County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson
Press Release

Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson Reflects on First Year Leading Board of Supervisors


By - May 11th, 2021 07:01 am

MILWAUKEE – In a statement reflecting on her first year leading the Board of Supervisors, Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson thanked her colleagues for their support and collaboration, reflected on a year of firsts, and looked toward the future.

“The past year has been difficult for all of us, and I want to thank my fellow Supervisors for their patience as we transitioned to holding all of our meetings virtually. Despite this challenge, we accomplished a great deal as we continued to pursue our goal of achieving racial equity, and that’s something we should all be proud of. I’m energized by the collaborative spirit we have fostered and look forward to working with my fellow Supervisors and County Executive Crowley’s administration in the second half of the term.”

Milwaukee County adopted several policy proposals from Chairwoman Nicholson during her first year as Chairwoman, including:

Chairwoman Nicholson proposed that Milwaukee County declare racism a public health crisis in April of 2019. The initial step of declaring racism a public health crisis was followed by a racial equity ordinance in April 2020, which Nicholson also sponsored.

Nicholson also focused on community engagement in her first year and with a series of virtual panel discussions with policy makers, thought leaders, community organizers, and others about the day-to-day impact of systemic and institutional racism called “Chats with the Chairwoman.”

In the fall of 2020, Chairwoman Nicholson led the Board’s work to set and adopt a final Milwaukee County budget for 2021 that included an omnibus amendment from the Chairwoman. The Chairwoman’s amendment invested an additional nearly $2.8 million in programs and services to promote racial equity, including more funding for County parks, youth programming, housing services, and services for seniors.

Chairwoman Nicholson also expanded on the ways that residents can participate in County government by creating a virtual portal that allows residents to speak in real time to standing committees, and she held an unprecedented virtual public hearing on the 2021 budget.

In her first year, the Chairwoman also supported entrepreneurs and small business owners by engaging with these groups on how they can work with the County, helped lead the County’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic by educating the public about how to stay healthy and by promoting the Covid-19 vaccine to combat vaccine hesitancy, and focused on sustainability.

Chairwoman Nicholson also received several awards and recognitions during her first year as Chair. Madison 365 named her one of Wisconsin’s “51 Most Influential Black Leaders”, the Milwaukee Business Journal named her a Milwaukee Area Power Broker, TEMPO Milwaukee included her in their Emerging Women Leaders group, a network of “rising stars and high achievers,” and the national organization Young Elected Officials included her on their “35 under 35” list which recognizes “passionate and impactful young elected leaders at all levels of government who have advanced progressive change and made meaningful impact on their communities,” and she received the Democratic Party of Milwaukee Rising Star Award.

Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson is the first Afro-Latina and first woman of color to serve as Chairperson of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. She is in her third term as a Supervisor, having first been elected to represent the 5th District in April 2016.

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