James B. Methu
"I see our downtown momentum continuing and making its way to neighborhoods..."
Where do you work and what makes your role awesomesauce?
I work at the City of Milwaukee in the Office of Small Business Development as a Senior Business Analyst. My role is awesome because I have an opportunity to support disadvantaged businesses that have interest in contracting with the City. I also recently ran for Mayor (lost in primary and endorsed Mayor Barrett) and I grew up in my family’s small business so it gives me a very unique perspective on where we are as a small business community and where we are heading.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee and what brought you here?
I have lived in Milwaukee virtually my entire life. My mother’s parents migrated from Arkansas and my dad came to Wisconsin for college from Africa. I grew up on Milwaukee’s north side. I left for college but always knew I would come back. What keeps me here is my family, community and business opportunities.
What is one word that you would use to describe Milwaukee?
Where do you see Milwaukee in five years?
I believe if Milwaukee strengthens its public school system (MPS) then we will have a generational turnaround for those who feel neglected.
I see our downtown momentum continuing and making its way to neighborhoods and a very competitive grocery store market. I also see more people moving to the city! I also believe certain types of manufacturing will make a continued resurgence in Milwaukee.
I would create a high speed transit line that connects Milwaukee with Chicago, Minneapolis, and everywhere in between.
What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
We have so many GREAT restaurants in Milwaukee but Coffee Makes You Black is my favorite because of the great coffee and food along with the political energy that engulfs the place.
What is your biggest hope for this city?
My biggest hope for our city is embracing our diversity more with cultural amenities, continuing the exciting transition from a great city to a world class city while continuing to close the achievement gap, and supporting those who may be work challenged or physically disabled.
What does your ideal Milwaukee weekend look like?
My ideal weekend in Milwaukee looks like lounging with my wife, shopping at local businesses, listening to great live music at Caroline’s and eating spectacular local food.