Milwaukee is a finalist in “The Mayors Challenge”—but could it actually win?
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Since sifting through dull newspapers, hyperbolic blogs, and overflowing RSS feeds for meaningful news can be an arduous process, News Net catches and compiles both the amusing and the significant reports that were overlooked over the weekend. Here are some things to think about as the workweek begins.
• When Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett threw his hat in the ring for the so-called “Mayor’s Challenge”—a national competition organized by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking cities to come up with innovative solutions to urban problems—he did so knowing that Milwaukee’s chances at taking home the $5 million grand prize were slim. No matter, the urban-farming-focused ideas generated for the competition would be useful even if they couldn’t top those of the 300 other cities that had entered. But Milwaukee’s chances at winning the contest got dramatically better today when it was announced that the city is among the top 20 finalists.
Milwaukee’s proposal is called “Home Gr/Own,” which aims to transform the city’s many foreclosed properties into a network of healthy food farms and community kitchens. (The Journal Sentinel’s Mary Louise Schumacher has more details.) So how does Milwaukee’s specific, manageable, and realistic idea stand up against other cities? Let’s look at a few lines from some proposals:
Chicago, IL: “Chicago will develop an open-source analytics platform that identifies real-time patterns and provides a single operating picture for decision-makers using data aggregated from all City departments.”
Lexington, KY: “Lexington will tap into a source of new solutions and new ideas that the nation has relied upon in challenging times since its beginning: our people, our fellow citizens. CitizenLex.org is a new platform designed to engage American ingenuity in city problem solving and planning, through robust mining and connecting the dots among studies, reports and ideas, all designed to build a great American city.”
Lafayette, LA: “Lafayette will develop Level Up, Lafayette!, a community-wide initiative to play multiple games, generate epic wins and increase quality of life for all residents – even those who aren’t playing (yet). Its idea is gamification at its best—applying game-design thinking and mechanics to non-game contexts (civic behavior).”
“Open-source analytics”? A “community-wide initiative to play multiple games”? Congratulations, Milwaukee! There’s no way we can’t win this thing!
• Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers handily defeated the lowly Arizona Cardinals yesterday 31-17. And if Rodgers’ four touchdown passes (and a fumble recovery!) weren’t enough for you, the QB also sat down with the crew from 60 Minutes. The Journal Sentinel’s Duane Dudek has more.
• The winners of this year’s Mary L. Nohl Fellowship were announced late last week. Among the winners of the “established” category is Faythe Levine, who celebrated the release of her Sign Painters book—co-authored with Sam Macon—over the weekend. Levine will receive a $15,000 prize, and will be featured in an Nohl exhibition and catalog next fall.
• This week’s recommended shows: David Dondero at Cactus Club Nov. 6; David Bazan at Cactus Club Nov. 7; Bob Dylan at BMO Harris Bradley Center Nov. 8; Cameron McGill at Linneman’s Nov. 8; King Tuff at Cactus Club Nov. 9; The Helio Sequence at Shank Hall Nov. 9; Lamb Of God at The Rave Nov. 9; Crappy Dracula + Little Otik + Heavy Hand at Cactus Club Nov. 10; The Fatty Acids + Sat. Nite Duets at Linneman’s Nov. 10; R. Kelly at Milwaukee Theatre Nov. 10; Amanda Palmer at Turner Hall Nov. 11; Aimee Mann + Ted Leo at Pabst Theater Nov. 11.