By Edgar Mendez
This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Visit milwaukeenns.org.
Nearly two dozen candidates have submitted their nomination papers for a special election on Feb. 21, hoping to fill vacant seats for Districts 1, 5, and 9 on the Common Council.
District 1 includes a large area on the city’s North Side, which extends from West Capitol Drive from North 9th Street to North 35th Street then north to West Bradley Road.
District 5 is located on the Northwest Side and runs from West Center Street to West Bradley Road. District 9 extends from the North Side to the far Northwest Side of the city and includes Silver Spring from North 43rd to North 64th streets and extends north to County Line Road.
Council members are responsible for representing the interests of residents of their districts, serving on committees and making policy decisions that affect the quality of life in the neighborhoods they represent and the city as a whole.
The election in February will narrow the race to two candidates for each district. Those candidates will face off in April to determine who will be elected to complete the remainder of a term on the Common Council that concludes on April 15, 2024.
The aldermanic position for District 1 became vacant after Ashanti Hamilton accepted a position as director of the city’s Office of Violence Prevention, while District 5 had been led by Nikiya Dodd until she stepped down in late November. The council seat for District 9 became vacant after Chantia Lewis pleaded no contest to a charge of misuse of campaign funds. She was sentenced to 30 days of jail and probation in August.
Here are the candidates: (Listed by order in which they appear on city election candidate forms)
Frederick Andre Coleman is the owner of Studio69 Yoga. He previously worked for 14 years as a first responder and emergency medical technician for the Milwaukee Fire Department.
Zandra Bailey was born and raised in the Rufus King neighborhood, where she still resides. An accountant with a master’s degree in business administration, she leads a neighborhood block watch and volunteers with Citizen Action of Wisconsin/Northside Rising, among other activities.
Andrea Pratt is the daughter of former Mayor Marvin Pratt. She has worked for the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Public Schools and as a legislative assistant and equal rights specialist for the City of Milwaukee.
Marshall Martin, an educator at Bay View High School, has held teaching and administrative positions at MPS and at charter schools for 20 years. He is also a military veteran, serving in the Texas/Wisconsin Army National Guard for eight years.
Vincent G. Toney was born and raised in the 53206 neighborhood of Milwaukee and served in the United States Navy. Toney, who also ran for a seat on the Common Council in 2020, currently works as a case manager.
Rodney Campbell is a pastor at Crossing Jordan Ministries. He worked for decades with youth as a restorative justice advocate and mentor.
David Bowen previously served as a county supervisor for the 10th District (2012-2014) and as the state representative for Assembly District 10 from 2015-2022. Bowen lives in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee.
Annette Jackson is a Milwaukee resident and business owner. She has degrees in business and childhood education and is employed by the City of Milwaukee, where she has worked in several departments.
P. Thomas Thaddison III is the president and CEO of Thad Web Designs. Thaddison specializes in digital and social marketing and other information technologies and founded and designed Milwaukee Black Online, which is no longer active.
Lamont Westmoreland is president and CEO of LTW Affordable Painting LLC., a former high school basketball coach and licensed official. The Nash Park neighborhood resident has experience in nonprofits and the business sector.
Jeff Spence is a senior fellow and diversity, equity and inclusion officer for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District. A former school board member, he is again running for a position on the Milwaukee Public School Board in addition to the 5th Aldermanic District seat.
Ray Banks retired in 2020 as Milwaukee assistant police chief after serving the department for 28 years. Before assuming that position, Banks was commander of the department’s Office of Community Outreach and Education.
Bruce Winter, an employee of the Milwaukee County Highway Department, ran to represent District 18 on the Milwaukee County Board in 2022 and also ran to represent District 5 on the Common Council in 2020.
Joe Fisch is also a candidate to represent District 5 but has not yet responded to an inquiry from NNS and details about him are not readily available online.
Donna Ross began her career in service with Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope. She was appointed to serve in U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore’s 4th Congressional District Office from 2008 to 2019 and currently works with a local public school district as the executive assistant to the superintendent and Board of Education.
Amber Danyus currently works with students at the Milwaukee Academy of Science and previously worked at MPS. She graduated from Cardinal Stritch University with a master’s degree in special education.
Odell Ball is a retired educator from MPS, where he worked for 31 years. Most recently, he served as president of the executive board for Fit Club MKE.
Larressa Taylor is a longtime special education teacher at MPS. She ran to represent District 2 on the Common Council in 2016 and received a PhD. in education from Cardinal Stritch University in 2011.
Russell Antonio Goodwin Sr. served as a Milwaukee County supervisor from 2020 until April of 2022. A pastor, he served as chairman of the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee and as a member of the Health and Human Needs Committee.
Walt Love is a longtime radio and media personality in Milwaukee. An athlete in the Wisconsin Senior Olympics, Love also ran in a special election for a Common Council seat in 2019.
Jasmine Tyler co-founded “We Locked In,” an overnight youth program, and is the founder and CEO of Keep Your Head Up Society, an arts and sports community-based program. A longtime community activist, Tyler was a member of the city’s 53206 Task Force and served as executive assistant to the Milwaukee Common Council.
Cherie Ray worked as an aldermanic aide for District 9 after Chantia Lewis was removed. She has previously worked in real estate.