Barrett to make State of the City address

Posted at 10:25 PM, Feb 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-08 10:42:33-05


Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says Monday's State of the City speech will be filled with examples of how Milwaukee is making strides.

His examples include achieving the highest employment rate since 2001.

But Barrett is also forced to address a growing problem -- car thefts. It's a problem that has reached an alarming rate in Milwaukee.

According to Milwaukee Police, there were 7,340 stolen vehicles in 2015. The top vehicles sought by thieves were the Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country, Honda Civic, Honda Accord and Plymouth Voyagers.

“I have been talking a lot recently about the need to make sure that there are sanctions, meaningful sanctions, for repeat car thefts in particular,” said Barrett. 

To really tackle this problem, some people in Milwaukee feel the city needs to address education and poverty, which they believe are at the core of the car thefts and gun violence.

“I think there is a disparity in the level of education throughout the city and that I think that impacts everything,” said Milwaukee resident Gregg Johansen.

“Is the problem people living in such extreme conditions that violence is a viable means for them to achieve what they're trying to achieve?” asked Caitlyn Taylor.

With a mayoral election right around the corner, Barrett may feel good knowing residents also believe this problem of car thefts is systemic.

“If there was one thing I could change, it would be greater and more efficient communication from all our civic leaders,” said Mark Boucher.

While Barrett plans to talk about these tough issues, he says it's not going to derail him from moving his city forward.

"We are going to talk about some of the momentum that's going on in the city. We want the positive momentum,” Barrett said.