Statement of Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II
May 21, 2019
Today I voted with other Common Council colleagues to hold the proposed $52 million streetcar expansion in committee for further review. The hold is needed because there are some critical missing pieces that I believe must be part of the overall streetcar expansion plan for the City of Milwaukee.
Just as a good executive chef would not attempt to prepare meals without having the right ingredients on hand, I believe the right recipe for the streetcar expansion must include (and I will be seeking amendments to secure):
- Funding/resources for workforce training and business capacity that will offer opportunities for entrepreneurs along the new miles of streetcar track.
- A sponsorship fund to help pay for the annual cost of the streetcar.
- A central city economic development fund.
- An anti-displacement and anti-gentrification tax fund.
So far the streetcar has been positive in terms of economic development for the city, and coupled with the success of the Fiserv Forum and Deer District, parts of our Downtown and adjacent areas are flying high and that has helped to give us a great civic and financial boost.
But to truly lift the greater City of Milwaukee up to where it needs to be we must have equal and equitable investment in the central city. And in my opinion it is clear that having the streetcar simultaneously going to the north side and south side would make our city stronger by enhancing us economically and socially.
I look forward to working with the Barrett Administration, and especially the Department of City Development and the Department of Public Works, to come up with amendments in those four key areas as we move closer to a streetcar expansion plan that will serve our greater city.