Let’s ask every Milwaukeean how we should rebuild our city

In light of the more than $400 million in federal money the City of Milwaukee will receive through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic has introduced a file aimed at gathering detailed feedback on spending priorities from residents citywide. The resolution would direct the Department of AdministrationInformation Technology Management Division to create an online survey tool to gather citywide citizen input on the best use of ARPA funds.

Alderwoman Dimitrijevic believes this is a much needed step prior to funds being allocated. “The ARPA funding represents an opportunity for us to jumpstart the rebuilding of our city after the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted residents for over a year,” she said. “By creating this comprehensive survey tool we can attempt to reach the most residents possible to gather their feedback and then use that data to drive our decision making on ARPA allocations moving forward.”

The survey would be modeled after a similar project in Chicago, and would ask residents to rank projects designed to help residents recover from the pandemic, from most-to-least important, and to share additional thoughts on spending preferences. Milwaukee Public Library sites would be available to support those without reliable internet access who want to take the survey.

“The pandemic has shined a light on our historic challenges we faced prior to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We need to be big, innovative and try new things to solve our old problems by addressing their root causes. Direct relief should be prioritized and I can’t wait to see what each one of our city residents thinks about this generational investment.”

The file will be before the Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee for discussion at its next meeting on Wednesday, April 28 at 9 a.m.

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