University of Wisconsin–Madison
DreamUp Wisconsin Hero with Logo

The Alliance for the American Dream: DreamUp Wisconsin

IRP is thrilled to lead this bold, new initiative, and to marshal the abundant intellectual and creative resources of this campus and this community to improve the lives of families in Dane County and beyond, in concrete ways. This is both a practical and visionary expression of the Wisconsin Idea, and we are anxious to begin.

Lawrence Berger, director of IRP and a professor in the School of Social Work

Community Comments

DreamUp Wisconsin is a university and community collaboration—that’s pretty unique—and it’s a way to figure out how to get about 4,000 more dollars into the hands of struggling families by 2020 by raising income or cutting costs like childcare or health care.

Amanda Quintana, WISC-TV
Channel 3000, May 16, 2018

The margins of error are so slim for so many families; a 10 percent increase in income can make a difference in helping families achieve their stability and lifelong goals.

Renee Moe, United Way of Dane County CEO
The Capital Times, May 17, 2018

“Our intent is not to create a new, separate community process, but rather to support the terrific ongoing community work and networks in Dane County and to work together to create feasible proposals for expanding and stabilizing the middle class. The process is intended to produce a set of fleshed-out, shovel ready plans that can then be implemented in the county.”

—IRP Director Lawrence Berger
The Daily Cardinal, May 20, 2018

“We hope to reach out across all communities and make this as diverse as we can. Clearly there’s divisions by race, there’s divisions by ethnicity, there’s divisions by geography when you look at incomes in Dane County. And one of the questions here is do we have some ideas as to what would work across all of those different areas? So I think the things we might end up test piloting are the ideas that we think will be really promising to decrease those divisions.”

—University of Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank

“Though Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is as low as it’s been in years (2.9% in April), pockets of the state remain virtually untouched by the good times.”

—David D. Haynes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
May 18, 2018

Noted in the News

Kathryn Larson, “$13 Million Grant Proposal Hopes to Raise Wage for Dane County Childcare Workers,” Spectrum News, February 13, 2019.

Amanda Quintana, “UW launches ‘DreamUp’ initiative to collect ideas from community to raise income of middle class,” Channel 3000, May 16, 2018.

Lisa Speckhard Pasque, “UW–Madison will partner with community to raise incomes of 10,000 Dane County families by 2020,” The Cap Times, May 17, 2018.

Mark Sommerhauser, “UW–Madison joins former Google chairman’s group to boost incomes in Dane County,” Wisconsin State Journal, May 17, 2018.

David D. Haynes, “UW–Madison competing for former Google CEO’s cash in a bid to boost middle-class income,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 18, 2018.

Robyn Cawley, “UW administrators, Madison community join forces to seek poverty solution in Dane County,” The Daily Cardinal, May 20, 2018.

Nicholas Garton, “‘DreamUp Wisconsin’ initiative looks to bolster middle class,” Madison 365, May 21, 2018.

Alliance sites are funded by Schmidt Futures.