Mayor Tom Barrett on scene

Six families are left with the devastating loss of their family members after the workplace shooting at Molson Coors on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Milwaukee is still reeling and searching for answers.

Mayor Tom Barrett made this statement concerning the tragedy:

“Yesterday, our city and our communities experienced a terrible tragedy. Milwaukee and Wisconsin families grieve today because of this horrific act. Now, we must think about and support those who have suddenly lost a loved one. They no doubt thought it would be a typical day: get up, go to work, finish their day — and return home to their families. But they didn’t. And now the lives of these loved ones are shattered.”

Healing will take time and Milwaukee needs a unifying.

Barrett has a track record of working together with all community members to strengthen our city when it’s most needed.

On Sunday night Barrett, along with leaders from advocacy, the faith community, labor organizations and other government officials united at Milwaukee Strong, a vigil to unite and heal. He reminded us that we must come together because we are stronger as a community when we take time to understand each other.

Throughout his tenure as mayor, he has championed solutions for some of this city’s most disturbing problems.

Blueprint for Peace is an example of utilizing a unifying vision with an “all hands-on deck” approach for the prevention of multiple forms of violence. Barrett, through partnering with other city leaders, has established a clear direction and a call to action for a public health approach to violence prevention that engages community residents and multiple sectors.

The Mayor calls on members of the city’s faith community, churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship for the Ceasefire Sabbath. This is an effort to mobilize the faith-based community to work collaboratively to improve public safety and strengthen neighborhoods. Parishioners then take that message to family, friends and coworkers.

In 2019, Barrett announced at the Ceasefire Sabbath breakfast that homicide rates are down 25% in Milwaukee from the previous year.

After the 2016 turmoil in the Sherman Park area the Mayor launched Milwaukee Employment Renovation a city program to help improve housing and employment opportunities in the area.

The program has renovated 104 homes with unemployed or underemployed Milwaukee residents putting in 33,000 hours of work through the program, earning a minimum wage of just under $11 an hour. This program builds hope in a neighborhood that is still healing today.

Barrett has long been a leader in the public health arena. In 2016, President Barack Obama visited Milwaukee to celebrate our city winning Healthy Communities Challenge, a competition among 20 cities to increase the number of Americans with health insurance during the latest Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period. People in Milwaukee took first place by signing up 38,000 of their neighbors for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Together with returning enrollees, 89,000 signed up for a 2016 health plan. This was a collective effort, that required Milwaukee to come together to reach this goal and ensure that residents of Milwaukee were informed and able to be insured with affordable health care.

Barrett said that he believes that we are at our best when we fight for the future of our city together, unified. He knows that all members of our community deserve to feel safe in their homes, at work and in their neighborhoods. He knows that safety is a shared responsibility and we all have a role to play. He knows that when we help each other, look out for one another, we set the stage for everyone to live and work in peace with safety and dignity.

Tom Barrett knows that “Milwaukee Strong” truly means that in times of need, regardless of our differences or what part of town we live in, we are at our best when we look out for one another and work together to make our community stronger, safer and healthier.