LIFT Dane Year-End Update

December 17, 2020

Dear Friends and Supporters,

           It is difficult to believe that the year of the Dream Up win is almost over. In 2019 at the end of June, we were on a high from LIFT’s win in New York with our idea of increasing the prosperity of low and middle-income Wisconsinites with a groundbreaking mobile app. In 2020, that app is becoming a reality. 

           It is a reality because, not only did Schmidt Futures, the philanthropic initiative co-founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, believe in us, but so have you. Everyone with whom we have shared our vision has strongly supported it, realizing that change only occurs when we are creative and visionary, but also rooted in our community.

         Today people across the State of Wisconsin are able to use the LIFT app to clear old criminal and eviction records eligible for removal that show up on CCAP (Wisconsin’s online Circuit Court Access Program). At the same time, those in Dane County can click a button that offers them employment and training resources. Our technology partner, Theory & Principle, is hard at work developing a similar tool to scan criminal records. Both the Department of Transportation and Department of Children and Families have committed to working with us in 2021 to data share so that users of the app will be able to access driver’s license and child support records.

           LIFT Dane is made up of an amazing collaboration consisting of the U.W. Law School’s Economic Justice Institute’s civil legal clinics and Center for Patient Partnerships (CPP), Legal Action of Wisconsin (LAW), the Employment and Training Association (EATA), and you! We are so grateful for those who believed in us when we were still just a concept, including the CUNA Mutual Foundation, the Alliant Energy Foundation, Diane Ballweg, and Sandy Ambrozy, whose grants and personal donations have supported our learning, outreach, and development. 

           As we move forward, we also are grateful for on-going support, such as a second year of funding from the CUNA Mutual Foundation to support full development and rollout of our driver’s license suspension app, and donations from The Nimick Forbesway Foundation, Attorney Don Becker, and the Alliant Energy Foundation that are providing the seed money to fund our new driver’s license reinstatement fund. Soon, eligible drivers will be able to overcome the last hurdle of reinstating their license by having the $60.00 reinstatement fee paid by LIFT Dane. We are grateful for the funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Project’s Community Impact Grant, which will allow us to expand our reach, first to Racine, and then to other parts of Wisconsin.

           All of us at LIFT Dane appreciate your support. We ask you for two things. First, let us know whether we can list you as a supporter on our website by clicking here. And please continue to financially support us as we strive to become LIFT Wisconsin by making your donation here. Thank you.

Happy Holidays,

Marsha M. Mansfield

Director, LIFT Dane