As I have mentioned in the past, I grew up in a union household. In fact, it was a government employee union household. My stepdad is a retired firefighter and I still think of home when I see the symbol of the International Association of Firefighters. It was on the window of the family car.
Dad stressed a few things. We should root for the Packers, support Democrats and hate residency requirements. Two out of three stuck (and Dad lost his affinity for Democrats so I can hardly be read out of the will). Ironically, we were made to live in Greenfield, not Milwaukee.
The family struggle with residency continues. My daughter-in-law is an MPS teacher and so she and my son had to buy a home in Milwaukee. My sister is an administrator and has had to do the same thing. It's hard for me to approach the issue without a lot of baggage.
The argument that one must live in a city to understand the problem of its residents is specious. Few of the police and teachers here in Mequon live in the city and they seem to do a fine job. Within Milwaukee, city and MPS employees tend to live in public employee "ghettos" which most decidedly do not share the problems of the city at large. These neighborhoods tend to be low crime (a cop is to be found in every other house)and the children either attend private schools or are placed by their teacher parent in one of the relatively few MPS schools that do not share the problems that exist system wide, such as German Immersion (wo mein Enkelsohn Aiden ist im erste Grad.)
But the argument that, without residency, the city would lose a lot of middle class residents is not as easy to dismiss. It might. Part of the problem is MPS although - at least before high school - teachers, at least, seem able to get their kids into one of a few good schools. The other is taxes. Both of these issues have contributed to a significant exodus of the middle class already. Residency is an effort to stem the tide.
But it's not a very good one. You cannot maintain a thriving middle class by taxing the middle class to pay middle class wages. There must be some source of revenue other than what the government extracts from its citizens and pays back to them. Leah Vukmir is right. The problem with collapsing cities like Detroit is not that the middle class has left. It's what made them leave.