Autumn 2018
Public Policy Institute Insights
Friends –

As the Public Policy Institute celebrates our 10th anniversary, we are launching this quarterly newsletter, Insights , which will focus on our prevention specialists, policy projects, and ongoing community work. We strive to remain engaged with you, so check out our newest publication and let us know what you think. We appreciate connecting with you and are grateful for your support. In short, we could not do what we do without our partners, friends, and supporters!

Yours in partnership --
Kari Lerch
Deputy Director
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute
Introducing Our Healthy Housing Initiative
As Matthew Desmond put it in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted , "without stable shelter, everything else falls apart."

With all due respect, we’d like to edit that statement to read: "without stable, healthy shelter, everything else falls apart."

Think about it: If your home lacks adequate heat and plumbing, has long-neglected repairs, is infested with bugs or rats, is unaffordable, or is so unstable that you have to couch surf or rely on emergency shelter, it’s difficult to be healthy, perform well at school, maintain steady employment, and care for your children.

The Public Policy Institute, with generous support from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, launched our five-year Healthy Housing Initiative in January to examine health’s connection to housing. This spring and summer, we began working with our academic and community partners to finalize the initiative’s areas of focus -- centering around housing affordability, quality, and stability -- and will research and propose solutions to those problems.

The initiative will also form a Tenant Advisory Council so that residents will be empowered to advocate for policy changes that impact long-standing housing inequities.

We’re excited to move forward on the Healthy Housing Initiative, which will draw on the critical insights of Public Policy Institute researchers, led by Program Director Mike Bare, our community and academic partners, and Community Advocates’ Housing Department’s decades of experience working on housing repairs, relocations, eviction prevention, and dispute resolution. We believe that our community will heal and thrive when all residents have a safe, stable, affordable, healthy home in the neighborhood of their choice.

Building Brighter Futures
Members of youth-serving organizations that are part of the Milwaukee Brighter Futures Initiative recently spent an inspiring morning at the Milwaukee Friends Meetinghouse on the banks of the Milwaukee River.

There, under the guidance of PPI’s Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator Jeremy Triblett, the youth workers shared their insights about helping young people reach their full potential.

MBFI organizations meet in these learning communities every other month to swap stories, support their peers, and generate new ideas for their work.
Our partnerships seem to be paying off.

As a youth worker explained during the August gathering, one of the young men in his care was particularly difficult. "But toward the end of the programming year he began to independently employ a lot of the strategies we taught him to keep himself out of trouble," he said. "Really, there is no bigger success than that. That’s what we’re there for. That’s what it’s all about."

The Milwaukee Brighter Futures Initiative, created in state law, aims to prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect, youth violence and delinquent behavior, youth alcohol and other drug use and abuse, and non-marital pregnancy. Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, as state-funded Milwaukee Brighter Futures Lead Agency, provides a forum to identify best practices for MBFI partners.
Call for Volunteers   
We know all too well that the odds are stacked against citizens returning to the community after incarceration. But these returning citizens don’t have to go it alone. In fact, many community members want to support them as they rebuild their lives.

The Milwaukee Reentry Council , a subcommittee of the Milwaukee Community Justice Council that’s facilitated by PPI, has been working to support those returning to the city after incarceration. In late October the council will launch Circles of Support to provide formerly incarcerated men and women a safe space to share their stories and feel accepted during this new chapter in their lives.

The Milwaukee Reentry Council is working with Project Return and its committed partners Hephatha Lutheran Church, St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, and the Department of Corrections to establish and organize monthly circles in Milwaukee. Each circle will be comprised of returnees, members of the public, and trained circle keepers; a meal will be shared among the participants.

The partners are seeking volunteers to participate in these life-changing circles. A volunteer training will be held on Tuesday, October 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Project Return, 2821 N. 4th St., Suite 223, Milwaukee. Contact Conor Williams at or 262-442-4646 or Wendel Hruska at or 414-374-8029 to sign up or obtain more information.
Celebrating Nick's Life
The friends and family of Nick Chudnow are celebrating his life with a fundraiser on Sunday, September 30, to support substance abuse prevention programs, including the work of Community Advocates Public Policy Institute. Hosts are Dick Chudnow and Jennifer Rupp, as well as ComedySportz Milwaukee . Entertainment includes ComedySportz improv performers, an auction, and raffles. Food is supplied by ComedySportz Catering (Howie’s Grille). Donations up to $20,000 will be matched; funds will go to The Chudnayshun Fund under the Jewish Community Federation. The celebration will be held on Sunday, September 30, at 1 p.m. at ComedySportz Milwaukee, 420 S. First St., Milwaukee. Tickets are $25. We thank Nick's friends and family for their generosity.
See You at the Movies
Community Advocates and the Public Policy Institute are community partners in Milwaukee Film’s Black Lens program, which supports African-American films and filmmakers. Black Lens is the only major film program in the country to exclusively showcase the work of African-American filmmakers. The festival runs October 18 through November 1. Keep checking the websites for Community Advocates and the Public Policy Institute , as well as our Facebook pages (Like us here and here ) for details as we get closer to the festival.
Autumn 2018 Calendar
September 30: Celebrating Nick’s Life with his friends and family at ComedySportzMilwaukee

October 2: Milwaukee Reentry Council’s Circles of Support Volunteer Training

October 5 through December 28: Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention (MCSAP) Coalition outreach at select Marquette University Men’s basketball games

October 23: PPI’s Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for interested members of the community; register here

October 29: Governor’s Faith-Based Summit on Opioids’ Milwaukee event is being organized by the Southeast Region of the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth; all are welcome to register and attend

November 13: PPI’s Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for interested members of the community; register here

November 27: Giving Tuesday , the global day of giving, will support the Public Policy Institute’s work alleviating poverty

November 30: PPI’s Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for interested members of the community; register here

Check out our online calendar to discover more events, coalition meetings, and dates to remember. 
Community Advocates
2018 Board of Directors
President: Sheree Dallas Branch | Public Relations Consultant
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
Timothy Charek | Community Volunteer
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
Esther Shin | Urban Strategies
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates Public Policy Institute | 414-270-2999  | |