Alderman José G. Pérez represents the 12th District on Milwaukee’s South Side, and won the April 2012 election against incumbent Jim Witkowiak.
Perez grew up in the district he now serves, at S. 10th and W. Walker streets, and was the oldest of two children. He told the Journal Sentinel his grandfather came from Puerto Rico in the early 1950s when agents from the Grede Foundry went to the island to recruit labor.
According to his official biography, Perez dropped out of high school and started college at age 26, after early work experience ranged from investigating welfare fraud to developing gang prevention and youth development programs for non-profit organizations. Perez later enrolled at Cardinal Stritch University and was the first Latino Student Government Association President and the first recipient of the Multi-Cultural Image Award that is now institutionalized at the university. He also served as an intern for Congressman Gerald Kleczka in Washington D.C. through the Hispanic Congressional Caucus Institute (1996), for Milwaukee Mayor John O. Norquist (1997) and for the Milwaukee City Clerk’s office (1998). Perez obtained a B.A. in political science from Cardinal Stritch in May 1999.
Perez soon became MICAH’s executive director and led the organization in creating the Good Jobs and Livable Neighborhoods Coalition, a group of labor and community organizations that worked to ensure the Park East Land Corridor development would benefit the entire city. He also served as Hispanic/Latino Advisory Committee member for former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold.
In February 2004, José joined the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrialized Organizations as a National Field Representative, and he next joined the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development (DCD) in January 2006. He served DCD as an Economic Development Specialist working on business development, real estate development, planning, permitting and public housing until September 2009. Jose then became a Program Officer for the City of Milwaukee’s Community Development Grants Administration, where he managed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects.
In addition to his university studies, José pursued many educational programs, attending several institutes and receiving certifications in finance, real estate, economic development, multicultural entrepreneurship, youth service, management skills and advanced leadership. Perez received The Business Journal’s Forty under 40 Community Leadership Award in 2008.
Though Pérez says he does not support the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin’s pending lawsuit against the city in regard to women and minority enterprise programs, he otherwise supports the overall goals of the HCCW.
Articles Referencing José G. Pérez
Feb 12th, 2014 by Michael Horne
The changes aren't radical but big winner is Ald. Kovac, who becomes chair of Finance and vice-chair of Steering and Rules.
Feb 2nd, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
Haven't got your fix with the Super Bowl? Gamble with friends on who will be the next council president.
Dec 8th, 2013 by Michael Horne
The fundraiser for Rep. Mandela Barnes, just two days before his namesake Nelson Mandela died, had a big turnout.
Oct 16th, 2013 by Michael Horne
Like Abe Lincoln, Richards has been practicing law all across the state in preparation for his run.
Oct 14th, 2013 by Urban Milwaukee
Despite rainy weather, Mayor Barrett and a host of politicians celebrated the new bike trail.
Aug 25th, 2013 by Michael Horne
His tiny lot and 840 square-foot home make him a true man of the people. And not much of a gardener.
Press Releases Referencing José G. Pérez
Feb 24th, 2014 by Tom Barrett
Milwaukee February 24, 2014 As Prepared for Delivery
Dec 5th, 2013 by Robert Bauman
A public bike-sharing system for the City of Milwaukee picked up the endorsement of a key Common Council committee on Wednesday.
Oct 29th, 2013 by Bob Donovan
News release from Alds. Bob Donovan and Jose G. Perez
Oct 21st, 2013 by Jose Perez
Reappointed Fire and Police Commission member Kathryn A. Hein and new Commission appointee Steven M. DeVougas will take part in a public forum tomorrow (Tuesday, October 22) evening at La Luz del Mundo Family Services, 1570 W. Greenfield Ave.
Oct 2nd, 2013 by Jose Perez
Aimed at giving Milwaukee fathers the tools they need and providing some dads with a much-needed second chance, the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative Summit kicks off this weekend with resource fairs, informational sessions and much more. The theme of this year’s eighth annual Fatherhood Summit is “Changing Milwaukee through Male Empowerment.” The event will be held […]
Sep 25th, 2013 by Jose Perez
Statement from Alderman José G. Pérez September 25, 2013