MON AM News: Milwaukee Host Committee focusing on city’s story ahead of DNC 2020; Evers goes own way on clean energy plan after rejection by Legislature

— The Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee is enlisting the aid of local businesses in telling the city’s story as it prepares for next summer’s Democratic National Convention. 

“If Tom Perez, our national party chairman, wanted to pick a city that was the most logistically convenient and expedient to host a convention, he probably would not have come to Milwaukee,” said Liz Gilbert, president of the committee. “He chose Milwaukee, because of the story that there is to tell here, and the impact that this event can have on the people of this community and this state.” 

She addressed members of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce on Friday to answer questions, address concerns and provide a rough timeline ahead of DNC 2020, which takes place July 13-16. 

“There will be 50,000 visitors here next year, and with Milwaukee certainly up to the challenge in a way that I actually don’t think I’ve seen a city come at this before,” she said. 

MMAC Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Steve Baas noted Gilbert has previously organized several Democratic National Conventions and also worked for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. 

“This is not her first rodeo; she’s one of the top pros in the business,” Baas said. 

In her comments, Gilbert called the host committee “a $70 million startup organization.” 

“We are a small business; we are a new business in town,” she said. “We had to recruit talent, we had to house them, provide health care — we’re doing everything that you know about very well, so we are your partners in this business community.” 

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— Gov. Tony Evers has signed an executive order aiming to ensure the state is powered entirely by clean energy by 2050. 

In a Capitol news conference, Evers announced he was creating the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy within the Department of Administration. That office was included in his initial executive budget proposal but was stripped out as a non-fiscal policy item by the Joint Finance Committee. 

Along with ensuring all electricity in Wisconsin is “100 percent carbon-free” by 2050, the office will also be responsible for ensuring the state meets the carbon reduction goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, developing a plan to “mitigate the harm from climate change” and setting standards, among other things. 

“Clean energy has not been a priority in our state and we’re going to change that,” Evers said. “We’re going to adopt policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impact of fossil fuels.” 

Still, Evers made clear that the executive order was “not a mandate” on energy companies, adding the new office would work together utilities and nonprofits to set benchmarks. 

Public Service Commission Chair Rebecca Cameron Valcq conceded a shift to clean energy could lead to a bump in rates for consumers. But she said with retirements of coal-fired power plants on the horizon, rate hikes are “something that we talk about all the time.” 

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— Property values in Wisconsin rose 6 percent over the year, according to a report from the state Department of Revenue. 

It shows the state’s total equalized property value at the beginning of 2019 was more than $580 billion. Values rose in all property types, with the largest increases seen in residential, commercial and manufacturing properties. 

Of the $31.4 billion increase to total equalized value, 22.6 billion was due to market value increases, while $8.8 billion was due to new construction. 

Commercial property values rose by about $5 billion to reach more than $115 billion, the report shows. And manufacturing property rose by about $814 million, reaching nearly $16 billion. 

Meanwhile, agricultural land values rose by $58 million to reach over $2.2 billion at the start of this year. 

And for the first time since 2007, all 72 counties in the state had positive changes in equalized property values. Menominee and St. Croix counties had the largest boost, with 10 percent each, and counties in south central and southeast Wisconsin had “strong and consistent gains,” from 5 percent in Waukesha County to 8 percent in Dane County. 

See the report: 

— Apartment renters in West Allis had the highest annual rent increase in July of any Wisconsin city, reaching $1,043 per month. 

That’s from the latest rent report from RentCafe, an online real estate analysis company. It shows apartments in Brookfield had the highest average rent in the state in July, at $1,539; while Racine had the lowest average rent, at $814. Wisconsin cities generally have lower rent than the national average. 

The report shows the average July rent in West Allis was up more than 13 percent over the year, while Greenfield apartments hit $1,070 for the second-highest increase of 5.7 percent. 

Rents in Sun Prairie reached $1,093 in July, marking the smallest year-over-year growth, with 2.1 percent. 

By comparison, the average national rent was up by 3.4 percent over the year, reaching $1,469 in July. 

See the report: 

— A clinical trial network for cancer in Wisconsin is getting about $15.6 million in funding over the next six years from the National Cancer Institute. 

The Wisconsin National Community Oncology Research Program, or WiNCORP, is a partnership between Marshfield Clinic Health System, Gundersen Health System and ThedaCare — the newest member of this effort. 

Gundersen and MCHS previously worked with the National Cancer Institute as part of the Community Clinical Oncology Program, which came before the NCORP program. Marshfield and Gundersen joined in 1983 and 2011, respectively, while ThedaCare joined WiNCORP earlier this year. 

According to a release, the latest funds mark the second time WiNCORP has received this award from NCI. 

“We have participated in hundreds of clinical trials that have made a huge difference to our patients since we received the initial award,” said Dr. Adedayo Onitilo, medical director for cancer care and research at MCHS, and principal investigator for the clinical trial network. 

See the release from ThedaCare: 

See the MCHS release: 

— C&D Technologies will be laying off 158 workers at its Milwaukee location according to a notice from the state Department of Workforce Development. 

The battery manufacturer plans to start laying off workers Oct. 4. All the layoffs are taking place under the collective bargaining agreement with the local chapter of the United Steelworkers union. 

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— UW-Madison has named Elizabeth Nugent as the university’s new chief clinical research officer and the inaugural director of clinical trials development and accreditation. 

Starting Sept. 3, Nugent will lead clinical research efforts at UW Health and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. 

See the release: 


# Gov. Evers creates Office of Clean Energy to achieve carbon-free electricity goal–547286671.html

# Latest DNC plans would have convention center used for caucuses, media compound

# Milwaukee DNC president Liz Gilbert thrives on politics, conventions

# Food production industry is strong amid farm troubles, report states



– Bank survey: WI farmland values continue to hold steady

– DBA calls ATCP 51 changes ‘unfair’ to dairy farmers

– With funding for mental health programs stalled, farmers search for solutions


– Milwaukee to seek housing developer for Bay View lot

– Milwaukee’s Wisconsin Center expansion advances

– Wisconsin gains 800 construction jobs in July

– Greenfire apparent low bidder for Waukesha city hall


– Equalized value of residential, ag properties on the rise


– WEDC awards nearly $1 million to UWM-led Freshwater Collaborative, Connected Systems Institute


– Big rig truck show in Chippewa Falls revs up with demolition derby


– Pressure Chamber contest returns at 10th annual Forward Festival


– Bublr Bikes names new executive director


– Gov. Tony Evers: Wisconsin will be carbon neutral by 2050

– GOP Twitter block will cost Wisconsin taxpayers $200,000


– Borrowing plan for proposed Wisconsin Center expansion takes step forward

– Trombetta HQ in Milwaukee sold for $5 million

– Menomonee Valley execs like idea of dropping 16th Street viaduct down to Canal Street


– C&D Technologies to close its Milwaukee plant


– DNC host committee to launch venue portal next week

– Borrowing for $300 million Milwaukee convention center expansion advances


– Study: Milwaukee’s commute time among nation’s lowest

– Right track for commerce: Expanding Hiawatha service critical to Milwaukee businesses

– Months of flooding on Mississippi River marooned Midwest trade


– Evers sets up new office to reach carbon-free goal


– Tom Still: Rural economic challenges call for mix of solutions


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

ThedaCare: National Cancer Institute funds Wisconsin clinical trial network

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce: Nine companies win Business Friend of the Environment Award

UW-Madison: Moves up in 2019 worldwide ranking of universities