We did it! We won. And I really mean “We”. With God’s guidance and your help, the City of Milwaukee elected me the first Black City Treasurer, and the first Black elected to a citywide executive office ever. It was indeed a milestone.
I previously wrote an open letter to the community when the media had a feeding frenzy over false allegations made against me. I made a choice to present my case directly to you, the people. Your reaction was so positive that it propelled me into a first place finish in the spring primary.
Then, my task in the general election was to make sure that my northside constituent base turned out greater numbers on April 3rd. I needed to make a stronger appeal to absentee voters, and make sure that I made deeper inroads into southside constituencies, particularly Latino voters and impact the progressive Bay View area.
Subsequently, while I campaigned heavily in my base, I also conducted a real grassroots effort on the southside. In addition, I visited high voting elderly complexes throughout the city, and I conducted a door-to-door campaign in Bay View. These efforts seemed to have paid off. We gained a very narrow victory, and I became the first African American City Treasurer.
In retrospect, though the voter turnout was larger in the general elections of April 3rd versus the primary of February 21st we will need even larger turnouts in central city Milwaukee in order to re-elect President Barack Obama.
My political style will not change. I have been an activist Senator and it is my intention to be an activist Treasurer. My aim is to modernize the office of Treasurer by making greater use of technology.
The internet can be of greater usage in order to pay property taxes. Financial Literacy is a major issue in our city. With so many of our residents “un-banked”,having town meetings in conjunction with City Aldermen and Alderwomen will help forward our fiscal public education.
This is especially important to help stop the rampant rate of home foreclosure. Halting the increasing foreclosure rate in not just a “feelgood” concept, it can help reduce the property tax rate for all of us. If more people keep their homes then more people pay property taxes, which spreads out the burden so that it is less onerous and fairer for all.
For at least until the end of the year, I will assume the duties of both State Senator and City Treasurer. After my financial obligations from the campaign are paid, I will be donating my Senate salary to charity.
I will continue my practice of staying in touch and I will keep you, the constituent informed. Again, I thank you for your prayers and for your support.