As a Milwaukee native, I implore you to oppose the Bucks Arena financing plan when you vote on the matter. The arena itself is a prime example of irresponsible public spending, and the corresponding development plan does not address the City's economic and residential segregation.
First and foremost, given the revenue that the Bucks owners will earn from the forthcoming NBA television deal, and the surge in franchise sale values that will impact the Bucks, the City does not stand to proportionally benefit from the arena. (And, there is not a demonstrable need to assist the owners. Why are they unable to finance their own arena and development?)
Not only is it questionable whether the arena and development will create jobs that benefit Milwaukee's citizens, but it is also questionable whether the arena and development itself serves a vital role in the city's economy. Access to the arena will be preserved for a small percentage of the regional population, without corresponding gains provided to lower and middle class residents of Milwaukee. It is not clear that the proposed development will also be accessible to citizens from all walks of life.
Since it is unclear how the State's partial repeal of the prevailing wage law will impact the publicly financed arena, what measures will you enact to ensure that local residents and firms gain valuable, well-paying contracts? Will Milwaukee firms be able to win these contracts?
What percentage of residential units in the corresponding development will be mixed income, or subsidized for low income families?
How will the necessary debt collection practices associated with County's portion of the arena legislation affect families and residents within the City?
How will you amend the proposal to ensure that the City benefits from this project? Will you be able to use future measures to impact the corresponding development to ensure equitable outcomes for the City's residents?
Without clear answers to these questions that define the City's benefits from this project -- let alone countless other questions about the corresponding development and economic impact for the City -- there is no reason for the City to subsidize the Bucks ownership group and their multi-billion-dollar entertainment industry.
I understand that the State Assembly's vote places you in a difficult position, but you still have your chance to defend the economic interests of the City and the vast majority of its residents by rejecting this deal.