By Alex Lasry
Milwaukee made history last Tuesday night by electing Cavalier Johnson mayor in a landslide victory, earning an impressive 72% of the vote. Being in the room at his victory party, I was struck by the broad coalition of support from all parts of the city that were present. The crowd was electric with excitement and the anticipation of what his victory means for the future of Milwaukee.
Johnson is the dynamic leader with a bold vision for change that Milwaukee desperately needs right now.
It shouldn’t be lost that Johnson’s win represents a major milestone in the changing of the generational guard in Milwaukee. The mayor, along with County Executive David Crowley and County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson, are the new faces of leadership in Milwaukee. We have already seen the substantive changes at the County level under the leadership of Crowley and Nicholson, and now it will be exciting to see what’s next for the City of Milwaukee.
Johnson has an aggressive agenda, but in order to achieve it, he’s going to need help from both the state and federal governments. Milwaukee is one of the most fiscally constrained big cities in America when it comes to determining its own financial future. The state has put severe limitations on what Milwaukee can and cannot do, and has mandated many things that Milwaukee must pay for.
Milwaukee is the economic driver for the state and sends far more money to the state than it receives back in return. The state then uses this money to help support state services and sends it to other cities, villages, and towns all across Wisconsin.
Johnson wants to reset the relationship with the state, especially with the Republican State Legislature, and work with them to help Milwaukee fix Milwaukee’s issues. I wholeheartedly support his efforts.
But help from the state will not be nearly enough. Milwaukee needs help from the federal government to fix some of the largest issues that confront the city. Fortunately, through the efforts of President Joe Biden, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, we are going to see millions of dollars come into our state and into Milwaukee to replace lead pipes to our homes, help repair and replace our roads, and help invest in our transit systems. This is going to be an unprecedented opportunity to invest in our communities, fix our crumbling infrastructure, and provide skilled, union jobs to folks who desperately need them.
But there are still major issues to address and we will need more. Unfortunately, for over a decade, Wisconsinites have only had one U.S. Senator in Baldwin who has been fighting for them in Washington. On the other hand, Sen. Ron Johnson has spent two terms in office voting against bringing back resources and has failed to deliver anything for the people of Wisconsin.
I am running for Senate to be a true partner for Baldwin to fight every day to bring more money and more jobs back to every community and every neighborhood. And I want to be a partner to Johnson to ensure that Milwaukee, and communities all across this state, get the help that they need and deserve.
Congratulations again to Johnson. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of Milwaukee.