Leader Offers Bold Vision for Renewing Historic Harbor Area

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Lilith Fowler says she is “a fixer-upper” type of person. That’s true whether she’s dealing with a home or a neighborhood – or big challenges that can have impact on an entire metropolitan area. A few years ago, she was the first executive director of Menomonee Valley Partners, a non-profit that played a valuable role in the revitalization of a big swatch of land near the heart of the city.

She has taken on a new challenge: Catalyzing a boom in the area around Milwaukee’s harbor, about 1,000 acres that is in large part unused or underused now, with many environmental challenges. The area can roughly be described as lying on either side of the southern stretch of the Hoan Bridge. The goal is to bring to the area the kind of appealing development that has come to nearby areas such as the Third Ward and Bay View.

In an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program in the Lubar Center of Eckstein Hall on Thursday, Fowler, executive director of Harbor District, Inc., a new and still-small non-profit, summarized the state of the area now (pretty used up) and offered visions, both in words and slides, of what the area could be (pretty beautiful, with a lot of river walks and promenades, as well as mixed commercial and residential development). Continue reading “Leader Offers Bold Vision for Renewing Historic Harbor Area”

Don’t Laugh — Millennial Leader Serious About Easing Political Polarization

Posted on Categories Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Don’t Laugh — Millennial Leader Serious About Easing Political Polarization

You didn’t need to go further than the opening moments of the “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program in the Lubar Center at Eckstein Hall on Tuesday to grasp the challenge his guest for the day has taken on.

Gousha was introducing Steven Olikara, founder and president of the Millennial Action Project. “They’re hoping, sort of, to re-establish political cooperation,” Gousha said. That brought an audible snicker from a member of the audience, which brought a larger laugh from the group. “This is a cynical, cynical group,” Gousha said, with a laugh. Olikara responded, “That’s OK, my parents laughed, too.”

But Olikara is serious about it and he exuded confidence that improvement in the tone of American politics will come.  Continue reading “Don’t Laugh — Millennial Leader Serious About Easing Political Polarization”

On the Issues: WEDC Chief Praises Foxconn Plan as “Transformational”

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Transformational. That was the word that Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, used often on Thursday during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program. Hogan was describing the impact he expects to result from Foxconn, a high-tech megacorporation, building a huge plant in Racine County where it will make liquid crystal display equipment.

Hogan endorsed and defended every aspect of the agreement between Foxconn and state and local governments, from its cost – expected to total well over $3 billion in public expenses – to the plant’s environmental impact to what benefit Foxconn will bring to people in northern Wisconsin to the availability of workers to transportation issues connected to the plant to the political process that led to approving the deal to the precedent it might set for supporting other economic development ideas. Continue reading “On the Issues: WEDC Chief Praises Foxconn Plan as “Transformational””

Flynn Adamantly Defends Police Department and His Work as He Retires as Chief

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Near the end of their hour-long conversation, Mike Gousha asked outgoing Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn what was next for him.

“Really nothing much,” Flynn said. He’s going to go back to Virginia where his family lives and spend  more time with his children and grandchildren. Maybe he’ll do some consulting ahead. But, first, “I do need to de-stress a little bit, despite how relaxed I’m appearing.”

The line got a big laugh from the audience in the Lubar Center at Eckstein Hall for the “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” on Feb. 8. As he finished a decade as Milwaukee’s police chief, Flynn was fired up, outspoken, and more than a bit emotional and angry. Continue reading “Flynn Adamantly Defends Police Department and His Work as He Retires as Chief”

Mission Week Speakers Encourage Deep Efforts to Learn About Others

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The relationship between Sharon Morgan and Thomas DeWolf did not get off to a good start. They met at a conference in Virginia. She was a black woman from Chicago, a successful communications writer with a strong interest in genealogy. The descendant of people deeply involved in the slave trade, he was a white man who was the executive director of a West Coast-based nonprofit that focused on the continuing impact of slavery in America.

She was put off by him. He was not sure how to deal with her. But step by step, they got to know each other and had break-through conversations about their backgrounds.

During an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program at Marquette Law School on Tuesday, DeWolf said, “What we got to was revealing ourselves to each other in ways that we were taking off the masks. . . . The masks, if you’re willing, can come off.” Continue reading “Mission Week Speakers Encourage Deep Efforts to Learn About Others”

Law School’s Schoone Fellow Describes Wisconsin’s Legal History in “On the Issues” Program

Posted on Categories Legal History, Public, Speakers at Marquette, Wisconsin Law & Legal SystemLeave a comment» on Law School’s Schoone Fellow Describes Wisconsin’s Legal History in “On the Issues” Program

Joseph A. Ranney says his interest in almost two centuries of Wisconsin’s legal system stands on two things. One is as simple as this: “I love history.” The other is the large amount of time he has spent reading old volumes of Wisconsin legal records as a student and as a lawyer.

His passion for the subject has made Ranney, the Adrian P. Schoone Fellow in Wisconsin Law and Legal Institutions at Marquette University Law School and a partner with the firm of DeWitt Ross & Stevens in Madison, an expert on Wisconsin’s legal history. His most recent book, Wisconsin and the Shaping of American Law, was published in 2017 by the University of Wisconsin Press.

During an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program in the Lubar Center in Eckstein Hall on Wednesday, Ranney talked about trends in Wisconsin’s legal history and some of the important and sometimes colorful episodes in that history, going back to the 1820s when Wisconsin was a territory and it was a challenge to get people to respect what judges did. Continue reading “Law School’s Schoone Fellow Describes Wisconsin’s Legal History in “On the Issues” Program”

Scholar Spotlights Role of Coretta Scott King in Her Husband’s Work

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If you want to understand the full breadth of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., you need to appreciate two aspects that often don’t get the attention they deserve: The role of his wife, Coretta Scott King, as Martin Luther King’s partner in activism, and the importance both of them attached to the pursuit of social justice beyond a narrower definition of civil rights.

That was an overall theme of a lecture on Martin Luther King’s legacy at Eckstein Hall on Jan. 25 by Clayborne Carson, a history professor at Stanford University, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, and one of the foremost experts on the King family’s work. Carson has authored several books about the civil rights era and, in 1985, was asked by Coretta Scott King to edit and publish authoritative editions of her husband’s speeches, sermons, and other writing. That led to seven volumes of the papers of King. Continue reading “Scholar Spotlights Role of Coretta Scott King in Her Husband’s Work”

Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century

Posted on Categories Environmental Law, Lubar Center, Marquette Law School, Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at Marquette, Water LawLeave a comment» on Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century

I have previously written in this space about the difficult water policy issues facing “megacities,” generally defined as cities with a population of over ten millA photo of the cover of Marquette Lawyerion people. Meanwhile, the Law School, working in partnership with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has taken an increasing role and interest in studying various aspects of the “Chicago Megacity,” the region stretching from the Milwaukee area, across metropolitan Chicago, and into northwest Indiana. For example, see hereherehere, and here for discussion of a variety of issues such as economic development, transportation, and education.

We are excited to announce that on April 17, the Law School and the Journal Sentinel will continue those efforts, hosting a conference titled “Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century.” The event is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required; find out more and register at this link. More details about the conference follow.

Continue reading “Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century”

Speakers Differ at Lubar Center Program on Whether Success in School Can Increase Social Mobility

Posted on Categories Education & Law, Lubar Center, Milwaukee Public Schools, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Speakers Differ at Lubar Center Program on Whether Success in School Can Increase Social Mobility

When you say “social-emotional learning,” you’ve said something that prompts wide-ranging and provocative conversations about kindergarten through twelfth grade education.

That was the case Wednesday at a morning-long conference in the Lubar Center of Eckstein titled “What K-12 Students Need: Striking a Balance between Social-Emotional and Academic Learning.” The session included moderated conversations with two nationally-known education commentators and a panel discussion with Wisconsin educators who are working on increasing the success of schools in helping children deal with their personal needs as a step toward improving their success in school in beyond.

The conference, a program of the Law School’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education and the Marquette University College of Education, attracted a capacity audience of more than 200, with other people watching it on a livestreamed internet broadcast. Continue reading “Speakers Differ at Lubar Center Program on Whether Success in School Can Increase Social Mobility”

Voter Identification Laws Set Off Alarm Bells for “On the Issues” Speakers

Posted on Categories Lubar Center, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Voter Identification Laws Set Off Alarm Bells for “On the Issues” Speakers

A cycle in which expansion of the right to vote is followed by efforts to suppress voting can be traced back to the 18th and 19th centuries, according to Professor Atiba Ellis. And the cycle continues now in ways that are keeping many people from voting and making voting much harder for others. 

“We seem to be repeating the same pattern over and over again,” Ellis said at an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program Thursday in the Lubar Center of Marquette Law School. Ellis, the Boden Visiting Professor at Marquette Law School this fall, is a professor at the West Virginia University College of Law who has made study of voting rights a focus of his scholarship. 

Joining Ellis in the program was Molly McGrath of the American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project, who called the current surge of laws requiring such things as presentation of photo identification in order to vote “incredibly alarming.”   Continue reading “Voter Identification Laws Set Off Alarm Bells for “On the Issues” Speakers”

Political Flux in Southwestern Wisconsin Offers Surprises, Journalist Finds

Posted on Categories Lubar Center, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Political Flux in Southwestern Wisconsin Offers Surprises, Journalist Finds

Don’t make assumptions. Every journalist knows that assumptions can lead you astray.

So if you’re talking with five guys in Richland County in southwestern Wisconsin about their guns and chain saws, you might guess they voted for Donald Trump for president a year ago. Wrong for all five of them, Craig Gilbert, the Washington bureau chief of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, found during a recent reporting trip.

Gilbert found that a lot of assumptions some might make about the political views and voting patterns of people in the largely rural, largely white, and not wealthy part of Wisconsin were wrong. Many communities in southwestern Wisconsin voted for Barack Obama for president in 2008 and 2012 and then voted for Trump in 2016. The views of people Gilbert interviewed in recent weeks remain in flux about Trump, amid a lot of continuing dissatisfaction with the way the political system operates (or doesn’t operate) in Washington. Continue reading “Political Flux in Southwestern Wisconsin Offers Surprises, Journalist Finds”

Future of Milwaukee and Local Hispanics Is Linked, UCC Leader Says

Posted on Categories Lubar Center, Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Future of Milwaukee and Local Hispanics Is Linked, UCC Leader Says

Ricardo Diaz says he is paid to give solutions, not to get discouraged by the problems. And solutions and generally optimistic views about the future of the Hispanic population in the Milwaukee area are what he offered in an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program Thursday in the Lubar Center of Eckstein Hall.

Diaz is executive director of the United Community Center, a booming, multi-faceted operation on the South Side that offers services for everyone from pre-schoolers to the elderly, including an art center, a fitness center, a restaurant, a treatment center for people with Alzheimer’s, and a highly-praised youth music program. It is perhaps best known for its Bruce-Guadalupe Community School, a kindergarten through grade charter school with 1,300 students and a record as one of the brightest lights on the Milwaukee education scene.

Gousha, the Law School’s distinguished fellow in law and public policy, asked Diaz what the overall goal of the UCC is. “Simply, getting Hispanics into the middle class,” Diaz replied. And he said there is progress in doing that.   Continue reading “Future of Milwaukee and Local Hispanics Is Linked, UCC Leader Says”