Let’s Continue to Do What He Would Have Done

A tribute to the memory of Phil Hauck

Our community celebrates the life of Phil Hauck, 1942-2023, Envision president 2006-07, 2022-23.
A mentor and cherished friend to so many, Phil chose to be exceptional. He did nothing half-way – and he brought the rest of us along. It was only his understated and modest demeanor that kept him from being recognized as a giant in Green Bay’s economic landscape. Phil placed great importance on fostering foresight as the best-known way to secure happy, prosperous futures. A dedicated advocate for the future of Northeast Wisconsin, he created the community, the action, the passion, and commitment he wanted, and we all needed – and we are all better for it. His energy, inspiration and leadership were legend. We will miss his focus and his dedication to our community and its prosperous future. We will miss his humble curiosity, but our sense of loss is tempered by a greater sense of gratitude. Click tribute to Phil Hauck.

“Hollowing Out The State”

Heidi Selberg, Envision Board Member and Upward Mobility Signals Team

Our team’s previous reports have shown the importance of public policy in supporting upward mobility.  Judy Nagel’s reports have outlined international comparisons, demonstrating that several government policies related to childcare, health, and other matters are critical to those countries’ higher rates of upward mobility. But what if upward mobility in the U.S. is not accelerating because our institutions are becoming weaker?


Transportation: the Very Definition is Changing!

Heidi Selberg, Envision Board member Upward Mobility Signals Team

Access to transportation has been identified by the Urban Institute and others as a critical factor in boosting upward mobility.  But what happens when the definition of access to transportation changes? How do cities and rural areas respond? What infrastructure is necessary, and what becomes obsolete? And what are the implications for the environment?

These questions and others are addressed in a recent report in the Washington Post.  In ‘I’ll call an Uber or 911’: Why Gen Z Doesn’t Want to Drive, reporter Shannon Osaka notes declining rates of car ownership among Gen Z (born 1996-2012) and fewer getting their driver’s licenses in their teens – if at all. Reasons include the costs of car ownership, anxiety about driving and possible accidents, and environmental concerns.  The availability of transportation alternatives makes it easier not to have a driver’s license or one’s own vehicle – and public transportation is not necessarily the primary alternative. E-scooters, e-bikes, ride-sharing, and on-line alternatives all provide options to driving a traditional vehicle to be with others. 

Will it last? Will the trend materialize in less urban areas? And does this change the model for public transportation? Perhaps it already has, as municipalities develop agreements with scooter and bike companies to offer short term use of such vehicles. Another trend to watch!