcar project, Barrett says he'll push for expansion past downtown Milwaukee.

"The streetcar is a part of my vision for a comprehensive transportation strategy," said Barrett.

Barrett says there has been significant improvement in the housing sector in the wake of the foreclosure crisis -- and he believes neighborhood revitalization efforts will continue. The mayor also said city violence remains a real problem.

"In 2014, we had a 14 percent reduction in homicides but a 10 percent increase in non-fatal shootings," said Barrett.

Mayor Barrett and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn challenge the state Legislature to do more when it comes to gun control.

"Guns in the hands of criminals produce far too much devastation in our neighborhoods," said Barrett.

"Right now, someone who is a career criminal can lawfully get a gun permit -- and they do, and we've arrested them," said Flynn.

Mayor Barrett also announced a new initiative to reduce infant mortality in Milwaukee. The new program will be called the "Strong Baby Sanctuary Initiative." Its goal is to make churches safe places for new parents who need support.

Barrett wrapped up his speech with a call to citizens to get involved -- and help create a stronger, healthier Milwaukee.

READ IT: Mayor Tom Barrett's State of the City address, as prepared for delivery.


  • Mr. Bob

    “In 2014, we had a 14 percent reduction in homicides but a 10 percent increase in non-fatal shootings,” said Barrett.
    Maybe police can reach out to the community and offer some training classes so that the felons and criminals can improve their aim and get that homicide rate back to where it should be???

  • get real

    Mayor Barrett is challenging the state legislature to do more?
    The police are arresting the criminals. Then somehow once the criminals appear in court it all falls apart.
    Since we already have laws to deal with guns shouldn’t the challenge have been made to the District Attorney’s Office and the court system in Milwaukee ?

  • Patrick James Kelly

    Saying guns don’t kill is like saying electric drills don’t drill holes. Needless to say, if you ban all drill bits you are going to make it really difficult for people to drill holes and if you ban all bullets you will make it really difficult for people to kill each other. Of course the question old broken NRA brainwashed minds have difficulty with is whether it would be a good or bad thing to stop people from killing each other.

  • biggovhater

    Why doesn’t Flynn do his job and get the guns out of the criminals hands. Milwaukee would be better off without these two clowns at the helm.

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