State of Milwaukee County; Success in advancing racial equity?
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley presented on Wednesday, Feb. 23 his 2022 State of the County address.
"Today I’m proud to deliver the State of the County address because thanks to a strong vision for the future and a sound strategic plan to guide our work the state of the county is stronger than any of us could have predicted when I was sworn-in," Crowley said.
It has been almost two years since Milwaukee County passed an ordinance to advance racial equity and improve health outcomes. But has there been progress in that time? The county executive spoke about what is being done to give people of color better access to health care.
"When we think about our Service Alignment team, they’re bridging the gap on health disparities by determining what, where, and how services are delivered to advance equity. Those team members also inform decisions on where to make investments that tackle the root causes of health disparities," Crowley said. "We are already in a process of figuring out different types of dashboards and data driven approaches that we want to take but also how do we make that data public facing as well. So there’s a level of accountability from the community and our external partners."
The county ordinance also set a number of goals like a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
"When you think about the amount of women and people of color we now have in leadership positions those are some of the things that we are seeing changing," the county executive said.
Crowley said there has also been an increase in people of color in management positions within the county.
"We’re also taking an internal look as far as what we need to do within Milwaukee County as an organization," Crowley said.
Despite the gains, Crowley said Milwaukee County still has a long way to go.
Meanwhile, the county executive also took time to tout the success Milwaukee County has had in fighting the pandemic through teamwork.
"Thanks to the help of the Office of Emergency Management the County was able to administer vaccines out of Kosciusko Community Center and successfully got over 17 thousand shots into the arms of County residents," Crowley said.
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Crowley said the county has also delivered nearly half a million masks to municipalities, community organizations, and members of the public.
Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley
The county executive noted the recent increase in crime – and it posing serious challenges.
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"In the first two months of the year, we’ve seen too much violence, and too many of our children dying in our streets," Crowley said. "I have spent my life fighting for resources, fighting for equity, and fighting for neighborhoods most in need. I believe we must come together, pull every single resource available to halt the violence and heal Milwaukee."
Crowley touted the launch of the Credible Messengers program to pair justice-involved youth with adults with similar experiences. Adults serve as mentors for youth and are available to their mentees 24 hours a day.