Recognition is nice. We all like it, and should give more of it. So, it's heartwarming to see Milwaukee make The Atlantic Cities' "Where Millennials Can Make It Now" list today.
Compiled by Nona Willia Aronowitz, a New York-based writer, editor and author, the list targets "the new geography of being young in America." Milwaukee's highlighted, along with Jersey City, N.J., as a "Gem Next Door."
Here's the description:
"These more modestly sized, vibrant cities tend to be adjacent to giant ones. They mimic some of the charms of their bigger siblings, but at a dramatically reduced price point. In places like Milwaukee and Jersey City, local governments are more accessible, and the likelihood of being able to buy property or pay rent without scrambling is far higher. In each case, places like Chicago or New York are short drives or train rides away, but Jersey City and Milwaukee are more than mere commuter towns—they have attracted a niche of young people invested in their communities."
The author says she "avoided cities already deemed magnets for young, creative people – place like New Orleans, Austin, or Detroit." But cities like Omaha, Jackson, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Albuquerque, San Antonio and Houston all made the list.
I'm proud of the fact that I helped start the modern movement of young professional groups in Milwaukee. Several years ago, I was the first president of the organization now known as Fuel Milwaukee. Back in the day it was Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM), and truly became a model for the entire county.
In the past 10 years or so, Milwaukee's continued its path to become a city that's a true magnet for younger people (and anyone, really) who want to make things happen and "be at the table." Groups like UPAF, the Creative Alliance, Newaukee, Art Milwaukee and communities like the one here at OnMilwaukee, at the The Pabst/Turner/Riverside and within the visual arts, development, fashion, water technology civic fields and countless other fields have all taken on a vibrant sense of influence and ownership.
Let's keep it up, Milwaukee. It's hard work, but worth it. And, don't pigeonhole millennials, either. It's easy to do, but not worth it. Read this. Finally, watch theatlanticcities.com over the next few weeks as Aronowitz will further explore each city.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.