Candidates for Common Council
Six candidates for 5th District in only primary contest.
Tomorrow – Tuesday, August 14th – is the fall partisan primary in Wisconsin. You’ll find separate stories for candidates in the Democratic primary and candidates in the Republican primary. This covers the non-partisan Common Council race.
Below you’ll find basic information provided by the candidates themselves for the one Common Council primary race and a link to their website and Facebook page. And if you click on their name you’ll be brought to any stories written about the candidate. Candidates names are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot. For background on this race, see our column from June. Polls open at 7 a.m. Find your polling place and see a sample ballot at My Vote Wisconsin.
Common Council 5th District
Nikiya Dodd was born and raised in Milwaukee. Dodd and her husband Tony (Anthony, Sr.) purchased their home in the Nash Park neighborhood, four years ago. Their hope is to one day enroll their three-yearold son in the Milwaukee German Immersion School, around the corner from their house.
“Tony and I love our neighborhood and are fortunate to raise our son in a community where neighbors feel safe to take their children for a walk, speak to one another, and look out for each other,” said Dodd.
As Alderwoman, I plan to strengthen neighborhoods by working together with neighbors to form a block watch or neighborhood association for the implementation of best practices to keeping communities safe and reduce crime. I will partner with the Milwaukee Police Department to develop strategies, such as freeing up sworn officers for street duty by backfilling office and non-essential police functions with civilian employees and increasing the use of Police Community Service Officers to improve police response time to non-emergency calls. I will work to promote innovative solutions to curb fast, erratic, and dangerous driving, such as expanding the use of red light running cameras, pushing for more proactive radar patrolling by law enforcement and working with neighbors on establishing residential speed humps, traffic controls, and stop signs in their neighborhoods. Furthermore, I will step up investments in high impact paving initiatives for improving the District’s roads.
“I will work hard to earn your trust in improving our neighborhoods, delivering efficient city services to all, and working together to keep our neighborhoods safe. That is my pledge to you,” said Dodd.
Dodd served in the Wisconsin State Legislature and Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, with a track record of saving taxpayers millions of dollars. Dodd’s decision not to seek reelection to the State Senate was so that she could raise her young son while working closer to home. She currently works in the nonprofit sector as a Fundraising Professional. Her husband has worked in law enforcement for 20 years. Dodd graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a master’s degree in Administrative Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in Educational Policy and Community Studies.
To me, local government is the last bastion of civility in government. Too often the statisticians, the pollsters, the politicians and the media slice and dice us into categories such as blue or red, pro-this issue or anti-that issue and it has created an environment where we feel that that we can’t work out our differing ideas or reach across party lines. Local government is different. My neighbor across the alley may have voted for the other candidate, but at the end of the day, we still want the same things: good schools, a safe neighborhood, and a sense of pride in our community. There is no blue or red, only our neighborhood and how we can accomplish a common goal.
All of these things have to be accomplished together, because if we don’t rise together to fix an issue head on, nothing will get accomplished. We see the results of that, not on the local 6 o’clock news or in the newspaper, but in our own backyard. We have to work together and more often than not, we choose to work together.
This is why I am called to public service: I want to work with my neighbor. I choose to work with my neighbor. And now, I am choosing to serve my neighbor. District Five is my community, too. This is where my wife and I bought our first home and where we are raising our two daughters. This is where we choose to live. This is our home. This is why I am answering the call to represent our District.
For years I have yearned to accomplish change; not only for self and family, but for something that could make a real difference in the grand scheme of things. I had to start somewhere; that start was joining the Wisconsin Army National Guard (157 HHC MEB); where I served my community for six years. After gaining not only patience and life experience from the Guard; I really began to understand the meaning of compassion, understanding, and emotional intelligence.
I have grown and matured most of my life in the 5th District of Milwaukee. I attended elementary schools at 81st St. School, 95th St. school, Wilbur Wright (that was the name of the school; when I attended middle school), and Milwaukee School Of Languages (MSL). My first job was at Champion Chicken located on Lisbon Avenue, when I was just 14 years old. Growing up my family did not have a lot of money, but we scraped by still having a happy childhood in those good old days of knowing it was time to go home when the street lights came on.
Currently my wife and I are raising our two beautiful children on Appleton Avenue. I am very passionate about my current career as an Engineering Test Lab Technician at one of the top Engineering companies in the world. I have experienced the same comment countless times over the past couple of years; “Why don’t you just move somewhere safer?” Like most people that live in our District, which consists of mostly families, either families can’t move because of financial reasons or won’t move because this is our home and there should be no reason to succumb to the very apparent violence and other issues that are plaguing our way of life. We (my family and concerned neighbors) have over the past couple years have been consistently reaching out to Milwaukee Police Department time and time again with grave concerns that include shootings, narcotics trafficking, even witnessing human abduction/trafficking first hand; Hearing close-range gun battles to the point where my wife and I are literally using our bodies as armor for our children in anticipation of stray bullets piercing our the walls of our home. We (my family and neighbors) recently were able to make a detrimental change in our community at a Common Council licensing committee hearing; with the help of former 5th District Alderman Jim Bohl, we were able to achieve a license non-renewal of a local business that was plaguing our area with drugs and violence. This triumph revitalized the notion that if the community banded together there was no challenge that we could not overcome.
These are the very reasons that I am running for 5th District Alderman. I am just a normal productive member of our community that has seen and experienced, that together we can make any change for the positive.
McVey’s statement on why he is not on the ballot:
Unfortunately I did not have enough signatures to get on the ballot for the primary, but for good reason.
Let me explain the extenuating circumstances involved.
As you are aware, the window of opportunity to collect nomination signatures was only 12 days and the community has almost no information about most of the current candidates; so It has been very difficult obtaining signatures. On that note, June 4th I was on my way to pick up the remaining signatures that would have put me on the Special Election Ballot for 5th District Alderman; when concerned neighbors came to me to show me where some .45 caliber bullet casings had been ejected from a shooting in our alley, directly behind our residence. Now these are from the shots fired from the previous night; I made a call into MPD Dispatch, cordoned off the area and waited for the 7th district officers to arrive; that first call was at 2:25 pm June 4th. There is a good reason why we could not let this evidence leave our site as the same individuals not once, not twice, but four times attempted to collect/tamper with this evidence. It was so important as it may connect people with the recent homicide, a robbery, and another shooting on the block that has happened in just the last 2 months. I had to call 7th District three times as I was waiting and securing this evidence over a period of an hour and a half. The officers that answered the calls I made to 7th District either didn’t seem to think it was a priority or put me on hold right away; even though I expressed concern that there were individuals in the immediate area that could potentially use force to tamper/destroy the evidence. Police officers did eventually show up and properly collect the evidence. By that time it was too late to collect signatures that I needed from my parents house. I prioritized this as it could potentially solve and/or prevent future crimes against our community. I am still going to campaign for the primary as I still have all the proper documents to be written onto the special primary ballot. I will not give up on my community ever and will continue to do everything I can to make our community safer and better overall.
Hello my name is Brian Merkel I am married with two children; we have a 25-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old son. I am a 30 year plus resident of the 5th district with a four-year break while I was serving our country as a United States Marine.
I currently work for the city of Milwaukee Fire Department as a Heavy Equipment Operator (driver/pumper operator).
I am running for Alderperson for a number of reasons; one main reason is the cuts to the protective services that compromises safety for the residents. People in this community need to be protected and to maximize those efforts we must prioritize our spending.
Attempt to bring new, healthy and growing businesses to the district to clean up some of our vacant buildings.
The city also needs financial help from the State. We cannot get that help unless we get people in office that will be willing to work with them.
Many of the best years of Eva Roberson’s life have been spent living and working in the City of Milwaukee. A strong advocate for serving the public, she believes in public education, public safety, and economic development.
Working with the City of Milwaukee’s diverse population to help residents to improve their plights in life is something that Roberson is committed to, and it is something that comes naturally to her. She has over 20 years of experience working in the community, many of which have been doing research, networking, and building relationships.
Roberson’s entire career and personal life have been dedicated to community relations and helping others. Through her genuine concern for the Milwaukee community, she has established lifelong relationships with elected officials and community stakeholders. Much of her community involvement has been through volunteering within the community and on other campaigns.
Her educational background, progressive leadership, strategic management, community involvement, and volunteer experience are all aligned with being a public servant. She welcomes the opportunity to serve her city and district five in this capacity. It is Roberson’s sincere goal to help to make Milwaukee a better place to live, work, and play, and she would like to be your next City of Milwaukee Alderwoman.
Eva Roberson received both her Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Law, and her Master’s of Arts in Public Service from Marquette University. She is currently working as a Paraprofessional in early childhood at MPS.
Many have heard my story as to how I became heavily involved in public health reform within the city of Milwaukee. For the past five years, I have dedicated my entire life to ensure that all babies are born strong and healthy. The fight to help families enjoy a sustainable, stress-free life is not just my business but it is definitely a personal goal that I have set for myself and my community.
As a mother and Healthy Families advocate, I am concerned about the state of my district’s public health. Social determinants of health, such as poverty, crime and drug addiction, is quite evident in the 5th District- as well as the rest of the city of Milwaukee. As alderwoman of the 5th District, I plan to provide a strategic way to ensure our families are strong, safe and healthy for generations to come