African-American Roundtable: Community Members Deserve Direct Power Over Public Resources | WUWM 89.7 FM

Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee will pass budgets for 2023 in the coming months. According to the City of Milwaukee’s website, the legal deadline for passing the budget is Nov. 14.

The grassroots African American Roundtable (AART) group advocates for a community-centered, community-driven approach to budget deliberations.

How the City of Milwaukee Budget Works (2021).

AART believes in a participatory budget process. This framework began in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and is a democratic process that allows community members to decide how to spend public money.

Devin Anderson is an organizer for AART and coordinates the LiberateMKE campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise money from the police department and fund community needs.

WUWM's LiberateMKE budget

2021 Milwaukee General Fund Budget Comparison

Anderson joined WUWM Community Engagement Coordinator Rafael Muñoz-Echavarria via WUWM’s Instagram Live to discuss AART and the LiberateMKE campaign. Here is the conversation:

More information and resources

Here is the current 2022 City of Milwaukee budget.

The City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention developed the Blueprint for Peace with youth, community residents and key stakeholders.

The LiberateMKE campaign released a report in 2019 that includes the findings and demands of its investigation.

The city of Milwaukee has an American Rescue Plan Act dashboard that tracks its use of these funds.

Action Center on Race & the Economy examines the budgets of the 300 largest cities in the United States compared to their police budgets.

The National League of Cities describes the context and process of municipal budgets.

Sentinel Diary‘s Talis Shelbourne compared Milwaukee’s police budget to that of other cities.

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