Jeramey Jannene
Vote Tuesday

Three Northside Aldermanic Races

Six candidates running to fill three open seats on the Milwaukee Common Council.

By - Mar 29th, 2023 12:26 pm
Clockwise from top left - Andrea Pratt, Lamont Westmoreland, Odell Ball, Laressa Taylor, Annette Jackson and David Bowen. Photos from the candidates.

Clockwise from top left – Andrea Pratt, Lamont Westmoreland, Odell Ball, Laressa Taylor, Annette Jackson and David Bowen. Photos from the candidates.

Many northside Milwaukee voters will find a special election on their ballot when they head to the polls on Tuesday, April 4. Three special Common Council elections are occurring alongside the Wisconsin Supreme Court election and a handful of other local races.

The council race winners will join the 15-member legislative arm of the City of Milwaukee, casting votes on everything from new liquor licenses to the city budget.

Council members are paid $73,222 per year to represent approximately 40,000 Milwaukee residents. Normally scheduled elections for a four-year term will be held in spring 2024.

Included below are details on each candidate, provided by the candidates themselves. We have also included background information on each district.

Want to see what’s on your ballot and where to vote? Visit MyVote Wisconsin to see your polling place and access a sample ballot.

If you click on the candidate’s name you’ll be brought to any stories written about the candidate. Candidate names are listed in the order they appear on the ballot.

District 1

Background: Ashanti Hamilton had represented the 1st District since 2004 before resigning in August to become the director of the Office of Violence Prevention. He was appointed to the new role by onetime political rival Mayor Cavalier Johnson.

The irregularly-shaped district runs from W. Bradley Rd. to W. Capitol Dr. Its primary eastern and western boundaries are N. Green Bay Ave and N. 43rd St., though one section reaches N. 55th St. It includes the Old North MilwaukeeThurston WoodsGarden HomesFairfieldTripoli ParkMcGovern ParkHampton Heights and Rufus King neighborhoods, as well as the portions of Brown Deer Park and Lincoln Park that are in the city.

A Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) report says 83.3% of district residents identify as Black, 8.2% white, 4.5% Hispanic and 2.7% Asian. District Map

David Bowen. Photo courtesy of the Office of Representative Bowen.

David Bowen. Photo courtesy of the Office of Representative Bowen.

David Bowen

Bowen released the following statement in announcing his campaign:

“Serving honorably in public office has been one of the highest honors of my life. Following my departure from the State legislature, the outpouring of encouragement to continue to serve the residents of Wisconsin has been both valuable and overwhelming. After much reflection, prayer, and counsel, I am honored to bring my passion and experience to the 1st Aldermanic District race.

Milwaukee is facing a number of critical challenges at a critical time; possibly the most challenging in Milwaukee’s history. Public safety concerns threaten our quality of life; a lack of equitable economic opportunities and quality housing frustrates our ability to raise the standard of living for all Milwaukeeans. And our challenges with the City budget, due in part to a continuous lack of State support, continue to threaten Milwaukee’s future. If Milwaukee fails, the State of Wisconsin fails. If Milwaukee grows its tax base, the State of Wisconsin grows its tax collection. I am eager to work with fellow alders on an agenda to mitigate these threats, foster untapped opportunity, and directly address the concerns of the 1st District.

With over a decade of experience in government, I bring a breadth of knowledge and consensus building that makes me the best candidate for this position. My proven track record working effectively with both sides of the aisle will help usher in the solutions and support we need to move the 1st District and the City of Milwaukee forward. I’ve had the pleasure of serving much of the 1st District in my capacity as a State Representative, and I am once again asking residents for their votes on February 21st and April 4th. One of my favorite things about serving Milwaukee is having the opportunity to meet directly with its residents. I have already had a chance to meet with hundreds of 1st District residents, and I look forward to continuing to do so throughout this race.”

State Rep. David Bowen, a native and longtime public servant for Milwaukee, is a resident and home owner in the 1st District’s historic Rufus King Neighborhood.”

Andrea Pratt. Photo provided.

Andrea Pratt. Photo provided.

Andrea Pratt

“I am excited to announce my candidacy for Alderwoman of the 1st Aldermanic District. My dedication, passion and professional qualifications are perfectly suited to effectively execute the duties of this office. As someone who is a lifelong resident of the 1st District, who has chosen to raise and educate my children in the 1st District, I understand the needs of the district and the responsibility to the constituents of the 1st District. I believe, wholeheartedly, in taking care of home first and the 1st District is my home.”

Coming from a tradition of public service, she was inspired to run by her father, former Mayor Marvin Pratt. For the last 25 years, Andrea Pratt has blazed her own trail and gained an abundance of experience as a devoted public servant, having worked in Milwaukee Public Schools, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee and the City of Milwaukee Common Council, directly serving the 1st District. She currently serves as the Equal Rights Specialist for the City of Milwaukee in the Department of Administration’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. She has served as Chair of the Rufus King Neighborhood Association and developed partnerships with many community stakeholders throughout the 1st District.

“My experience in City government, in both the Common Council and Administration, make me uniquely qualified for this position. It is my intention is to be a responsive representative and to continue to amplify the voices of 1st District residents. We are facing challenges— large and small— from budget to reckless driving to illegal dumping; I believe that these challenges are not insurmountable. I am committed to working with Constituents, Alders, and Administration to ensure that 1st District residents have the safe, healthy neighborhoods they deserve.”

Andrea and her family reside in the Rufus King Neighborhood, only a few houses away from where she was raised and where her parents still live. She is the mother of four daughters: Ayanna, a First year Howard Law School student, Zari, a student at UW-Milwaukee, Nylah, senior at Rufus King and Cree, a sophomore at Rufus King.

District 5

Background: Nikiya Dodd had represented the 5th District since winning a five-way special election in 2018 to replace longtime alderman Jim Bohl, but she resigned in November after missing several meetings and now works for a charter school.

The generally-rectangular 5th District is located on the city’s northwest side along the city’s western border. It runs from N. Bradley Rd. south to W. Center St. Its eastern border, south of W. Hampton Ave., is N. 76th St. before following N. Appleton Ave. north. A winding western border is shared with Wauwatosa, before a straight line at N. 124th St. divides it, and the city, from Waukesha County. It includes the Timmerman WestMount MaryNash ParkKops ParkGolden ValleyLindsay Park, Grantosa and Arlington Gardens neighborhoods. Mount Mary University and Timmerman Airport are located in the district.

A LRB report says 46.1% of district residents identify as Black, 39% white, 6.5% Asian and 5.7% Hispanic. District Map

Lamont Westmoreland. Photo provided.

Lamont Westmoreland. Photo provided.

Lamont Westmoreland

I was born & raised in Milwaukee – I have lived in District 5 for nearly a decade, and I love it here! I reside in the Nash Park neighborhood with my wife of 18 years, Samantha, and our two children – Julian & Farrah. I think parts of our district are some of the best and safest parts of Milwaukee. We have great parks but need more patrol and better utilization. I’ve lived here long enough to know that we’re all sick of waking up to smashed windows on our vehicles, hearing gunshots, reckless driving, and other crime. Also, we have too many absentee landlords who move just anyone into our neighborhoods with no behavioral expectations. Living styles that have no consideration for others will no longer be tolerated because that kills neighborhoods!

My background is in non-profit, where I advocated and educated the public on various state assistance programs for citizens that needed help to alleviate stress due to financial shortfalls, along with facilitating small business (SBA) lending. While working in the lending world, I made my client’s dreams come true by quarterbacking business acquisitions, new construction, franchise financing, and business expansion loans from $100,000 to $5 million at a top 5 producing SBA lender in the country.

After learning how to successfully build a business and run every aspect of it, I decided to step away from lending to start my own business in January 2020. Although I love the company that I have built – I am fully ready to hand the keys of the responsibility off and commit my attention and effort to district 5. Right now, the district needs me more than my business does. I love people. All different types of people. I love to talk and learn how we can all work together to improve district 5.

Things I love to do include:

  • Anything involving family.
  • Going to Bucks games (I might be the biggest fan in the world).
  • Simply learning about and connecting with people.

I have coached basketball at the high school varsity level and have been a volunteer coach at the 5th-8th grade levels for the past 7 years. Lastly, I am a current level 5 WIAA state-licensed basketball official, now in my 13th season.

I look forward to working TOGETHER to make district 5 great! This isn’t about me. This is about us. A word that is always at the forefront of my mind is ACCOUNTABILITY. That is the key to success.

Annette Jackson. Photo provided.

Annette Jackson. Photo provided.

Annette Jackson

Annette Jackson is a proud resident, business owner for over 20 years, and City of Milwaukee employee.  She has worked in three major departments within the City of Milwaukee, which has helped catapult her passion for improving our community.

Annette holds degrees in Business and Childhood Education and has always been passionate about being involved in the community.  She has been a Foster parent to abused children and made her home into a safe haven for run away and troubled youth.  One of her many hats are Bible teacher, writer, and producer of events and inspirational stage plays. Her plays are written to inspire and leave a positive impression that will provide her audience with positive solutions and outcomes.

To her credits, she is the President of an entertainment production company, Vice President/CFO of an on-line magazine, co-founder and host of women’s and men educational program, a realtor and previous owner of two childcare facilities.

Annette believes that most people are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution.  She is a very approachable individual who observes and listens then compiles the information and will work diligently to create a path for a positive mutual solution.

She decided to run for Alderperson in District 5 because of the passion and desire she has to see greatness in this city.  I have 12 grandchildren growing up in this area, therefore, reducing violence, wreck less driving, safe streets, creating youth programs to build up our children’s minds and providing constructive outlets for them are some of my main topics of concerns.  She is also focused on walking the neighborhoods with police officers and other community partners to identify areas of concern and providing community resources so that the residents in District 5 are fully informed of business and services that are being offered in their neighborhoods to strengthen their community.  Most importantly, she decided to run because she said it is her duty to stand up and fight against crime because we all have the right to live in peace and feel safe and productive in our community.  Annette Jackson is loyal, dedicated, approachable and result driven. Annette cares for our City and District 5 is her heart’s desire.

District 9

Background: Chantia Lewis had represented the 9th District since 2016, but the alderwoman was removed from office in July as part of a felony plea agreement for campaign finance violations and misconduct in office.

The 9th District is the city’s furthest northwest and includes the former Northridge Mall and Havenwoods State Forest. Neighborhoods in the district include Granville StationDretzka ParkBrynwoodBradley EstatesNorth MeadowCalumet FarmsMenomonee River Hills and Graceland. The irregularly-shaped district runs from the city’s northwestern limit at W. County Line Rd. and N. 124th St. all the way southeast to W. Silver Spring Dr. and N. Sherman Blvd. With a staircase-like shape, it is located east of the diagonal Wisconsin Highway 145.

A LRB report says 62.7% of district residents identify as Black, 17.6% white, 10.9% Asian and 6.6% Hispanic. The district has the largest Asian population in the city, largely due to the growing Hmong community in the area. District map.

Odell Ball. Photo courtesy of Ball's campaign.

Odell Ball. Photo courtesy of Ball’s campaign.

Odell Ball

Born into a family of nine children and a hard-working mother and father. Odell’s family followed the mandates of the Great Migration from the south to the north with their destination being the City of Milwaukee.

He was the middle child among nine brothers and sisters. Odell was not considered a very athletic person. He was 5’6:” in height and 220 lbs. in weight at 13 years of age. He was always the last person picked for every sporting event in his neighborhood in his youth. Yet his mother always pressed into all her children that they “never allow the negative
perception of others to become their reality!” She also instilled the Faith of God in everything they sought to do. She made them know that everything you do must be to the honor of God!

This inspiration, and a growth spurt, turned a short, fat knock-kneed youth to a 6’ 9” adult. He became an All-City, High School All-American basketball player. He played for Marquette University and was drafted by the Denver Nuggets. Mr. Ball aspired to have a professional basketball career. That dream was ended by a substantial eye injury.

He would try several Public Service jobs with the Next-Door Foundation, The Milwaukee boys and Girls Club. And several sales jobs which included one as a liquor Salesman. It was the Liquor sales job That would change his life. His father, who developed an addiction to alcohol, and dying on his doorstep, from extreme cold and the very alcohol that Odell sold.

For Mr. Ball this became an epiphany powered by his faith in God and desiring to seek a life of community service. He returned to the Church that was instrumental in his early growth. He went back to school and gained an educational degree from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a Masters in Instructional leadership to add to his initial degree, a BA in Psychology from Marquette. He also met the love of his life, Denita Ball. They have been married for over 34 years. They have two sons who joined the beautiful daughter from an earlier marriage. Mrs. Ball had a distinguished Law enforcement career. She was one of the top candidates to become Police Chief for the City of Milwaukee and currently serves as the duly elected Sheriff for Milwaukee County.

Mr. Ball became the Head Trainer for the “Trainer of Trainers” program for the Drug Free Office of the Milwaukee Public Schools. He also performed training throughout the country for the Department of Education, teaching other teachers how to identify and address issues of drugs and alcohol abuse in the classroom.

He was voted to Chairman of the Board for the Milwaukee Police Athletic League. He also became a board member for the Milwaukee County Drug Prevention program.

Additionally, Ball was chosen as a Technology Coordinator at Marquette University where he created the first community base collaboration between churches and educational entities in the country. His work helped create the first Modeling, Rendering and 3-D animation labs in the country in a public school.

Currently Mr. Ball seeks to become the next Alderman of the 9th District of the City of Milwaukee. While campaigning for his wife, he had the opportunity to walk the streets of the district, instead of driving through it like most people do. To Mr. Ball’s discovery the areas where he lived, worked and prayed had change drastically and not for the better! Many of the businesses who supplied family sustaining jobs had left the area or closed. Affordable housing for many, had vanished and reckless speeding cars dominated the streets. This caused him to make the decision to change his district for the good of the people, who live in the district. They deserve much better!

Larresa Taylor. Photo courtesy of Taylor.

Larresa Taylor. Photo courtesy of Taylor.

Larresa Taylor

Larresa Taylor is proud to announce her candidacy for aldermanic district 9. Ms. Taylor is a mother of three, A military veteran, a school teacher and a community advocate. Her service in the City of Milwaukee as a block watch captain for over 20 years has prepared her well for the opportunity to become the 9th District Alderwoman. Residents can be assured that their voices will be heard and their concerns are addressed at city hall, when she is elected.

As a Milwaukee Public School teacher for the past 17 years, Larresa not only served the students but for the past 4 years she has served as a lead union representative.

Larresa Taylor understands the need for resources and opportunities in the entire community of 40,000 residents. She is ready to address their concerns and community needs of quality housing, employment opportunities, safe and clean neighborhoods and access to resources to help improve their quality of life. In addition, the elimination of blight supporting small businesses and overall economic development are critical to the future of the district and are issues Ms. Taylor will be focused on.

Larresa Taylor will provide the best possible service to all off the residents in the district while bringing trustworthiness reliability, compassion, and collaboration. Larresa Taylor is Taylor Made for the 9th District and is working diligently to earn the votes of every 9th District resident.

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