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MILWAUKEE — As Milwaukee looks ahead to the Spring Election and the mayoral race, one of the issues the candidates will need to tackle is the city’s shrinking population. Milwaukee as a whole is losing residents. If you compare Wisconsin’s two largest cities, Milwaukee and Madison, one is growing while the other is shrinking.

In the last decade, according to the U.S. Census, Milwaukee’s population has gone down from about 595,000 residents to 577,000 people who call the city home. That is a drop of about 18,000 people. When compared to Madison, that city has seen an increase of nearly 37,000 people. It is why organizations like VISIT Milwaukee are looking to bring in people.

“Everything begins with a visit. So if we get people to come and be visitors here, be a tourist here, that might encourage them to be a resident someday,” said Joshua Albrecht, vice president of marketing and communications for VISIT Milwaukee.

The organization has a target in mind of who that could be. It is trying to get people in the Midwest who live about six hours away to come here. Specifically, people living in the Minneapolis area.

“This May we are going to be distributing more than 48,000 copies to direct homes in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market as we look to expand into the Minnesota market,” said Joshua Albrecht of VISIT Milwaukee on where they are sending the Milwaukee magazine.

One of the places they hope people will visit is the Bronzeville neighborhood on Milwaukee’s near west side. In January, that neighborhood made the New York Times top 52 places in the world to visit.

That neighborhood has seen a revitalization in the last decade.

The vice chair of the Bronzeville Advisory Committee, Deshea Agee, says the Black Holocaust Museum reopened, the former Gimbels department store is being redeveloped for offices and the Bronzeville Center for the Arts plans to create a cultural center.

“It is becoming that area of attraction for African American arts and culture that it was intended to be years ago,” said Agee.


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