Saturday, June 16, 2007

Brookings Institution Focuses On Wisconsin/Great Lakes Importance

John Austin, a senior fellow at the prestigious Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, returned to Wisconsin May 7th to present his major findings about the importance of the Great Lakes to a state Capitol audience.

I attended and found the information among the best I'd seen on several key economic, political, historical and everyday issues in our state and Great Lakes region.

A short video summary of his presentation about the strengths and weaknesses of the Great Lakes region, and how to deal with both halves of that equation, is here. I will later post a link to his entire, hour-long presentation, and to his Power Point.

I'll be writing more about Austin's findings as they relate to the pending Great Lakes Compact and other issues.

Expect to see more of Austin in Wisconsin and Milwaukee because he offers a neutral, non-partisan and credible analysis that supports goals often seen as contradictory: economic development and conservation, for example.

He also has data about racial separation in southeastern Wisconsin and across the Great Lakes region that is deeply disturbing, but, again, offers an opportunity for change that would be good for the entire region's economy - - if leaders here have the political will to break from the past.

Time will tell.

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