Investing in our Parks, Improving Water Quality
The Milwaukee County Parks system is one of the best park systems in America. But, as good as our parks are, they face a severe backlog of deferred maintenance like so many other county run facilities.
Much of our park system is located along our streams, rivers and lakes, forming a green seam system that helps mitigate run off and helps control flooding. Yet, increasingly severe weather and rising water levels as a result of global climate change are a growing challenge to our parks and to our residential communities that we must face head on.
Milwaukee County should actively partner with MMSD to invest in storm water management infrastructure throughout the County Parks System. Working together, we will install more bio swells, replace parking lots and sidewalks with porous pavement, and install flood mitigation infrastructure to protect homeowners and improve the water quality in our streams, rivers and lakes.
This will allow us to reinvest in crumbling infrastructure in our parks while also preparing Milwaukee County for the growing threats of more severe weather and rising water.
Addressing Climate Change
We all know that climate change is real and that we can’t wait on the federal government to take action. We must move aggressively at the local level to cut our emissions and invest in renewable energy.
Milwaukee County’s current goal is to cut 20% of the energy used in Milwaukee county facilities by 2020. That is an important goal, but we need to take the next step. On top of cutting energy use, we must also offset the energy we use and set a goal of 100% renewable power by 2025.
We can achieve that by continuing to decrease our energy usage while also investing in large scale renewable projects to offset our usage.
We Energies has a pilot project that allows municipalities to buy into utility scale renewable projects where Milwaukee County would sell back the green energy output to the utility. This investment in Milwaukee County’s green future would not only provide the county with up to 100% renewable energy, it would also save Milwaukee taxpayers money.
Saving money while improving the environment, why wouldn’t we do that?
Providing Access to Clean Drinking Water
Every Wisconsin citizen should have easy access to clean drinking water, period. Our most vulnerable communities are at the most risk of having unsafe water. As many as 70,000 homes in Milwaukee are connected to a main water line by lead lateral pipes -- an unacceptable number in 2020.
In the Assembly, I have fought to ensure that everyone can feel safe and secure in what comes out of their pipes. I spoke up to ensure that the Speaker’s Task Force on Clean Water had public hearing sessions in Milwaukee -- working across the aisle to make sure that our city is looked after. It is imperative that our next Executive continues to work to secure clean water -- the most fundamental government service -- for every resident of our county.