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Welcome to the April 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of Milwaukee’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative’s (CNI) e-newsletter! In this edition, we will provide you with an overview of CNI and highlight the great things going on in and around the neighborhood. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements and updates from CNI in the coming weeks and months, and don’t hesitate to let us know if you, or your organization, have news to share!

What Is Milwaukee’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative?

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the City of Milwaukee and Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) a $30 million grant to support a locally-driven, comprehensive strategy to transform Westlawn and the surrounding neighborhood into an inclusive community of opportunity with quality housing, schools, businesses, services, and amenities where people choose to live, learn, work, shop, and play. Many public and private partners have also committed $275 million in additional resources to support Milwaukee’s Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan.

CNI Strategic Focus Areas

Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality, mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.

Provide neighborhood youth with a high-quality educational pathway from prenatal to college or career.
Support positive outcomes for families who live in the target development and surrounding neighborhood, particularly outcomes related to residents' health, safety, employment and education.
Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality, mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.

Progress Report

We’ve launched several advisory committees for the project, one for each of the plan’s four focus areas and a steering committee. The committees consist of a diverse cross section of the community who are coming together to provide advice and counsel and help achieve the goals of the transformative plan. Are you interested in serving on a committee? Contact us to learn more!

We also held our second neighborhood meeting and were happy to see more than 60 residents, business owners and non-profit leaders who live and work in the neighborhood come together to share delicious desserts, the latest neighborhood news, connect to resources and learn about how they could get involved in neighborhood improvements.

We express our sincere thanks to McGovern Park Senior CenterLighthouse Youth CenterManpowerGroup HeadquartersCarmen School of Science & Technology-Northwest and Westlawn Gardens for hosting these meetings over the past several months!

What's Next

We're working on a comprehensive website to house information about CNI, news from around the community, details about upcoming events and resources for residents, businesses and community organizations. Stay tuned for a launch announcement! In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Help Us Spruce Up For Spring

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Alumni Association, UWM College of Nursing and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) are hosting a community gardens prep day on Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Westlawn Community Gardens. Are you interested in joining residents, UWM alumni, and their families as they clear, repair and refill garden boxes to prepare them for vegetables and fruits to be planted or help plant trees and perennials around the garden edge? Contact Cindy Petrites at or (414) 229-3295. All necessary equipment will be provided and lunch will be served to all volunteers! Space is limited, so be sure to register today!

Resident Spotlight: Jackie Burrell

Jackie Burrell is president of the Westlawn Resident Council and a member of CNI’s Steering Committee and she loves her community. Jackie is a self-proclaimed “people person” who has a vision of unity and togetherness for the CNI neighborhood.

Jackie loves children. She has two biological daughters and has adopted four girls. When Jackie has free time, she spends it with her children or at church.

People like Jackie are exactly what make this community great and we are thankful for her leadership and dedication to CNI!

Partner Spotlight: Silver Spring Neighborhood Center Wins Big At MANDIs

Silver Spring Neighborhood Center
Earlier this month, the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center (SSNC) was honored at the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDIs), hosted by LISC Milwaukee.
SSNC received the BMO Harris Cornerstone award and the Wells Fargo People’s Choice award for its work in the Westlawn community.
We’re proud to have strong partners like SSNC and are grateful for their commitment to strengthening our community.

Inspiration: Ryan Graham

Ryan Graham, a senior in the first graduating class of Carmen High School of Science & Technology’s Northwest Campus, was recently selected as one of only six teens across the nation for “The Future of Good” program by U.S. Cellular, which invests in youth who make a positive impact in their communities. A scholarship was established in his name and he was the first recipient. In addition, a donation was made to “Teens Grow Greens,” a non-profit where Ryan has been a leader.  Learn more in this Neighborhood News Service profile and watch a video of Ryan as he learns about this honor.

In the News: Johnson Controls, Discovery World Launch STEM Program

In March, Johnson Controls Inc. announced a new partnership and program with Discovery World that will engage students in hands-on STEM education.

The partnership is part of Johnson Controls’ focus on making an impact on three local neighborhoods: Westlawn, Thurston Woods and Havenwoods near its Glendale headquarters.
We applaud Johnson Controls’ commitment to the CNI area and neighborhood youth and look forward to their continued impact in our community.

Upcoming Events

Click on the flyers below to view information about these upcoming area events. Do you have an event you would like us to share? Email us at
Our mailing address is:
Choice Neighborhood, PO Box 324, Milwaukee, WI 53201 

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Milwaukee's Choice Neighborhood Initiative · PO Box 324 · Milwaukee, WI 53201 · USA

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