By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jan 24, 2015 at 6:30 AM

I recently read a fascinating Milwaukee Talks that Molly Snyder did with Angela Damiani, the president of Newaukee, an organizations of young professionals.

The statistics in the article were impressive, as was the goal of making Milwaukee an attractive place to live and work for young people.

Newaukee says it has over 200,000 members. The organization notes that 61 percent of them are under 34 years old. That means there are just over 120,000 people under 34 who are members.

That is an incredible amount of capital, both human and fiscal and when you have access to that kind of capital there is a lot of potential.

Like any organization, there are always some concern about developing goals and activities. Newaukee has proven to be great at the meet and greet social events. There is also an undercurrent of "social architecture" to its mandate.

Well, I am a guy who chose to live here. I had plenty of opportunities to move, but I made a conscious decision that Milwaukee was for me. So I’m going to take the opportunity as a elder oracle to offer 10 specific things that I think Newaukee ought to do.

  1. Have lots of little parties. Big gatherings are fun and can be wild, but small gatherings give you a chance for intimacy and conversations that go beyond the "hey, where do you work" thing. Nobody has to tell Newaukee how to throw a party, but I’d encourage them to focus on little opportunities and not numbers.

  2. Find candidates. Milwaukee is run, in a large sense, by a bunch of political hacks. I’m talking the Common Council, County Board and School Board. These are all part time jobs so nobody has to quit working. Get a some of your members to run and a lot of your members to support those candidacies, and you can begin to make decisions that will make this a better place to live.

  3. Have some focus on both ends of the age spectrum. Older people have experience and some wisdom that they would gladly share. And if you get the young ones when they are young you can begin to show them that this is a good place to work and live. Not only do you want to get people to move here, you have got to get those people who grow up here to stay here. Brain drain has been a problem that you can really help fix.

  4. Go see a play. There are over two dozen theater companies around and they produce amazing and entertaining and thought provoking plays. There is no experience like seeing live theater. You will help keep a vibrant artistic form alive and well and you’ll enjoy it a lot more than you think you will. Trust me on this one.

  5. Go to a church or temple or mosque you’ve never been to before. Faith plays a big part in life, and religious faith may be important. If you go to a service somewhere new you may well meet people you might not otherwise meet. A big part of this can be the chance for white people to meet black people.

  6. Realize that you can’t do everything. That’s a tough one for an organization, especially one made up of young people. Focus is very important to effecting change. Spreading  your resources too thin, with too many causes, reduces the potential for making major changes.

  7. Maintain your sense of humor. Milwaukee has a lot of issues,many of them critical to thee quality of life. Dealing with those issues can sometimes seem like a daunting task. It helps to have a sense of humor that can give you a place to catch your breath as you keep plunging ahead. If you treat everything as real serious, pretty soon you can’t determine what’s serious and what isn’t. Laugh.

  8. Finally, don’t give up. Milwaukee has history and a big part of that history is that we tend to talk things to death. In some cases all that talking is designed to kill a good idea. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times over the years. If you have a good idea, and so far you’ve had lots of them, stick with it. Don’t let the naysayers talk until you get so tired that you just say the hell with it.

That’s it. Hopefully you can find some good advice in there. I’ve got a lot of faith in you as well as hope.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.