By Nyesha Stone
One of the first steps to fixing up a neighborhood is knowing what to fix.
Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs has been doing neighborhood walks since she came into office. Nine years of walking block to block, and getting to know Milwaukee’s neighborhoods on a deeper level.
She invited residents and city officials on her neighborhood walks because it starts with a conversation between the city and its people. This was a time for residents to express their concerns and eventually have them fixed.
“It helps to remind the city of the people they’re working for,” said Alderwoman Coggs.
To her, these walks humanize the neighborhood because the officials come face to face with the residents.
The walked started on Hubbard St. and Lloyd St at 11 a.m. on May 25. The neighborhood is a part of Brewer’s Hill Neighborhood, and Molly Booth, President of the Historic Brewers Hill Association, decided to partake in the walk. This was her first walk, and she decided to go so she could “get a feel of what’s actually going on in the neighborhood.”
MPD, MFD, house inspectors and many other officials attended the walk. With blueprints of the neighborhood in their hand, officials discussed the neighborhood’s current developments and things that needed fixing.
Phrases such as, “2223 needs a cleanup,” were said throughout the walk. Officials checked backyards, alleys, streets and whatever needed inspecting and discussing.
Alderwoman Coggs handed out informational pamphlets and spoke to some Brewer’s Hill residents. It’s important to her for her community to know she cares.
Each walk is different because the residents’ concerns vary. Some wanted litter picked up, and others wanted houses built or torn down. This was why it’s important to ask the community their specific concerns.
This wasn’t a continuous walk, there were lots of stops to observe and discuss the different issues and developments of each block visited. The walk lasted a little over an hour, and city officials took notes, so they could eventually come back and take action.
Throughout the walk, residents stood outside their homes wondering why so many officials were in their neighborhood. Some asked questions while others stared.
House developments were the topic of discussion during the walk. Some residents of Brewer’s Hill have begun the process of building homes to bring value to the neighborhood.
Management and Special Projects of Department of City Development Tina Klose was happy to partake in the walk to learn more about the processes of fixing a neighborhood.
Alderwoman Coggs will continue having neighborhood walks because the community’s voices matter.