The Milwaukee public has until April 5 to learn about and vote for outstanding community projects in Milwaukee, to recognize innovative projects that improving local neighborhoods.

The Wells People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Wells Fargo, is an online voting campaign highlighting fifteen projects nominated and selected by a volunteer Selection Committee. Three People’s Choice Award winners will be announced at the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation on April 6, at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. Winners will receive $1,000 and the People’s Choice Award.

The Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDIs) recognize individuals, organizations, and projects that enrich central city neighborhoods. The awards pay tribute to the people and organizations working tirelessly to make Milwaukee a great place to live, learn, work and grow.

“We need more opportunities to learn about and recognize the passionate, talented people working to improve Milwaukee neighborhoods. The stories are remarkable, and the People’s Choice Award allows the broader public to show support for these unsung heroes,” said Dawn Hutchison-Weiss, Communications Director, of LISC Milwaukee.

The online voting campaign will run from March 27 to April 5. Each entry is featured with an article and video on the voting site. Hosted by US Bank, the MANDIs will be held on Thursday, April 6, at the Potawatomi Event Center.

Since 1999, LISC Milwaukee has hosted the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI). The MANDIs highlight the unsung heroes working hard to revitalize Milwaukee’s most distressed urban neighborhoods. This Oscar-style event is attended by 800 civic leaders including neighborhood residents, nonprofits, private sector leaders, and elected officials. The MANDIs have grown into the premier event for the community development world, and it tells the much-needed story of what’s positive in Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. The MANDI Selection Committee includes a panel of 40 volunteers.

MANDI 2017 Finalists:

Finalists for Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award: a public space that helps build the community.

  • Green Tree Community Garden
  • Johnson Park Revitalization
  • Journey House Community Garden

Finalists for BMO Harris Cornerstone Award: recognizes an organization for their commitment and effectiveness over time.

  • City on a Hill
  • Milwaukee Christian Center
  • Silver Spring Neighborhood Center

Finalists for Northern Trust Navigator Award: recognizes an individual for leadership and collaboration.

  • Diane De La Santos, City on a Hill
  • Gretchen Mead, Victory Garden Initiative
  • Darryl Johnson, Riverworks Development Corporation

Finalists for PNC Bank Trail Blazer Award: recognizes an innovative approach to a community problem.

  • Wally Schmidt Tavern Redevelopment
  • Arts@Large Fill The Gaps
  • LBWN Home Improvement Matching Grants

Finalists for State Farm Building Blocks Award: recognizes a real estate project that advances the community.

  • Innovations and Wellness Commons Phase I
  • Milwaukee TechForce Training Center
  • Milwaukee Asian Public Market Phongsavan
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Lee Matz