Worker Power Levels the Playing Field: Community Benefits for Public Subsidies in the Iron District

  • March 22, 2023
  • Pablo Aquiles-Sanchez, and Laura Dresser

In May 2022, Kenosha-based Bear Development and Kacmarcik Enterprises announced plans to begin work on a soccer stadium accompanied by ancillary, mixed-use developments – “The Iron District” – in downtown Milwaukee. This report centers the question of how to ensure true community benefits from public investment in private interests such as the Iron District. If local political leaders commit public money to private projects in Milwaukee, then political leaders must secure and advance the public interest. A strong Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) is the most certain and robust way for communities to obtain real and lasting returns from large-scale private developments.