Let the people decide.

That’s the message a diverse coalition of Milwaukee residents and elected officials — led by two veteran aldermen running for mayor — is sending to Mayor Tom Barrett and his allies in the push to build a costly downtown Milwaukee streetcar system.

Aldermen Joe Davis and Robert Donovan, opponents in next year’s mayoral election, have put aside their political differences to form United for Milwaukee. The group seeks to pass a local ordinance requiring all rail transit spending over $20 million be approved by referendum. Barrett’s streetcar plan would exceed that dollar figure many times over.

“There are certainly any number of things that may divide the city of Milwaukee and its citizens, but this (referendum campaign) quite possibly could be the one issue that brings us together,” Donovan told Wisconsin Reporter Monday in announcing the campaign.

“This is not a one-man show, not a two-man show, with me and Alderman Davis. This is a community effort, and I am pleased that this coalition is coming together to hopefully restore some common sense to decision-making in Milwaukee,” Donovan said.

But the coalition has its work cut out for it.

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