Thursday, August 16, 2007

Press release: Public Policy Forum Wins GRA Research Award

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – August 15, 2007 – At the 94th annual conference of the Governmental Research Association (GRA) in Denver last week, the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum won a first place award in the Outstanding Policy Achievement category for its research on economic development in the Milwaukee region.

The research included studies that were part of the Forum’s “One Region, One Future” campaign that ran for three years and emphasized the need for cooperation among the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin. Two years after launching the campaign, the Milwaukee 7 (M7) was created by area businesses partnering with southeastern Wisconsin governments to present a unified economic development approach to businesses looking to expand in the region.

Included in the winning entry were the following studies: the use of tax increment financing (TIF) by the city of Milwaukee that subsequently resulted in Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett issuing a directive to double TIF authorizations, and a controversial evaluation of economic development expenditures, particularly for workforce development, by the city of Milwaukee that helped facilitate the creation of a citywide economic development plan – a major recommendation in the Forum’s report.

“Receiving this award was extremely gratifying because it comes from peer organizations around the country which are engaged in the same kinds of work as the Forum,” says Forum President Jeff Browne. “It was also exciting because the research that led to the award resulted in substantive change. Action was taken in the region because of the Forum’s work.”

The GRA was established in 1914 and is the national organization of individuals professionally engaged in governmental research.

The Public Policy Forum ( – which was established in 1913 as a local government watchdog – is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of government and the development of southeastern Wisconsin through objective research of regional public policy issues.

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