Milwaukee elects first Black mayor, Cavalier Johnson | WUWM 89.7 FM

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Tuesday evening, Milwaukee elected a Black mayor for the primary time — the town’s first new mayor in 18 years. Appearing Mayor Cavalier Johnson received in a sweeping victory.

Milwaukee had one different Black appearing mayor, Marvin Pratt. He stepped into the function in 2004, when Mayor John Norquist left the submit. However Pratt misplaced to Tom Barrett, who served as mayor till this previous December. Barrett resigned to turn out to be U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.

Democrat Cavalier Johnson handily beat his opponent, former alderman Bob Donovan, who was backed by conservatives.

The 35-year-old served as an alderman and customary council president and has freely shared tales of rising up in Milwaukee’s roughest neighborhoods and altering faculties typically.

At a victory social gathering in Milwaukee’s downtown Tuesday evening, Johnson thanked the Black leaders who got here earlier than him. “Of us like Vel Phillips. Of us like Gwen Moore, Isaac and Marcia Coggs, Mayor Marvin Pratt and so, so many extra. Most significantly, I need to thanks, I need to thank Milwaukee’s voters. It’s due to you that after 176-year historical past on this metropolis, a Black man can arise and say that I have been elected to function our mayor.”

Johnson addressed Milwaukee’s Black and brown youth and stated that irrespective of the place they reside or how properly off they’re, and irrespective of the colour of their pores and skin, there’s a spot for them in Milwaukee.

He additionally turned to the problems he says he’s been concentrating on on the marketing campaign path and can deal with within the months and years to come back. “We bought to deal with our disaster of gun violence and unsafe streets. We have to restore our neighborhoods. We have to create jobs and develop our metropolis. And we additionally have to restore the damaged relationship that we’ve with state authorities.”

Johnson stated he desires to listen to from everybody — from small enterprise homeowners to union staff to lecturers and nurses — about how you can do this stuff, and that no thought is just too small.

As Johnson famous in his speech, public security will likely be a key challenge going ahead, as the town has seen an uptick in homicides resulting from gun violence.

It was additionally a precedence for others at his victory social gathering, like Hearldean George, a retired MPS instructor. “He undoubtedly wants to deal with the protection in our metropolis. So so far as so many homicides, fixed shootings and the driving scenario is completely unacceptable,” George stated.

Some, like Dustin Klein, pointed to public security, but additionally increasing transportation choices and enhancing training and financial alternative. “As a result of you already know, one of many largest issues for me as an adolescent, I am 31 years previous, is I’ve watched so a lot of my buddies go away the town due to the mind drain that we have had because of the, you already know, alluring cities like Nashville in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. Milwaukee must be a vacation spot that extra folks like me need to come to,” Klein stated.

There have been many Democratic leaders, elected officers and candidates on the victory social gathering as properly, together with state Rep. Supreme Moore Omokunde.

He famous that it will likely be necessary for Johnson to deal with Milwaukee’s impending pension disaster, by encouraging the state Legislature to extend shared income funds to the town. “The Metropolis of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County is sending thousands and thousands extra in {dollars} to the state than we get again. And because the phrase goes for the financial engine of the state, and we’re solely getting a portion, a fraction of what we’re sending to the state,” he stated.

Cavalier Johnson’s distinction as the primary Black mayor elected in Milwaukee hasn’t essentially meant public backing from all prime Black officers.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a number of Black widespread council members stated they didn’t really feel Johnson had executed sufficient to succeed in out to them over his almost two-year time period as council president.

One other former council president, Ashanti Hamilton, even endorsed Johnson’s opponent, Bob Donovan.

Earlier than the votes had been counted Tuesday, Alderwoman Milele Coggs issued an announcement, urging the subsequent mayor to construct a cupboard that displays the range of the town.

Coggs famous Milwaukee could be getting its first new chief in twenty years, and she or he hopes the mayor will “seize this large alternative.”

Johnson will function mayor by way of 2024, the rest of former mayor Barrett’s time period.

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