Autumn 2019
Public Policy Institute Insights
Friends --

Welcome back from your summer adventures! Instead of vacationing, we continued to reach out to the community to raise awareness of the benefits of living healthy lives. We're especially proud of two "firsts" — the first-ever drug take-back collection in the 53206 neighborhood, as well as the first-ever substance abuse prevention summit aimed at young LGBTQ+ individuals in Milwaukee. But that's not all. We're also organizing unique events throughout the fall, as you'll see in this newsletter. As always, we're grateful for your support and encouragement. Together, we can accomplish great things.

Happy Autumn --
Kari Lerch
Deputy Director
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute
Moody Park Drug Take-Back Event
Combined Substance Abuse Prevention and Entertainment
In honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, substance abuse prevention advocates organized the first-ever  Drug Take-Back Event in the Amani Neighborhood   on Saturday, August 31, at the Moody Park Pavilion. The organizers launched the event because Amani residents asked how they could get rid of their unwanted medication, noting that drug take-back events had never been organized in their neighborhood. Neighbors of all ages showed up with unwanted medication and stayed for resources, games, line dancing, a clothing bank, and lunch.
 
 
The 53206 Drug-Free Communities Project, which is coordinated by PPI’s Amanda Clark, has been very active in Moody Park all summer. Amanda participated in Real-ationships in Moody Park , which brought together youth and law enforcement to build connections and make the park a more welcoming space for all. Amanda also helped to organize the Beyond the Book Bag carnival-style gathering to mark the end of summer and the beginning of the school year, and a Community Day at the beginning of the summer. 
First LGBTQ+ Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Summit
Created Connections
Members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies gathered to provide support and connection at Milwaukee’s first LGBTQ+ Youth Substance Use Prevention Summit at the Stackner Cabaret on August 8.
 
Organized by the  City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance , the  53206 Drug-Free Communities Project , and  Safe & Sound’s 27th Street West Drug Free Coalition , the evening featured a resource fair, panel discussions, video presentations, dinner, and stage performances.
 
The evening offered a safe space for young LGBTQ+ individuals to ask questions, meet people, and feel empowered. The power of personal connections, demonstrated in full force that night, is vitally important to living substance free and making healthy decisions.
Changing Your Alcohol Environment Event Series
October 8 – 10
The Alliance for Wisconsin Youth and the Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MCSAP ) are organizing a one-of-a-kind look at our drinking culture, both nationally and in Wisconsin, and what local advocates and elected officials can do to prevent the harm associated with problematic alcohol consumption.

They’ve invited nationally recognized speaker Rodney Wambeam, Ph.D., of the University of Wyoming to speak on "There Has Always Been Drinking in America: Alcohol, History, Culture, and What It All Means for Prevention" on October 8 . On October 9 and 10, Julia Sherman of the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project will present sessions on what local advocates (October 9) and elected officials (October 10) can do to shape their alcohol environment through licensing decisions and policymaking. RSVPs are required for these free sessions here.  
Are There Effective Alternatives to Opioids?
All too often, prescribed opioid painkillers are viewed as the only way to treat acute or chronic pain. But that belief can lead to addiction. In an effort to prevent opioid misuse and addiction while relieving pain, the Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention (MCSAP) coalition and the Wisconsin Medical Society are sponsoring a workshop led by Dr. Michael McNett, Medical Director at Aurora Pain Program GMS-PSM, for doctors, dentists, nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals so that they understand safe, effective alternatives to prescribing opioids for acute or chronic pain. The first workshop was held on September 13, but another is scheduled for Tuesday, September 24. Doctors will receive credit for continuing education on responsible opioid prescribing. RSVP for this free two-hour workshop here .
Employers Are Invited to Networking Expo October 24
During this time of low unemployment, employers are searching for work-ready job-seekers. Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, as the coordinator of the Milwaukee Reentry Council , is encouraging employers to attend the Southeast WI Reentry Employer Networking Expo on Thursday, October 24, to learn about the benefits of hiring formerly incarcerated individuals. Employers will meet with representatives of organizations that support ex-offenders and help to promote their success on the job. This free community event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 24, at The Mary Mother of Church Pastoral Center, 3501 S. Lake Drive, Milwaukee. Employers can stop by anytime. RSVPs are encouraged but not required at this link
Affordable Housing Forum Recognized
PPI’s Advocacy
PPI’s Research and Program Coordinator Mike Bare appeared at CommonBond Communities’ 2019 Affordable Housing Forum this month, where guests reviewed the group’s recent study showing that, by and large, an individual’s criminal justice history has no negative effect on their ability to succeed in housing. Panelists and audience members discussed how advocates can support returned citizens and encourage more landlords to give them a fair chance as tenants. Community Advocates staff and board members were on hand to learn from and network with our allies.

Mike was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as saying , "We make a tremendous investment when we incarcerate somebody. We should make an equal investment when they [get out]." Mike also explained the many ways that PPI is involved in improving access to affordable quality housing, including our Healthy Housing Initiative, the addition of a Reentry Housing Work Group to the Milwaukee Reentry Council, and advocating for supports that lift up returned citizens, such as strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, as well as raising the minimum wage.

"If we are putting somebody in a quality, affordable, safe housing situation, they are more likely to have a … positive outcome for themselves," he told the audience at Fiserv Forum. "There are a lot of things we can do to turn these inequities around; we're not necessarily stuck with them, it's about choices."
Transitional Jobs Briefing
The Public Policy Institute has been at the forefront of the launch and expansion of transitional jobs throughout Wisconsin because we believe that these short-term, subsidized jobs are an effective way to remove barriers to work for many of our community members. In August, the Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Collaborative , which is coordinated by PPI’s Conor Williams, welcomed officials from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families—Connie Chesnik, Administrator for DCF’s Division of Family and Economic Security; Linda Richardson, Program Integrity and Performance Section Chief; Bianca Shaw, Director of the Office of Urban Development; and Becky Yang, Program and Policy Analyst—so they could hear from our Milwaukee partners. We had a lively discussion about the program's successes and the ways we can move forward.
Community Advocates
2019 Board of Directors
Leadership
President: Sheree Dallas Branch | The Salvation Army
Vice President: Jodi Wire | We Energies
Treasurer: Sandra Samse | Johnson Keland Management
Secretary: Bryan House | Foley & Lardner, LLP

Board Members
Marquette Baylor | Aurora Health Care
Anne DeLeo | Community Volunteer
Valerie Gabriel | Community Volunteer
Dr. Stephen Hargarten | Medical College of Wisconsin
Erin Henry | Northwestern Mutual
Betsy Hoylman | Northwestern Mutual
Gary Ingram | Igary Events
Moriah Iverson | Medical College of Wisconsin
Sharon Jordan | Direct Supply
Pamela Klein | Fresh Coast Partners, LLC
Jim Liedtke | Community Volunteer
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates Public Policy Institute | 414-270-2999  | lkaiser@communityadvocates.net | ppi.communityadvocates.net