Marcelia Nicholson Elected Chairwoman of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors elected Supervisor Marcelia Nicholson to lead the body as Chairwoman for the 2020-2022 term today on a vote of 11 to 7. Supervisor Willie Johnson Jr., who has served on the County Board since 2000, also ran for the position. Nicholson is the first Afro-Latina elected Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors. Her father is African-American and her mother is Puerto Rican.
Nicholson thanked her colleagues for their support and expressed optimism about the future.
“I thank my colleagues for their support, and I pledge to make the 2020-22 term one that is marked by a renewed spirit of collaboration. We have many challenges ahead, but I know that each Supervisor is ready to get to work, and to work together. I pledge to do my best to empower this body to develop solutions to our most challenging problems and to serve the people of Milwaukee County with honor and integrity,” said Nicholson.
The 18-member Board of Supervisors, five of whom are serving their first term of office, also elected Supervisor Sequanna Taylor as First Vice Chairperson, Supervisor Steve Shea as Second Vice Chairperson.
“I supported Supervisor Nicholson for Chairwoman because I have seen and know her ability to lead. The legislation she has passed to date demonstrates her track record of getting things done in ways that positively impact the county. I’m excited to move forward with her at the helm the Board of Supervisors,” said Supervisor Sequanna Taylor.
“I was honored to cast my vote for Marcelia Nicholson as our new Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman. Chairwoman Nicholson brings positive energy and a proactive vision that will serve us well as we face the future together,” said Supervisor Jason Haas.
“Supervisor Nicholson will be an outstanding Board Chairwoman during this pandemic. Her sharp intellect and level-headed approach will serve us well, and her ability to bring people together and focus on our responsibilities as legislators will ensure that the work of Milwaukee County government is done safely and efficiently,” said Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman.
Chairwoman Nicholson was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in April 2016 as the Supervisor to the 5th District. She served as First Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee during the 2018-2020 term.
“Chairwoman Nicholson is a creative and effective leader who will ensure that Milwaukee County continue to provide essential services during the Covid-19 emergency. I admire Chairwoman Nicholson’s advocacy for working people and appreciate that she will continue that advocacy in her new role. I look forward to getting to working with our new colleagues and our new leadership on the Board of Supervisors,” said Supervisor Eddie Cullen.
Nicholson’s tenure prior to becoming Chairwoman included successfully passing a $15 County living wage ordinance, adopting a racial equity ordinance, and bringing together Milwaukee County, the City of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) to collaborate on service delivery and improving efficiencies across the three-largest local public institutions.
“Milwaukee County faces unique challenges and that may require drastic changes. Now more than ever we need a Board chair who can be that change agent. I value Chairwoman Nicholson’s open minded approach and willingness to listen to the advice and guidance of our predecessors,” said Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez.
“I’m excited about the new energy Chairwoman Nicholson will bring to the role, and I look forward to her leadership,” said Supervisor Russel Antonio Goodwin.
“I was honored to cast the first vote for Chairwoman Nicholson today. Her background as an educator and her track record as a proven progressive make her well-equipped to lead the Board of Supervisors. I look forward to her leading the way in bold, forward-thinking efforts to make our community stronger,” said Supervisor Ryan Clancy.
“It’s been an honor to work alongside many colleagues at the Milwaukee County Board. Although the County remains challenged by the need for a better solution to fund local government, the administration and the Board are in a good place. I extend congratulations to Supervisor Nicholson and her colleagues for their trust in her leadership to lead the Board to a stronger, more unified place that reflects the diversity of the residents in Milwaukee County,” said County Executive Chris Abele.
On April 7, Nicholson was elected to a third term as the County Board Supervisor representing the 5th District, which includes neighborhoods to the north, east and south of Washington Park, the Merrill Park area, portions of the Marquette University campus, and the east side of downtown Milwaukee, from Juneau Avenue to the Third Ward.
Nicholson is a former MPS educator and works for the Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers union. She is 31 years old and earned her bachelor’s degree from UWM. She was born and raised in the 53206 ZIP code and is a proud graduate of MPS schools, including Ben Franklin, Morse Middle School, and the Milwaukee School of Languages.