Marquette Law School to launch Lubar Center with first look at new Milwaukee Area Project

October 17, 2017

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, and former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will be among the featured guests as Marquette Law School formally launches the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education with a conference on Tuesday, Oct. 24, beginning at 8:15 a.m. The half-day conference will unveil the center's first major initiative, the Milwaukee Area Project.

The Milwaukee Area Project will be a continuing initiative of the Lubar Center, with the following purposes:

  • Provide a forum for discussion, debate, and understanding of regional policy issues.
  • Support original surveys, through the Marquette Law School Poll, of public opinion in the area, focusing on local and regional issues and perceptions of the region.
  • Inform and educate the public about the condition of the region and relationships among locales within it.
  • Provide the public, elected officials, businesses, and nonprofits with up-to-date data and analysis of economic, demographic, and social conditions in the area.

The Milwaukee Area Project thus seeks, for the benefit of the public, to examine and report on public opinion, public policy, and conditions throughout the region — or, more simply, to examine what we think, how we live, and where we're headed.

In this particular conference, Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy at Marquette Law School, and Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll, will provide the results of a special poll of public opinion in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington and Racine counties. The conference will also introduce the Lubar Center's efforts — through the Milwaukee Area Project — to collect and analyze key demographic and economic data as part of an effort to better understand what's happening in the five-county area and why.

Barrett and Farrow will continue the discussion by offering their visions for the area's future. The conference's keynote address will be delivered by former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who currently is president and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation.

The conference is open to the public at no cost. Registration is required and available online. Members of the media who are interested in attending should contact Chris Jenkins in the Office of Marketing and Communication at (414) 288-4745 or

In April, the Law School announced that, with the support of Sheldon and Marianne Lubar, it would establish the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education. The Lubars gave a gift of $5.5 million, amplifying their previous gift of $1.5 million in 2010. Through public programming such as the Marquette Law School Poll, debates featuring candidates in significant political races, Mike Gousha's "On the Issues" conversations with newsmakers, public lectures by leading scholars and conferences on significant issues of public importance, the Law School serves as the region's leading venue for serious civil discourse about law and public policy matters.