Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
State of Sound is back & even bigger. Get tix for the next show!

Milwaukee's Public Policy Forum celebrates 100 years

"It's pretty unique to have a group that has been around 100 years, but also has roots in Socialism"

         Jeff Bentoff, Author "Just The Facts: The 100- Year History of Milwaukee's Public Policy Forum"


"There was a movement to bring a scientific, impartial, independent, research based view towards how to improve government, " says Bentoff. "What was unique in 1910 was that local government was a socialist government. The Mayor and Common Council were about reform and good government," He continues, "they didn’t' like corruption. They created a group called the Milwaukee City Bureau of Economy and Efficiency". 


The group ran for two years, making recommendations on ways to help the city save money and run more efficiently.


When the next non-Socialist Mayor was elected, he disbanded the group. After pressure from the businesses and citizens of Milwaukee, a new, more independent group was formed. That group has been around for the last 100 years, researching and affecting change in all aspects of public policy.


"They really pride themselves most of the time in the 100 years of being a research group for the government to act on, offering alternatives versus lobbying and pushing something specific," Bentoff explains. "The Public Policy Forum and its predecessors lived by a few principles: independence, being non-partisan and providing the best possible research and letting government take credit for changes being made."


Become a member or learn more about how the research the Public Policy Forum is doing today by following them on Facebook or online at


A digital version of the book is available free as a PDF download