Real estate millionaire Joseph Zilber is giving 50 of those millions to improve life in Milwaukee's low-income neighborhoods. Zilber's incredible generosity got lots of press.
Another positive development for Milwaukee was reported in the back pages of the paper: Marcus White, the executive director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, is leaving that job to take a new job with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, director of community partnerships.
Hiring White, who for years has been a positive force in Milwaukee, is a great move by the foundation, which is itself signaling a new level of involvement in urban issues.
The foundation, according to the JS' Tom Heinen plans to put much more emphasis on working with diverse groups of partners to help identify and eliminate the underlying causes of problems ranging from poor school performance and high dropout rates to the transit system's financial crisis and the continuing brain drain of talented college graduates, said Douglas Jansson, foundation president. It also plans to enter the public arena by advocating for changes in government policies. And it will pull together existing research and fund new research to set the table for public debate.
These developments are hugely hopeful signs for the city.