Summer 2020
Public Policy Institute Insights
Friends –

We at Community Advocates Public Policy Institute hope that you are staying safe and well during these difficult times.

Unfortunately, the pandemic shows little sign of abating soon, especially here in Wisconsin. The coronavirus, along with the justified uproar over racist policing and policies, means that we are wading into uncharted territory.

One thing we do know is that we at Community Advocates Public Policy Institute are advocating for a better future, especially for those who have been most affected by COVID-19 and structural and personal racism. Our policy advocacy team has been busy this year, with encouraging results:

  • PPI joined with diverse rental housing stakeholders to push state leaders to provide funds to low-income Wisconsinites for eviction prevention, rent assistance, tenant/landlord mediation and legal services, financial support to landlords, and other supports, items were included in CARES funds distributed by the state, Milwaukee County, and the City of Milwaukee. We’re also continuing to push for a new federal relief package for those impacted by the pandemic.

  • We continue to advocate for expanded services for those returning to the community from incarceration, services that are in greater need due to the stresses and strains brought on by the pandemic.

  • Our advocacy for an expanded and improved Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Homestead Credit appear in proposals across the country as practical steps to be taken to deliver more income to working families.

We've worked hard to gain the attention of policymakers, but we are bracing for a difficult federal, state, and local budget season with austerity on the horizon. Governments at all levels are expecting reduced revenue in the next few years, creating budget shortages that could threaten many of the programs and services our community members need, including:

  • Critical support for survivors of domestic violence, homelessness, and substance abuse disorders who face additional burdens due to the pandemic
  • Youth substance use prevention programming and positive youth development curricula
  • Holistic, culturally sensitive programs for individuals returning from incarceration to prevent recidivism, such as restorative justice-style Circles of Support, and connections to employment, health care, and ongoing mentoring
  • Assistance that will ensure hard-hit Milwaukee tenants will have access to safe, healthy, and quality rental housing

We’re asking for your support. Please help us fight for our disadvantaged community members who need to be represented in the halls of City Hall, the state Capitol, and Congress when our elected officials begin shaping their budgets. Your contribution will enable us to be their voice when they need it the most. Thank you.

Kari Southern
Deputy Director
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute
WPHA Recognizes PPI's Anneke Mohr
for Her Public Health Contributions
Anneke Mohr, the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance's coordinator, is receiving much-deserved recognition for advancing public health at the grassroots level. The Wisconsin Public Health Association has announced Anneke will receive its Spirit of Public Health Award, which recognizes "the contributions of an individual who is part of the fabric of public health in his/her community and whose goal is to be 'of use.'"

The award description captures Anneke’s contributions perfectly. As CoMTFA’s coordinator, she has led her coalition on advocating for smoke-free and vape-free indoor and outdoor spaces and tobacco litter-free public spaces; reducing health disparities in tobacco use and exposure, especially among LGBTQ+ individuals and low-income communities of color; and supporting local youth advocates participating in the FACT movement. She has also helped to grow a new generation of public health leaders by serving as a preceptor to UW-Milwaukee Zilber School of Public Health students.

Anneke has devoted her entire career to public health and health equity in a variety of roles. She has addressed HIV prevention and support as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland and Washington, D.C.; worked as a Wisconsin Population Health Service fellow with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services AIDS/HIV Program and Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center; focused on LGBTQ health at Diverse & Resilient; and served as the Fetal Infant Mortality Review Assistance at the Milwaukee Health Department.

"Anneke is truly deserving of this award and we’re thrilled that the WPHA is recognizing her work," said Kari Southern, PPI's Deputy Director. "She is passionate about improving the health of our communities and supporting individuals’ ability to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. All of her colleagues at the Public Policy Institute congratulate her on this much-deserved award."
Racial Equity Assessment
Tuesday, August 11 & Tuesday, August 18
Please join the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance for a two-part racial equity assessment to discuss what a potential smoke-free summer festival policy would look like using an equity lens. 
Nicole Brookshire from Brookshire Customized Solutions (and formerly of the Milwaukee County Office of African American Affairs) will guide us through the process. Please join either or both sessions as your schedule permits.  

Part 1: August 11, from 9 to 11 a.m., will cover a review of the racial equity assessment tool, current data including results of a public opinion poll conducted in 2018, and small group discussions. 

Part 2: August 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., will focus on a discussion around community engagement and equitable implementation. 
Implicit Bias Training
Tuesday, August 11
On Tuesday, August 11, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute will host Dr. Erin Winkler from UW-Milwaukee for an Implicit Bias training. Dr. Winkler is an Associate Professor in the College of Letters and Science and focuses on African and African Diaspora Studies. Dr. Winkler’s research interests include racial socialization; racial identity development in African American families and communities; the impact of gender, skin tone, and other demographic factors on racial identity development and responses to racism; and the effect of place on shaping conceptualizations and experiences of race and racism.

This training is offered free via Zoom and registration is required at this link.

It will not be recorded and space is limited, so please RSVP only if you can attend the training live, as it happens.
MCSAP's Taking Care of Our Minds Virtual Resource Fair
Wednesday, August 12
The Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention coalition (MCSAP) is launching a series of Mental Health & Wellness Virtual Resource Fairs to enable community members to learn more about themselves and their loved ones and get access to resources.

The Taking Care of Our Minds Virtual Resource Fair, to be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12, will host three mental health professionals sharing methods for achieving mental health and wellness. Participants will hear from Octavia Manuel-Wright, Lauren M. Todd, and Scott Thomas. This conversation will include FREE virtual resources you can use immediately.

PPI in the News
Like MCSAP on Facebook
We're happy to announce that Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention coalition is now on Facebook! We're aiming to share prevention-related information and activities and help our partners connect easily. Like MCSAP at
Community Advocates
2020 Board of Directors
President: Jodi Wire | We Energies
Vice President: Bryan House | Foley & Lardner, LLP
Treasurer: Sandra Samse | Johnson Keland Management
Secretary: Sharon Jordan | Direct Supply

Board Members
Sheree Dallas Branch | The Salvation Army
Anne DeLeo | Community Volunteer
Natasha Dotson | Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative
Valerie Gabriel | Community Volunteer
Erin Henry | Northwestern Mutual
Betsy Hoylman | Northwestern Mutual
Gary Ingram | Igary Events
Pamela Klein | Fresh Coast Partners, LLC
Jim Liedtke | Community Volunteer
Ashley Pavlic | Medical College of Wisconsin
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates Public Policy Institute | 414-270-2999  | |