Michael J. Mathias has a solution for problems in Milwaukee. He thinks that we should move there. I actually agree. Not that I think all people of good will must move to Milwaukee, but there is no way that the city can succeed unless it can attract the middle class.
But here's the problem. As Mayor Norquist used to say, a great city cannot be built on charity. And people will not move into the city unless they believe that they are safe, that their children will be well educated, that they won't be taxed into dust and that their property values won't collapse. You can argue that they ought to have "the courage" to be "urban pioneers" in the face of these concerns or you can criticize the reluctant for being whiners who selfishly care about the well being of their family, but that won't change a thing.
I agree that a good deal of what is said about Milwaukee being unsafe is overblown (parts are), but, after almost 40 years of watching politics (I started to go nerdy at a very young age), convincing people who are concerned for their safety that they should not be is like trying to stir concrete with a blade of grass.
It seems to me that friends of the city too often forget the need to consider the impact of urban policies on making the city attractive for and friendly to the middle class.