© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WUWM's Susan Bence reports on Wisconsin environmental issues.

Today is about action: Milwaukee Common Council adopts climate and equity plan

Tuesday's common council vote was a victory for people who've been working on or support the Climate and Equity Plan since 2019.
Courtesy of Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Tuesday's common council vote was a victory for people who've been working on or support the Climate and Equity Plan since 2019.

On Tuesday morning the City of Milwaukee had itself a Climate and Equity Plan.

A vote — 13 aye, 1 abstention and 1 absent — signals the Common Council’s endorsement of a plan that been debated and tweaked.

The plan touts 10 big ideas for action. It aims to reduce greenhouse emissions 45% by 2035 and to eliminate them by mid century. Other goals include greening the grid and replacing pavement with native trees and plants.

Pathways to cultivate green jobs paying at least $40,000 a year with a focus on recruiting people of color are also folded into the plan.

Alderperson Jonathan Brostoff spoke in support of the climate and equity action plan.
Screen Shot
Alderperson Jonathan Brostoff spoke in support of the Climate and Equity Action plan.

Alderperson Jonathan Brostoff acknowledged people sitting in the gallery and dozens of others who volunteered their time, passion and expertise starting in 2019.

“All the community members and community leaders who have just put an enormous amount of time, dedication, blood, sweat and tears into making this happen. It is wildly important. It’s the future of our planet. It’s the future of our communities. It’s the future of our city and today’s the day,” Brostoff said. “It’s great to have something to celebrate

Before the vote Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic paused to mark what she called a great promise to the next generation.

Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic spearheaded common council action on the climate plan.
Screen Shot
Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic spearheaded Common Council action on the climate plan.

Dimitrijevic was lead sponsor of the ordinance that pushed the plan over the policy finish line.

“Today is about action. We can make a change. We can change what we’ve actually created as humans on this earth. It’s for our children. They’re watching us carefully to make sure we leave our land, air and water the cleanest possible for them to enjoy. And we can do it in an equitable way,” Dimitrijevic said.

Bringing the plan’s 10 Big Ideas to life will require Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson’s signature — that’s expected. But then comes the challenge of writing grants and vying for federal dollars.

The City’s Environmental Collaboration Office director Erick Shambarger has said his team wants to be “aggressive in going after those dollars.”

Citizens looked on as common council members cast their votes.
Citizens looked on as Common Council members cast their votes.

The cluster of people in the gallery — bearing signs “Inaction is Disaster” and “Vote Yes for Climate and Equity” — erupted into applause when the votes were cast.

They’ll be among those watching closely for results from elected officials.


Susan is WUWM's environmental reporter.
Related Content