“We expect to be going strong 50 years from now.” The opening remarks by Jonathan Gundlach at our Spring Delegates Assembly were optimistic, and after listening to the speakers that followed, we do believe. Together, with Pastor Alexis Twito, Jonathan recounted the goals we had set at our last assembly.
GOAL: To recruit ten new member organizations.
We have happily welcomed ten new member organizations.
GOAL: To raise $100,000 through our Friends of Common Ground campaign.
Through the hard work and generosity of our members, we have raised over $107,421 to date. As always, that window is never closed.
GOAL: To engage 1,000 people through one-on-one relational meetings.
At last count, through our DIG sessions and one on one relational meetings, we have listened to over 1,438 voices on issues affecting our community – three of which have become key issue campaigns moving forward.
COMMON GROUND HEALTHCARE
What began as a “what if” has become a reality, as Jim Wesp explained. Funded with a $56 million loan from the federal government, The Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will begin taking applicants in October of this year. Jim proudly shared the official Certificate of Authority issued by Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, with “Common Ground Healthcare is going public!” the theme for the day.
The introduction of a new part of Common Ground followed: the Suburban Rural Caucus. Since our inception 5 years ago, Common Ground focused mostly on issues related to the city of Milwaukee. Now we are turning our focus to the Milwaukee county suburbs as well as Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties Pastor Jeff Suddendorf introduced us to Chris Fraser, a self-sufficient 41 year-old with Cerebral Palsy who finds himself at the mercy of limited public transport. Then, Pastor Anna Doherty shared the heartbreaking story of very young children, so dependent on community after-school programs that “latch-key” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Stories like these coming out of seemingly idyllic settings are of growing concern in the nation. Here at Common Ground, we are looking to find answers.
As the City of Milwaukee begins conversations around funding a new basketball arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, we find ourselves asking why our own kids are left training in shoddy, dangerous conditions. With our Fair Play issue campaign, Common Ground will level the playing field. Playing in a safe, regulation sports environment should not be a luxury afforded ONLY to sports celebrities, as students Beverly Jackson and Jarrod Gray, explained. “Playing in sports is part of the solution for many kids,” as parent Jennifer O’Hear went on to say. “If the Bucks get to play, our kids get to play.” With Fair Play, Common Ground hopes to secure 150 million dollars towards the improving athletic facilities for kids in Milwaukee County.
As the Delegates’ Assembly dispersed, Fair Play became the rally cry of the diverse and enthusiastic attendees. Fairness continues to be what Common Ground is all about. As Jonathan said, “We are non-partisan, we are diverse, we are tenacious and committed.” Our members left the event feeling more than ever that we have a voice and that we can succeed.
Want to add your voice to the pursuit of Common Ground? CONNECT WITH US HERE!
Catch up on media coverage of the event HERE.