By David Crowley
Milwaukee County Executive
Three years ago, I was sworn into office on my front lawn. At the height of the pandemic and public unrest, we faced an uncertain path ahead. In the face of those challenges, we remained clear-eyed in our vision to enhance community health in every zip code and create a more prosperous future for our region. Along with the County Board of Supervisors, we embraced a pro-equity approach to government and adopted the first strategic plan for Milwaukee County in twenty years. In our first term, we’ve made great strides in housing, community wellness, and securing the financial future of Milwaukee County for the next generation of residents.
When I ran for County Executive, I declared my intention to diversify neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee County and end our infamous association with some of the most segregated communities in the nation. Thanks to partners at the municipal, state, and federal levels, we are starting to reverse generations of neglect and take significant steps toward our goals to transform Milwaukee County neighborhoods by creating hundreds of affordable rental units in South Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Oak Creek, and Brown Deer.
Not only are we seeing developments take shape in our suburban neighborhoods, but we’re also investing in communities in the City of Milwaukee as well, including a transformational development in the King Park neighborhood where we’ve partnered with local developers to build 120 affordable homes. Homeownership is key to building generational wealth for families and unlocking the true economic potential for all county residents. That’s why we’ve also partnered with ACTs Housing to create more local homeowners by buying and reselling homes to residents before they’re bought by investors seeking to make a profit.
Our community has long struggled with the attainability of housing for a large segment of our population, from historic policies like redlining to current trends of housing stock being purchased by out-of-state corporations and artificially raising rents. To combat that, we’ve invested in the largest affordable housing push Milwaukee County has seen in over a generation, helping families and individuals secure their future and fostering a stronger, more vibrant community.
As someone who has personally experienced housing insecurity, I know this problem goes beyond constructing new buildings. One of the most pressing needs for our community is preventing evictions and homelessness. We’ve taken proactive steps to prevent evictions and homelessness by investing tens of millions in rent assistance programs and legal aid for those facing eviction.
Addressing both the mental health and opioid crisis in our neighborhoods has been a daily priority throughout my time in office. We’ve invested opioid settlement dollars into proven strategies to mitigate, treat, and abate addiction. In addition, we’ve leveraged public-private partnerships to expand access to mental health services. Our Mental Health Emergency Center, which opened in 2021, has provided essential support to individuals in crisis. This unique partnership with regional health providers puts crisis resources in the heart of the community it serves, and over 70 percent of residents served by the facility live within a one-mile radius. This facility has become a model for other communities to follow, demonstrating our dedication to innovative solutions that make lasting impacts.
Moreover, we’ve strengthened our partnerships with local health providers, ensuring that there is a robust network of care bringing services to the doorstep of the most vulnerable neighborhoods throughout the county. By increasing the availability of mental and behavioral health resources, we’ve taken a significant step towards building a healthier and more resilient Milwaukee County.
For decades, our biggest hurdle was facing huge budget deficits that threatened services and delayed important capital infrastructure projects. Our number one priority has been putting Milwaukee County on a path to financial sustainability. For the first time in decades, that goal has been achieved. By finally finding a long-term solution to our financial issues, we were able to propose the largest property tax cut in Milwaukee County history in the next budget, a $24 million decrease that puts money back in homeowners’ pockets.
I am proud of the work our team did to finally achieve a long-term solution to the County’s financial constraints – a solution that many thought was impossible.
We’ve achieved remarkable things thus far, but I believe this is just the beginning.
I am running for re-election because I believe Milwaukee County has great potential to improve the lives of our residents. We have a chance to continue to address acute community needs, transform neighborhoods, and improve the quality of life for all of our residents.
Your support and your vote will empower us to continue the journey we started together. Together, we can keep making Milwaukee County a place where every resident thrives. I am honored to serve as your County Executive, and with your trust, we can achieve even greater successes in the years to come.
Visit https://www.crowleyformke.com/ to join our team and get involved.