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.
- May 15th, 2015 by Michael Horne
- May 6th, 2015 by Dave Reid
- Apr 21st, 2015 by Jabril Faraj
- Apr 12th, 2015 by Edgar Mendez
- Feb 13th, 2015 by Michael Horne
- Feb 10th, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
Press Releases Referencing Jose G. Perez
Jun 9th, 2015 by Jose Perez
A team of Milwaukee public officials will face off against business leaders from around the city in a basketball game and charity event to benefit Autism Speaks on Saturday, June 13 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Journey House.
May 22nd, 2015 by Jose Perez
Statement of Alderman José G. Pérez May 22, 2015
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.”