CHICAGO — The mayors of Milwaukee, Wis., and Gary, Ind., said they hope to ramp up regional collaboration with each other and Chicago in an effort to shed the “Rust Belt” moniker for a thriving “Fresh Coast” reputation.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and new Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson touted the region’s strengths and pointed to opportunities for partnership during a luncheon in downtown Chicago sponsored by the Metropolitan Planning Council, a nonprofit group that focuses on regional economic development.

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