January 19, 2016 NWSP Update 
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Friends of the Near West Side:
Happy New Year, everyone! We've got a lot of great work ahead of us this year, and we're already off to a quick start! 

We started off the year with a nice celebration of our neighborhood at the "Around the Corner with John McGivern: Avenues West" Preview Party. If you missed the event, check out the full episode in this newsletter as John travels through our neighborhood, highlighting the amenities and neighbors that make the Near West Side a great place to live, work and play. 

We have some great opportunities to get involved in our neighborhood coming up this year, so keep an eye out in our newsletters and on our social media pages. We can't wait to see what 2016 has in store! 

As always, if you wish to share news from your organization, or would like to see something featured in the e-newsletter, please send us a note at

Keep it up,

Keith Stanley
Executive Director, Near West Side Partners, Inc.

Legislation would save taxpayer resources, reduce crime and
promote economic development

At a public hearing in Madison in early January before the Wisconsin State Assembly’s Committee on the Judiciary, Near West Side Partners, along with representatives of its anchor institutions, offered its support for AB628, legislation that will help save taxpayer resources, reduce crime and promote economic development in Milwaukee.
“On behalf of Near West Side Partners, we thank Representative Evan Goyke – a resident of Milwaukee’s Near West Side – as well as Representative Jim Ott, Senator Alberta Darling and the other co-sponsors for introducing this important legislation,” said Keith Stanley, Executive Director of Near West Side Partners, Inc. “We greatly appreciated the opportunity to testify before the Judiciary Committee and share our support for this legislation, which will meet a critical need in Milwaukee’s Near West Side and many other neighborhoods around the City.”
One of the biggest impediments to economic development in the Near West Side has been several chronic nuisance properties that have served as magnets for criminal activity. One of the biggest offenders has been tobacco retail shops that hide behind a loophole in the law to remain in business, despite creating significant negative impacts on their neighborhood, promoting criminal activity and consuming tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of taxpayer resources.
“Under current law, poorly managed retail businesses have been able to hide behind their tobacco license to keep the business afloat – despite becoming a drain on police resources and contributing to crime and disorder in the community,” said Stanley. “AB628 will close this loophole, saving police resources, improving safety and promoting economic development in our neighborhoods.”
Modeled after the law governing alcohol licenses, AB628 would provide local control for the City of Milwaukee to suspend, revoke or refuse to renew the license of a tobacco products retailer if the business is knowingly permitting criminal behavior, facilitating drug sales and or permitting or promoting other specified public nuisances on its property.  The proposed legislation does not limit the number of tobacco licenses.
“We believe AB628 is sensible, pro-business legislation that levels the playing field for responsible operators,” said Stanley.
Stanley was joined by representatives from each of the five anchor institutions in the Near West Side – Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, Marquette University, Miller Coors and Potawatomi Business Development Corporation – who all voiced their support for the legislation.


From a new Burger King and Taco Bell, to upgrades at Marquette University High School, construction abounds in the Avenues West neighborhood, and across the entire Near West Side, bringing new and improved amenities to our neighbors. 

Hear more from Keith Stanley on the importance of construction projects to improving the Near West Side neighborhood in features from WISN-TV and WDJT-TV

Congratulations to Keith Stanley, executive director of Near West Side Partners, on being named to the Milwaukee Business Journal's 40 Under 40 awards program for 2016! 

The 40 Under 40 class represents the future of community leadership in southeastern Wisconsin - individuals who stood out from a pool of about 280 nominations for what they have accomplished so far and the difference they are making in the community. 

Keith will be honored in a special section of the Milwaukee Business Journal on Friday, February 19, and at an awards event on Monday, February 22. A full listing of this year's 40 Under 40 winners can be found online.
On January 12, neighbors from across the Near West Side gathered at the Irish Cultural and Community Center for the Around the Corner with "John McGivern: Avenues West" Preview Party. Check out the episode online as John takes viewers through the historical buildings and treasures in the Avenues West neighborhood! 

Near West Side Partners is proud to announce Darrian Davis as its new Community Outreach Specialist. Darrian brings a diverse range of skills to the position, drawing on her experiences in mentoring, teaching and building community projects. 

Darrian graduated from ITT Technical College with an associates degree in computer networking and Alverno College with a bachelors degree in business management. She was born and raised in Oak Creek, later moving to Metcalfe Park and Sherman Park, where she spent ten years as a teacher. Darrian also completed an internship with the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. 

In her free time, Darrian enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering, sewing, painting, graphic designing and event planning. 


In pursuit of making the Near West Side a better place to live, work and play, our neighborhood now has two Neighborhood Ambassadors on our streets each day.

Our Neighborhood Ambassadors work to mitigate nuisance activities, perform CPTED surveys, complete business and residence checks, and monitor major intersections. 

The team is already making great progress in their first few weeks. Stay tuned for additional updates as we continue this exciting program for our neighborhood! 

The Near West Side Community wishes Captain Jason Smith and Assistant District Attorney Chris Ladwig as they begin new positions. Captain Smith has been appointed as the Department of Corrections' Director of Policy and Research in Madison, and Chris Ladwig has been named Federal Prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Both Captain Smith and ADA Ladwig played an integral role on the NWSP Safety Working Team, as well as in spearheading the Near West Side Community Prosecution Unit. We thank them both for their years of service to our neighborhood, and wish them the best of luck in their new positions! 

 "Proposed law gives cities more power over tobacco licenses"
 Wisconsin lawmakers are circulating a bill for co-sponsors that would give municipalities the power to suspend, revoke or refuse to renew tobacco licenses of businesses with documented nuisance activity, such as drug dealing and prostitution. 

 "Milwaukee chef makes soul food restaurant shrine to fatherhood
 Bennie Smith is a soft-spoken man. His voice barely carries above the classic R&B that, on a recent winter's morning, fills his restaurant, Daddy's Soul Food & Grille. Daddy's is on the first floor of the 100-year-old SOHI Building at N. 27th Street and W. Wells Street, in a space that once housed a Subway restaurant. 

 "'We've seem a significant reduction in the crimes that kept me up at night'
Since becoming a commissioned police department on May 1, 2015, what have the first six months been like for the Marquette University Police Department, campus and the surrounding community? An interview with MUPD Chief Paul Mascari and Milwaukee Police Department District 3 Captain Jason Smith. 

 "Near West Side Partners sees much success in first year"
Marquette University, Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors and Potawatomi Business Development Corporation came together at the end of 2014 to form Near West Side Partners, Inc., an organization working to improve Milwaukee's Near West Side, where Marquette University is located. 

 "How Community Prosecutors Prevent Crime
 At his storefront office on 35th St. just north of McKinley Blvd, Assistant  District Attorney Christopher Ladwig was concerned about some crimes in his district. He was preparing for back-to-back meetings with two neighborhood gas station owners. Calls for police service had been recieved from both stations, after incidents of loitering and armed robbery. Ladwig's team wanted to make sure the landlords - owners of the gas stations - were in the loop. 
Harley-Davidson invites all members of the Near West Side community to the monthly Neighborhood of Neighborhoods Community Meeting, from 6:30 to 8 PM on the third Monday of each month, at the Harley-Davidson University Conference Center, Sixth Floor Auditorium. 

Next month's meeting will be held on Monday, February 15. Keep an eye out on the Near West Side social media pages for updates on the next month's agenda. 

Those interested in being added to the Neighborhood of Neighborhoods Community Meeting invite list should contact
The Milwaukee Academy of Science is looking for local business professionals to share their career paths and achievements with high school students to provide students with a range of ptential career paths and insights on how to reach their goals, both academically and professionally. 

Presentations would be about 15 minutes long, with an additional 5 minutes for questions from the students. No visual presentation is required. 

Those interested in speaking with the students should contact Jess Flagg, volunteer coordinator at the Milwaukee Academy of Science, at (414) 933-0302 ext. 1108. 
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