MILWAUKEE – Health equity, human needs and strategic planning will be the focus of a reimagined Milwaukee County Board committee, thanks to a newly-adopted (16-1, Weishan) ordinance change proposed by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson and co-sponsored by Supervisors Shawn Rolland, Joseph Czarnezki, Jason Haas, Ryan Clancy, Sequanna Taylor and Willie Johnson, Jr.
The newly formed Health Equity, Human Needs, and Strategic Planning Committee will enable the Board of Supervisors to provide better oversight of various departments and their work to implement the County’s vision and strategic plan for achieving racial equity.
“Milwaukee County is committed to a bold vision of achieving racial equity and becoming the healthiest county in Wisconsin,” said Chairwoman Nicholson. “These goals cannot be met without the direct engagement of the Board in strategic planning and focused oversight of what departments are doing to accomplish these goals.
The new committee is also the latest example of the Board’s increased engagement in strategic planning. In April 2019 Milwaukee County adopted a resolution from Chairwoman Nicholson that declared racism a public health crisis and began work on a plan to achieve racial and health equity. In March 2020, the County Board passed an ordinance committing the county to identifying and addressing policies that widen racial disparities. Then in October 2020, the County Board unanimously adopted an ordinance change requiring departments to demonstrate how their budget requests aligned with the county’s strategic plan.
“This new committee will help define what success should look like in the short and long-term, where we should focus our resources, and how we can accelerate progress to become the healthiest county in Wisconsin,” said Supervisor Rolland
According to the adopted resolution, the new focus on strategic planning “will ensure all County departments provide a unified approach to outlining their strategic plans that reflects how current policy, budget, and operational decisions of each department impacts County residents, while keeping racial equity and health at the forefront.”
Chairwoman Nicholson proposed and the Board established the Audit Committee in June 2020, with a related goal of providing oversight of how departments implement the County’s goals.