"Milwaukee felt like it would give us room to create and thrive, and we weren’t wrong."
Where do you work and what makes your role awesomesauce?
I have the most humbling, exhilarating, exhausting and rewarding job I can think of! I am a candidate for Alderwoman in Milwaukee’s 14th District, which is comprised of several South Side neighborhoods — Bay View, Ohio Park, Polonia, and parts of others like Lincoln Village and Tippecanoe.
I spend each day, ahead of the April 5 election, talking to as many voters as possible, thousands of doorstep interviews for a job I would absolutely be honored to have. Something happens each day that reminds me of why I’ve taken this road, and of the trust that I am asking people to share with me.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee and what brought you here?
I have lived in Milwaukee for almost 10 years. After my oldest son was born, we thought long and hard about where to grow our family and professional careers. Extended family brought us here, but so did the excitement that pervades the restaurant scene, reimagined warehouses, and vital lakefront. Milwaukee felt like it would give us room to create and thrive, and we weren’t wrong.
What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
Our public Montessori Schools! Many people know that MPS has Montessori Schools, but fewer know how rare it is for this amazing educational method to be free and accessible in most cities. Milwaukee has the largest public Montessori sector in the country, including Howard Avenue Montessori that I helped to open when I served on the MPS School Board.
A sense of urgency.
I think many of us could rattle off the discouraging statistics we see about our city — segregation, educational disparities, childhood poverty, and more — but I’m not sure how much these are going to change if we don’t all commit, today, to participating in that change.
What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
I live in Bay View, right by Humboldt Park. From the July 4th fireworks that we can see from our window to the family reunion feel of each week at the Farmer’s Market, Bay View is certainly the right place for a community-oriented person like me!
Besides that we are concerned about each other as a community, Bay View is full of people who make Milwaukee work. Teachers, entrepreneurs, city employees and artists abound. I’m struck every day by how proud Bay Viewers are of their neighborhood, and how much Milwaukee’s future is on their minds.
What do you think is going to be a game changer for the city in the year of 2016?
In the world of local politics, we will have leadership that is new or that has survived close elections at the mayoral and county level, plus a number of young, progressive challengers running competitive races across the city for our Common Council. Right now, there is only one Alderwoman out of 15 seats, which is a major lack of representation. City Hall is going to look different soon. Hopefully it will act differently as well.