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WIN, WisPolitics.com: Candidates for mayor, county executive to discuss Milwaukee’s economic future at March 8 forum


Tom Still or Sally Muller (608) 442 -7557

Jeff Mayers at (608) 441-8418

MILWAUKEE – Is Milwaukee an industrial city well past its prime, or an emerging technology and trade center poised for a prosperous 21st century? How will the area’s major political leaders ensure that future?

Those are among the questions that will be addressed by the candidates for mayor of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County executive at a March 8 forum produced by the Milwaukee chapter of the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) Foundation and two online news services, WisBusiness.com and WisPolitics.com.

Also sponsoring the forum will be the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and UW-Milwaukee, whose members may register to attend at WIN member rates.

The noon forum will be held at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 333 W. Kilbourn Ave., in the first floor Lakeshore Room, with lunch preceding the 12:30 p.m. start for the one-hour forum. Lunch is $10 for members of sponsoring organizations and $15 for non-members. Go to www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com to register; see the “Featured Events” bar.

Expected to attend are mayoral candidates Marvin Pratt and Tom Barrett, and county executive candidates Scott Walker and David Riemer. Those candidates advanced to their respective April 6 general elections in the Feb. 17 primary.

The economic future of Milwaukee and the need for political leadership have been debated for more than a year, with a number of research organizations offering ideas for how to improve job creation and investment in Wisconsin’s largest metropolitan area.

In January, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute issued “Wisconsin’s Quiet Crisis: Why building a ‘new’ Milwaukee economy matters to Wisconsin.” In December 2003, Ross DeVol of the Milken Institute reported on how the city’s high-tech economy compares with the tech sectors in other major cities. In September 2003, the Initiative for a Competitive Milwaukee issued recommendations written with the help of the Helen Bader Foundation and the Boston-based Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.

“The stars are aligned for a rebirth of Milwaukee’s economy, and it’s a challenge that will help shape the agendas of the candidates for mayor and county executive,” said Greg Meier, president of the Milwaukee WIN chapter. WIN is a membership group for entrepreneurs and others in high-growth businesses in southeast Wisconsin. It is a subsidiary of the independent, non-profit Wisconsin Technology Council.

The forum will be moderated by Tech Council president Tom Still with introductions by Meier and Jeff Mayers, editor of WisBusiness.com and WisPolitics.com.

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