There are several big ideas out there on what's best and next for greater Milwaukee. Fresh water, metro government, Streetcars, technology, creative industry incubators. The list – a solid one and ever changing – goes on and on.
Here at OnMilwaukee.com we've been pushing the Milwaukee envelope and building community for nearly 15 years. We're proud of the media we make, businesses we help build, stories we share and ideas we help promote.
Yet, it's the small stuff that we all do that can truly help transform a community. Allow me, please, to offer 12 simple ideas on how to make positive change in Milwaukee.
Enjoy, get off the sidelines, dig in and please share this list with friends and family.
Become a mentor
Even if you have children of your own, we should all find time to mentor a child. Even a college student. It's easy, fun and you'll learn more than you give. Call Boys and Girls Clubs, a local university or your neighborhood school.
Champion an idea
We all want stuff to happen. From fixing a crack in a sidewalk to having more shopping options Downtown or, of course, bigger wishes like better schools or lower taxes. Whatever your hot-button issue is, own it, use it and champion it relentlessly.
Buy a membership or season tickets
From a membership to the Betty Brinn Children's Museum to Milwaukee Bucks season tickets, there are plenty of ways to support Milwaukee's entertainment and arts scene. Pick your passion, and support it. Unlimited annual admission for two to Discovery World is only $50. Several other venues and organizations have similar pricing structures. Can't afford a full season to your favorite theater? Share season tickets with friends. Support our area's entertainment for it's an incredible driver for our economy.
Randomly buy the next person in line coffee
Hat tip on this tip to my friend and former boss Joe Sweeney. Do this one regularly. You're in line at your favorite coffee place. Turn around and say, "what are you having, I'm buying." It costs maybe $2, but buying a stranger coffee creates smiles all day long.
Send Milwaukee gifts
I have nothing against sending flowers or balloons. But, the next time you need to send a gift, send the gift of Milwaukee. Usinger's, Sprecher, Lakefront Brewery, a Brewers or Bucks T-shirt, picture of your favorite Milwaukee place. Do this and you'll become a part of the viral marketing that our area needs.
Change your media habits
Don't read the same feeds, sites and columnists every day and week. Sample other media. Listen to Mark Belling even if you "hate him." Sample community radio. Read Tweets from opposing views. We all get in our media funks. Break out and explore the amazing variety that's out there. Of course, always read OnMilwaukee.com.
Meet your Alderman and ask questions
You should know your alderman. If not, call him or her. Ask questions, ask about policy, ask why you should vote for them next time. Be an informed citizen.
Work a job you've never had
This one's random, and maybe not feasible for us all. Sample job switches, though, can help us all better appreciate the jobs and tasks of others. Never been a waiter or waitress? Take a shift at Webb's for a night. Ride along with your letter carrier. Shadow a student. Learn from work you don't do. It's rewarding and helpful in building better communities.
Go to another place of worship
If you're Catholic, go to a Lutheran parish. Not religious? Sample a service anywhere. Why not? Miss Temple today, go to a mega church in Brookfield for a change. We all worship differently, but there are more similarities than we usually admit. Seek them out.
Go out of your way to talk positively about the Milwaukee area
I've always said that a city is only as good as the stories it tells. Tell more good Milwaukee stories. And be diligent about it. You're a Milwaukee ambassador.
Recruit people and places you like
We all have friends and businesses we'd like to see in Milwaukee. Recruit them. Use social media, send links to houses for sale, tweet that retailer you'd love to see in the Third Ward. Use your voice and sell Milwaukee.
That's all. Onward and On Milwaukee!
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published Dec. 16, 2014
With the holiday seasons in full swing, OnMilwaukee.com, our ShopLocal marketplace and Local First Milwaukee have teamed to offer many unique, local items and deals. Here's the first one.
Published Dec. 10, 2014
The SURG Restuarant Group and owners Michael Polaski and Omar Shaikh have brought together some unique "once in a lifetime" opportunities all to help a friend and military leader with more than 20 years of service.
Published Dec. 9, 2014
Come on, good people of Milwaukee, let's put an end to the phrase "I'll do the ...." It's "may I please have (or order) the honey wheat bagel?" "Thank you." That's how you place your order.
Published Dec. 7, 2014
Thrillist has issued its 2014 list of "The 21 Best New Restaurants in America." And, one Milwaukee restaurant makes the cut.
Published Dec. 2, 2014
They're fun, easy to use, free for those less then 30-minute trips to meetings and a great addition to our city's transit infrastructure. But, after today, they're gone for the season.
Published Dec. 1, 2014
The Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival ornaments are one-of-a-kind keepsakes. Great gifts for family, friends, co-workers and business associates, each year features an iconic Downtown landmark cast in pewter.
Published Dec. 1, 2014
Cracked Designs brings a unique flare and fun to its posters, cards, T-shirts and more.
Published Nov. 30, 2014
Griselda Aldrete is a Milwaukeean by birth, but spent her early childhood in Mexico. Leadership, mentorship and community are her passion points. She talks about these and more in this latest edition of "Milwaukee Talks."
Published Nov. 25, 2014
WSJ.com published an indepth piece on shopping today. Specifically, the story centers around shoppers in the greater Milwaukee area.
Published Nov. 22, 2014
Since we're nearing the end of Movember I asked an expert at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin a few questions about prostate cancer.