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 Jose G. Perez
Feb 13th, 2015 by Michael Horne
The mayor, business leaders and pols toasted the streetcar in Cudahy's Irish Pub, with Michael Cudahy on hand.
Feb 10th, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
After years of debate, streetcar will finally move forward. Final engineering will begin immediately, and construction by the end of the year.
Feb 2nd, 2015 by Michael Horne
Politicians, PR people and other notables schmoozed away. The best rumor was that Chief Flynn might be retiring.
Jan 22nd, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
Eleven out of 15 aldermanic districts, and 76 percent of all respondents support the proposed streetcar starter system.
Jan 21st, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
Large majority votes to approve streetcar, but parliamentary maneuver puts issue on hold until February 10th meeting.
Jan 20th, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
Aldermen Witkowski and Perez now favor it, and touted plan to extend the line into their south-side districts.
Press Releases Referencing Jose G. Perez
Mar 31st, 2015 by Jose Perez
Meeting on Wednesday will provide info about “troubling” developments
Mar 13th, 2015 by City of Milwaukee
Building on the momentum generated by activity in neighboring Walker’s Point and the Menomonee Valley, the Department of City Development, Alderman Jose Perez and the Walker Square Neighborhood Association are working with residents, business owners and other neighborhood stakeholders to develop a neighborhood Action Plan for Walker Square.
Mar 12th, 2015 by Jose Perez
Community meeting to be held to discuss city's ideas for housing, public spaces, commercial areas, bicycles and pedestrians
Mar 6th, 2015 by Jose Perez
“Milwaukee is fortunate to have a growing population of small business owners from the Spanish-speaking community.”
Jan 19th, 2015 by Terry Witkowski
Several members of the Milwaukee Common Council and a member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors will hold a news conference Tuesday.
Dec 22nd, 2014 by Ashanti Hamilton
Joint Statement from Common Council members Ashanti Hamilton, Russell W. Stamper II, Milele A. Coggs, Willie C. Wade and José G Pérez