This morning I announced the launch of my new “Engage Milwaukee” initiative, a hands-on, first-of-its-kind community outreach and education campaign throughout the entire County designed to give the public more opportunities to make their voices heard on important issues.

Milwaukee County has everything it takes to be the best-run government in the country, but we can only get there if we constantly aim to improve in all that we do. A more interactive model of civic engagement and public input greatly increases our chance of success.

This year, we’re using a new software platform, A Balancing Act, which allows County residents to design and share their own budget for Milwaukee County. This tool will help the public more easily visualize and understand the difficulties in balancing the needs of competing priorities with finite resources. The Balancing Act software uses clear and transparent language to describe the County’s revenues and expenses, and then lets users determine their funding priorities – the only catch is, they have to balance revenue and spending, just like elected officials do.

You can check A Balancing Act out for yourself here: http://milwaukeecounty.abalancingact.com/

I feel strongly that the community should be heard as we make important decisions about where and how to invest our resources into programs and services that empower more people. We’ve made a lot of progress over the past six years but Milwaukee County is at a real crossroads. With an expected $40 million deficit in the upcoming budget, sustained progress will be difficult, but it’s not impossible.

Engaged, informed citizens like you are essential to ensuring that our shared responsibilities — caring for our most vulnerable citizens, protecting our natural resources, fostering economic growth, and improving quality of life for everyone – are fully funded now and in the future. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check out A Balancing Act and submit your own budget for Milwaukee County, and to continue the conversation on social media using the hashtag #EngageMKE.

The budget you submit is anonymous and will be received by our budget office, which will compile all the feedback we receive over the summer and share with the community in the fall. Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the budget in Milwaukee County.

Chris Abele

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on June 14, 2017

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