Common Ground leaders have been hard at work since our founding in 2008, creating real change in Milwaukee and the WOW counties. Here are the issues we are currently focused on.


Washington High School’s Home Field Advantage

Washington High School in Sherman Park is a community hub that thousands of students and community members use a place to play and stay healthy, yet the facility is in a state of decay and disrepair. Common Ground is working to change that.


Do Not Stand Idly By

Common Ground is partnering with the our east coast network – Metro IAF – on a campaign to curb gun violence and save lives, all without jeopardizing the ability of law-abiding Americans to buy and own firearms. 


Workforce Development

Common Ground leaders are researching the current state of workforce development efforts in Milwaukee.  We are particularly interested in programs that improve the employment prospects for those coming out of incarceration.


Mental Health & Ascension St. Joseph

Inclusive mental health care is a justice issue.  Ascension St. Joseph has an opportunity to include quality mental health services as it reimagines its mission and offerings.


Heroin and Opioid Abuse

Common Ground leaders concerned about the increase in addiction to heroin and other opioids are researching the problem and looking for effective ways to address this public health epidemic.




Milwaukee Rising LLC

Milwaukee Rising has acquired, rehabilitated and sold nearly 90 foreclosed properties in the Sherman Park neighborhood. The housing market in this North Side neighborhood surrounding St. Joseph Hospital has been restored. Millions of dollars in home equity have been returned to Homeowners devastated by the 2009 subprime mortgage crisis and returned to Milwaukee’s property tax rolls.


Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative

The health insurance cooperative that Common Ground began in 2013 now insures over 64,000 individuals in 20 counties throughout eastern Wisconsin. It has evolved into a major business in the region with over 100 employees.


Racial Justice

In August of 2018 Common Ground launched an investigation into possible racial profiling practices by Waukesha Sheriff Department because of the disturbing treatment of Pastors Williams and Patterson as they waited for their roadside assistance to arrive. After getting the runaround from the Sheriff about their concerns, the pastors filed a lawsuit. Common Ground continues to gather stories of encounters with suburban law enforcement so we can challenge and stop the culture of harassing and terrorizing black and brown people in our region.



Watershed is designing creative solutions to real and present water problems in the Greater Milwaukee area. We’re tackling water issues big and small. Our aim is to improve both water availability and quality. 

When we get a lot of rain in a short time, our waste water system can be overwhelmed and dump raw sewage into Lake Michigan. In order to reduce the risk of sewage overflows, CG’s Watershed Team worked with Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) to create an alert system to remind people to use less water during heavy rains. If you’d like to get Water Drop alerts, text WATERDROP to 797979.


United Parents

Common Ground continue our work with Milwaukee schools to organize parents and staff to act on issues that impact schools and families. Schools are one of the few remaining places where children and adults can belong and be known. Schools can be mediating institutions where families can learn the skills of advocating for improved conditions and greater resources for their schools and communities.

We are currently focused on improving nutrition for students during the school day. We are also researching ways to source and fund healthy food that students could take home for the weekend.