In #RaiseMKE

The Common Council will vote on a masks ordinance Monday afternoon.

Ahead of vote, MKE businesses call on Common Council, mayor to pass mask mandate

With the Milwaukee Common Council set to vote on a citywide mask ordinance on Monday, more than 80 local businesses and organizations – including OnMilwaukee – reiterated their support for a mask mandate for public spaces in order to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"As the Covid-19 pandemic grows in Wisconsin and rages across the country, now is the time for the Common Council and mayor to enact this life-saving measure," states the open letter, signed by Visit Milwaukee, Fiserv Forum, the Pabst Theater Group, Marquette University, the Milwaukee Independent Restaurant Coalition and many more local businesses and organizations.

A coalition of local businesses previously wrote an open letter on June 30, calling on city leaders to enact a mask requirement. An ordinance – titled "MKE Cares," sponsored by Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic – was later introduced on July 6 and approved by the Public Safety and Health Committee last Thursday, requiring a mask or face covering on any person in an indoor public space, as well as a mask or face covering on any person when within six feet of another person in a outdoor public space.

The ordinance goes to the entire Common Council for a final vote during a special session at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, July 13. If it passes, the mandate will go to Mayor Tom Barrett for a signature, veto or unsigned return – though Barrett has already voiced his approval for a mask ordinance for the city.

"We believe the passage of this ordinance will result in the vast majority of people complying voluntarily, as they have already done for 10 years with Wisconsin's no-smoking law," writes the letter. "With this law on the books, we will have leverage needed to educate patrons about the requirement or ask them to leave if necessary.

"Milwaukee residents and businesses cannot afford to wait for you to act. We urge council members to vote in favor of this legislation on Monday and for the mayor to sign it into law as soon as possible."

The full letter can be found below – and stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more updates.

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