draft ready, GO Pass, 2018 Milwaukee County Budget, URGENT

Dear friends of the Go Pass and of DHHS services,
As we all know, the County Board is voting tomorrow on very difficult budget. Like many of you, I had reached out to supervisors to ask them to fund the safety net of services provided by Milwaukee County including the interim Disability Assistance Program, funding for Housing First, funding for emergency shelters, funding for transit including the GO Pass, and funding for Impact (DRW comments are attached). I heard back from Chairman Lipscomb who shared some additional information about the options under consideration.

Based on the attached document which Chairman Lipscomb had forwarded, the Board is considering three proposals – from the County Executive which relies on increasing the vehicle registration fee to $60; from Chairman Lipscomb, and from Supervisor Alexander. I wanted to be sure you had seen the three proposals under consideration and hope you will consider contacting supervisors again this evening or early tomorrow to share your priorities.

  • I am concerned that the Chairman Lipscomb’s proposal includes significant cuts to DHHS $614,315 in the Chairman’s proposal. This will result in cuts to vital programs that we all care about such as those mentioned earlier in this email.

  • It is also concerning to see that Supervisor Alexander’s proposal eliminates the GO Pass and anticipates a savings of $2 million. The assumption that $2 million dollars will be saved is highly questionable as this assumes that the GO Pass “discounted” rides will be replaced by full pass rides. To qualify for the GO Pass as currently defined, the vast majority of GO Pass riders are very low income, without the resources to afford additional full fare rides. Many who use the Go Pass are homeless or housing insecure. If the GO Pass is available, most do not have the resources to pay for additional full fare rides. It is very unlikely that MCTS will realize additional revenues. If GO Pass riders lose access to transportation, the result will be greater isolation resulting in a negative impact on mental health, less ability to access basic needs including food and shelter, reduced access to healthcare and social supports, and a likely increase in reliance on crisis and inpatient services.

I hope you will consider contacting County supervisors once again to ask them to protect DHHS services as listed above and retain funding for the GO Pass – eliminating that funding is a false economy. I have attached the list of supervisors below.

I am not able to attend tomorrow for the County Board vote on the budget, but I am grateful to those of you will be there. Apologies for any typos – I had a bad fall and I am working with only one eye for now until I am healed!

Thanks for your advocacy.

County supervisor addresses to copy into your email

theodore.lipscomb@milwaukeecountywi.gov; sequanna.taylor@milwaukeecountywi.gov; sheldon.wasserman@milwaukeecountywi.gov; marina.dimitrijevic@milwaukeecountywi.gov; marcelia.nicholson@milwaukeecountywi.gov; james.schmitt@milwaukeecountywi.gov; michael.mayo@milwaukeecountywi.gov; david.l.sartori@milwaukeecountywi.gov; steve.taylor@milwaukeecountywi.gov; supreme.mooreomokunde@milwaukeecountywi.gov; dan.sebring@milwaukeecountywi.gov; peggy.west@milwaukeecountywi.gov; willie.johnson@milwaukeecountywi.gov; Jason.haas@milwaukeecountywi.gov; Eddie.cullen@milwaukeecountywi.gov; john.weishan@milwaukeecountywi.gov; anthony.staskunas@milwaukeecountywi.gov; deanna.alexander@milwaukeecountywi.gov

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on November 06, 2017

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