By Karen Stokes
Energy and excitement filled the room as city politicians, citizens and clergy gathered to celebrate a new beginning in Milwaukee. The inauguration of City of Milwaukee elected officials took place at the Common Council Chamber at Milwaukee City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
During the public inauguration ceremony, 15 Common Council members were sworn in and a new Common Council President was elected.
Ashanti Hamilton was unanimously elected President of the Common Council. Hamilton succeeded Michael Murphy who held the position for only two years. Hamilton is the fourth African American to hold the position in Milwaukee.
Hamilton congratulated Mayor Barrett on his re-election and thanked former Common Council
President Michael Murphy for his leadership. He also thanked his wife and family for their support. Hamilton focused on what he believes is needed to move the city forward.
“Too many things that we have in front of us that we agree upon can’t be derailed because ideologically we refuse to agree. We can’t hang our city in the balance over ideological differences, so that unity begins with you,” said Hamilton.
“This is a team and it was the faith of the entire community that wanted to see something happen in this city,” Hamilton said. “I’m letting you know that I’m dedicated to that commitment.”
Hamilton referred to the council as a divided body but advised that they were not trying to remain divided.
“Today’s a new day. Today we will embrace a fresh start. Today we officially put to rest the election season and we commit ourselves to the difficult and sometimes messy process of governing. So I ask every councilman to join me in rejecting the politics of division” Hamilton said.
Twelve Common Council members were re-elected and three newly elected council members were sworn in.
District 1: Alderman Ashanti Hamilton
District 2: Alderman Cavalier Johnson
District 3: Alderman Nik Kovac
District 4: Alderman Robert J. Bauman
District 5: Alderman James A. Bohl, Jr.
District 6: Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs
District 7: Alderman Khalif J. Rainey
District 8: Alderman Robert G. Donovan
District 9: Alderwoman Chantia Lewis
District 10: Alderman Michael J. Murphy
District 11: Alderman Mark A. Borkowski
District 12: Alderman Jose G. Perez
District 13: Alderman Terry L. Witkowski
District 14: Alderman T. Anthony Zielinski
District 15: Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II
Aldermen Cavalier Johnson, Khalif Rainey and Alderperson Chantia Lewis were newly elected.
“I’m excited to see what our new alderman Khalif Rainey has in store and I am hoping he takes a very personal interest in cleaning up our area to the standard and quality of life we deserve,” said Rosalind Britton.
Another resident said, “The once vibrant area around Northridge has gone down hill. There’s more crime in the area and we needed someone new to represent us. I look forward to seeing what Alderperson Chantia Lewis will do.”
Each alderman was thankful to their families and their constituents for their support.
Alderperson Milele Coggs said in her address to the council, “it is truly an honor to give back to the area that has given me so much.”