Rita Aleman Named Lubar Center Program Manager

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WISN Rita AlemanRita Aleman has been named the program manager of Marquette Law School’s new Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education.

Since early 2016, Aleman has been executive producer for “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien,” a Hearst Television weekly political news magazine based in Washington, D.C. Aleman was executive producer for special projects at WISN 12 television in Milwaukee from 2002 to 2016.

In her new role, Aleman will work with colleagues at the Law School to create, organize, and carry out events of the Lubar Center and extend the center’s reach, including an increased presence on the internet. Aleman is scheduled to begin work in January. Continue reading “Rita Aleman Named Lubar Center Program Manager”

Entrepreneurs Say They’re Bullish on Milwaukee, But Startup Scene Needs More

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Just the fact that the second annual Startup Week Milwaukee will begin on Monday, Nov. 6, along with the first Startup Week Wisconsin (with programs in nine cities, plus Milwaukee), says that there is increasing energy and importance attached to launching businesses and encouraging entrepreneurs here.

At least business start-ups are creating more buzz around Wisconsin these days than they did for many years.

But there is a lot to be done to make the entrepreneurial climate comparable to that of some other places. In recent years, both Milwaukee and Wisconsin have been near the bottom of rankings for business startups.

Thoughts on both the increased momentum for startups and what needs to be done to move things farther were offered Thursday in an “On the Issue with Mike Gousha” program at the Lubar Center in Eckstein Hall. Three entrepreneurs involved in startups in the Milwaukee area described evidence that the landscape is improving. They said they expect that by several years from now, the rankings for Milwaukee and Wisconsin will be more encouraging. Continue reading “Entrepreneurs Say They’re Bullish on Milwaukee, But Startup Scene Needs More”

Lubar Center and Its New Milwaukee Area Project Launched at Law School Conference

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Tuesday was a huge day for the future of the Milwaukee area, if you think developing strong, extensive knowledge on major issues is important and if you think coming together to work on dealing with those issues is important. Just ask R. T. Rybak.

Rybak, president/CEO of the Minneapolis Foundation and former mayor of Minneapolis, was the keynote speaker at a morning-long conference in the Lubar Center at Marquette Law School, which included  the debut of the Milwaukee Area Project, a long-term research project that will be part of the new Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education.

The conference included ceremonies thanking Milwaukee philanthropists Sheldon and Marianne Lubar for the $7 million in grants that are providing an endowment to support the work of the public policy center. Continue reading “Lubar Center and Its New Milwaukee Area Project Launched at Law School Conference”

New Magazine Focuses on Opening the Door for More Work Addressing Big Questions

Posted on Categories Legal Practice, Marquette Law School, Public, Speakers at Marquette, Wisconsin Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on New Magazine Focuses on Opening the Door for More Work Addressing Big Questions

Marquette Lawyer Magazine Cover Fall 2017The illustration on the cover of the new Marquette Lawyer magazine shows people entering a large door shaped like the letter Q—or a comment bubble.

Consider the door a symbol for big questions—or the information that we might get from others to help answer them. It has been a goal of the public policy initiative of Marquette Law School for more than a decade to engage people in considering many of the major issues that face Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the world beyond. The Law School does not purport itself to provide the answers, but offers a platform for furthering awareness and knowledge about the questions and ways different people answer them.

A recent $5.5 million gift from Milwaukee philanthropists Sheldon and Marianne Lubar is “opening the door to much more” for the initiative, as the magazine cover says. Now named the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education, the initiative is expanding its scope and offerings. This gift, added to a gift the Lubars made in 2010, has created a $7 million endowment to support the work.

In one article, which can be read by clicking here, the magazine describes the development of the public policy initiative and looks at what lies ahead. A second article, which can be read by clicking here, profiles the Lubars, who have had great impact on the Milwaukee area as business and civic leaders. Continue reading “New Magazine Focuses on Opening the Door for More Work Addressing Big Questions”

Bucks Exec Emphasizes Team’s Community Goals in “On the Issues” Program

Posted on Categories Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at Marquette, Sports & LawLeave a comment» on Bucks Exec Emphasizes Team’s Community Goals in “On the Issues” Program

Yes, the owners of the Milwaukee Bucks have big goals for their basketball team, including ultimately an NBA championship. But they also have big goals for spurring positive developments in Milwaukee, not only in the immediate area of their new arena downtown but more broadly.

“We’re trying to do our part as a good corporate citizen,” Alex Lasry, senior vice-president of the Bucks, said at an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Marquette Law School on Thursday.

Lasry, the son of Marc Lasry, one of the lead owners of the National Basketball Association franchise, emphasized the community involvement goals of the team. That starts with the arena and surrounding developments, including a practice facility, parking structure, and entertainment district. More development will come after the current arena, Bradley Center next door, is razed and land needed for construction purposes is freed up, Lasry said. He said the team was talking about $1 billion in total spending in the immediate area.

Public funding of the arena project, totaling more than $250 million in state and local money, is one reason the team is strongly committed to having a broader positive impact on Milwaukee, he said. But it goes beyond that.

Lasry said the chance to do more than just own a team was one of the big draws for his father and Wes Edens, the other major figure in the purchase of the team from Sen Herb Kohl in 2014.

“When my dad and Wes were buying the team, my dad had been looking to buy a team for about 10 years before he bought the Bucks,” Alex Lasry told Gousha. “He looked at the Sixers, he looked at the Hawks, he looked at a few teams, and was never quite able to pull the trigger on something.

“And I think when they came here, what they saw was not only a chance to own a basketball team, which had always been a life-long dream and has been really cool, but they saw a chance to re-think what a major part of a downtown could be. They saw a chance to actually develop 30 acres of a downtown in a major city, which I don’t know if a lot of you know, but you don’t actually get to do that in a lot of cities, where you kind of get a blank slate for 30 acres in a downtown.”

Describing the reach of what is going on in the immediate area of the arena, which is slated to open a year from now, Lasry said, “What we’re doing right there is exactly what we wanted to do and exactly what we promised, which is create real economic development and not just create an arena on an island, which is kind of what the Bradley Center is right now.”

The team’s community goals also include paying comparatively high wages for all the jobs connected to games; setting – and meeting – ambitious goals for hiring city residents and contracting with businesses owned by minority members and women during construction and beyond; and supporting economic development and community causes such as working with schools and youth organizations. He said the team wants its impact to reach beyond the arena area into neighborhoods across the city.

Lasry, who owns a home in Milwaukee and who has become involved in a list of civic groups, spoke highly of the city. Milwaukee has needs, he said, but the city has “incredible bones,” including a beautiful location and major universities. And then there are the people. “If you give Milwaukee 100 percent, Milwaukee will turn around and give you 200 percent,” he said.

”There is no reason it (Milwaukee) shouldn’t be able to match any big city,” he said. And the Bucks want to be a key part of that.

To watch the one-hour program, click here.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Describes a Lessened, But Still Can-Do Janesville in Law School Program

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Amy Goldstein, author of Janesville: An American Story, says her goal in writing the book was not to offer policy prescriptions, but “to get people to think” about what changes in the American economy have meant to everyday people and communities.

The book is, indeed, thought-provoking, not to mention highly readable and important. In an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Marquette Law School on Wednesday, Goldstein, talked about the context and content of the book.

In what she refers to as her day job, she has been a Washington Post reporter for nearly three decades, currently covering health policy issues. She told Gousha that in the late 2000s, she felt that the story of what was happening at the ground level of changes in the American economy hadn’t been given enough attention. That led her to decide to write a book about a community that had been changed by the changes, and to choose Janesville, where the General Motors plant that was the dominant economic presence in town had closed in 2008. Continue reading “Author Describes a Lessened, But Still Can-Do Janesville in Law School Program”

Charlie Sykes: “One of Those Moments Where You Have to Stand Up”

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Charlie Sykes a turncoat and opportunist?

At an ”On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Marquette Law School on Tuesday, Sykes said he’s not surprised some people say that. The long time conservative radio talk show host from Milwaukee is a prominent critic of President Trump, a Republican backed (at least in some fashions) by most conservatives. And Sykes is appearing frequently these days on MSNBC, which has a reputation as a liberal-oriented network, on NPR (likewise), and in the pages of the New York Times (likewise).

Sykes sees it differently, to say the least. “I was a Never Trump guy from the moment he came down that golden escalator” in Trump Tower in 2015 to announce his candidacy. “I’ve been saying (in recent times) the same thing I’ve been saying for two years. . . .

“The notion that it’s somehow opportunistic – show me what I’ve changed my position on. I just happen to say it on a larger, different platform.” Continue reading “Charlie Sykes: “One of Those Moments Where You Have to Stand Up””

Experts Describe Trump’s Big, But Not Unlimited, Foreign Policy Changes

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Experts Describe Trump’s Big, But Not Unlimited, Foreign Policy Changes

“Wow.”

Over more than a decade of “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” programs at Marquette Law School, has that ever previously been the first word spoken by someone Gousha was interviewing? But has there ever been a president like Donald Trump before?

So when Gousha opened an “On the Issues” program Thursday by asking Ingrid Wuerth, director of the International Legal Studies Program at Vanderbilt University, for thoughts on  the Trump administration’s foreign policy, her first words were: “Wow, the differences between the Trump administration and the Obama administration.”

Wuerth, a leading scholar of foreign affairs and public international law, listed treaties and other international agreements where Trump has shifted directions substantially from what President Barack Obama did. She said there has been “a significant step back from international law and international organizations.”

But, Wuerth noted, Trump “has not been an international law violator,” and that should be kept in mind. For example, Trump said the United States will withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change, but he is following the five-year process for doing that rather than simply shutting down American involvement. And he has sought to renegotiate trade agreements, but he has not advocated violating existing ones, Wuerth said. Continue reading “Experts Describe Trump’s Big, But Not Unlimited, Foreign Policy Changes”

Protecting the Great Lakes Starts with Caring About Them, Author Says

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As a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and author of a new, acclaimed book, Dan Egan has been deeply immersed (I suppose the pun is intended) in issues involving the Great Lakes for well over a decade. Few people can talk or write with the depth and breadth he can about a long list of lakes-related subjects, from Asian carp to lake levels to the history of use of the lakes.

But when he was asked on Wednesday, during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Marquette Law School, what people can do as citizens to help the lakes, Egan’s answer was, by his own description, “deceptively simple.”

Sure, get up to speed on the issues. Speak up to politicians and policy makers. But the first thing Egan recommended: “Take your kids swimming at the lake or take them fishing, if you have the means to. Make sure they have a relationship with the lakes so they care about the lakes as they get older.” Continue reading “Protecting the Great Lakes Starts with Caring About Them, Author Says”

Milwaukee’s Property Tax Heavy Revenue System Needs Change, Researcher Says

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The City of Milwaukee stands out among its peers when it comes to the structure for financing government functions. And that’s not a good thing.

A new report from the Public Policy Forum, a non-partisan Milwaukee non-profit that researches government issues, finds that Milwaukee receives a higher share of its revenue to run city government from property taxes than any other city among 39 in America with populations between 300,000 and 1 million. And Milwaukee stands alone by a wide margin.

Other cities have more tools for collecting revenue than Milwaukee, including sales taxes, local income taxes and entertainment taxes, Rob Henken, president of the policy forum, said at an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Marquette Law School on Wednesday. That leaves Milwaukee overly reliant on two ways of paying for public service — property taxes and state aid payments that have been effectively shrinking. Continue reading “Milwaukee’s Property Tax Heavy Revenue System Needs Change, Researcher Says”

Going Beyond Police Patrols to Problem-Solving Policing

Posted on Categories Criminal Law & Process, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Going Beyond Police Patrols to Problem-Solving Policing

Doing police patrol work is hard, but it often is pretty routine. An officer drives around, waits for calls and responds to them, deals with specific incidents, and writes reports about them. “There’s a simplicity in it,” said Michael Scott, a former police officer and police chief.

But if police work is to be done in the most effective way, it needs to go beyond that routine, Scott said. It needs to aim to deal with or at least understand problems that underlie so many instances of crime, disorder, or other trouble.

That explains why Scott has become the director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, an organization which promotes exactly that problem-solving approach to police work. He is also a professor at Arizona State University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. He was previously a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison. Continue reading “Going Beyond Police Patrols to Problem-Solving Policing”

New Poll Gives Vivid Look into Polarized Political Perceptions

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School Poll, Political Processes & Rhetoric, PublicLeave a comment» on New Poll Gives Vivid Look into Polarized Political Perceptions

Once again, a lesson in the two worlds of Wisconsin. That’s one way to describe the new round of results from the Marquette Law School Poll released on Wednesday (June 28, 2017).

In one world, Donald Trump is doing well as president. In another, he is not. In one, he is keeping his promises. In another he is not. Opinions on Governor Scott Walker or Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin or House Speaker Paul Ryan? Split evenly. In all of these instances, Republicans are firmly on one side, Democrats firmly on the other. And the divisions  generally show little change since March, the time of the most recent prior Law School Poll.

How sharp is the divide? A few results:

Overall, 41 percent of the 800 Wisconsin registered voters who were interviewed approved of the way Trump is doing his job, while 51 percent disapproved. But among those identifying themselves as Republican or leaning Republican, Trump’s work was approved by 85 percent, with 8 percent disapproving. Among Democrats, 3 percent approved of how Trump was doing as president while 95 percent disapproved. Continue reading “New Poll Gives Vivid Look into Polarized Political Perceptions”