The Launching of the People's Campaign

In 2006, leaders from our congregations and member institutions began conversations about the vision of a prosperous and hopeful Milwaukee. As pastors, lay leaders, and organizers engaged in one-on-one conversations, it became increasingly clear that people were longing to see a Milwaukee that worked for all people and not just a few. Further in depth probing revealed that people were challenged with hopelessness and cynicism as to whether we could band together to craft a more hopeful vision for our city—one that was designed for the people and created by the people.

As we became clearer about our values regarding economic justice, we wanted to declare them publicly to the broader community and our member institutions with the intent to articulate a grassroots perspective on our values. From this emerged a document called, “The Ten Commandments of Economic Justice in Milwaukee.”(pdf)

In the spring of 2007, leaders and organizers in MICAH established August 16, 2007 as the release date for the “10 Commandments” and the public launch of our new initiative called “The People’s Campaign.” We were able to mobilize a critical mass of 650 people from the community to capacity at New Hope Baptist Church, a MICAH Member congregation. In this meeting, there was testimony on the challenges of our local economy as well as public commitments from elected officials to restore the wasted places of our city by acting in the public good by helping to create a more just and equitable Milwaukee. Today, we continue to organize for a better city in which all citizens have access to sustainable employment, good benefits, and quality housing. We are working with city leaders to expand the current Residents Preference Program of the city as a way of augmenting the process to get people family sustaining jobs. We plan to celebrate the success of Phase 1 of The People’s Campaign in early 2009 and launch Phase II soon after. As people of faith, we will continue to use the strength that God has given to project and declare a bolder vision of Milwaukee—one in which lives are transformed as we stand together with our common destiny before us!