Ray Harmon, public servant and candidate for the Milwaukee Common Council in District 9, released the first part of his Vision for Change for Northwest Milwaukee: Jobs and Economic Development.
“For far too long, Milwaukee’s Northwest side has faced economic downturns and a lack of promising job development,” Harmon said. “I believe that through redevelopment and careful planning for future reinvestment we can increase land values and create a renewed sense of identity. My Vision for Change sets forth the framework for our revitalization. For years, Northridge has fallen behind the changes and growth experienced by other local malls. My plan is to redevelop Northridge into a pedestrian and environmentally friendly mixed-use town center which will become a destination for communities from the surrounding Milwaukee metro area.”
The benefits of the Northridge redevelopment are numerous, according to Harmon. Some of these include a reduction in pollution, an increase in the community’s tax base, long term tax revenue, jobs created and the removal of a community eyesore.
Ray Harmon also addressed the issue of joblessness. He touted his experiences working with the Milwaukee Urban League in assisting small businesses to create opportunities and his experience working as the New Products and Economic Development Director at the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority for Governor Doyle in 2003. Through both of those experiences, Harmon learned the difficulties faced by small businesses to secure financing, grow capacity and provide health care.
He commented, “I know these are very difficult times for people to find family-supporting jobs, with the high unemployment rate, the numbers of working poor increasing and health care costs soaring. That’s why I will work with small businesses, non-profits, self-employed and unions to explore the creation of a health insurance cooperative. I will also propose the creation of a City of Milwaukee Jobs Ombudsman. A newly created position in the City of Milwaukee Department of Administration, the Jobs Ombudsman will be the reclassification of the job responsibilities of an existing Intergovernmental Lobbyist, to solely focus on creating jobs for Milwaukeeans.”
Harmon also specifically addressed youth job creation. “Our youth are the leaders of our future community, they are the ones who will benefit the most from the actions we take now, which is why I will work to increase funding for summer youth employment in the 2013 budget and to work with public and private stakeholders to create a Youth Job Fund.”