Three vacant aldermanic districts to be filled in special election on Tuesday
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58)-- Milwaukee's aldermanic districts one, five and nine have been voiceless for months. That changes on Tuesday, April 4.
The three vacant aldermanic districts are up for special election.
Milwaukee's aldermanic district one has been vacant for more than six months. Former Ald. Ashanti Hamilton represented the district since 2004 but left in Aug. 2022 after Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson appointed him the director of the city's Office of Violence Prevention.
Andrea Pratt is hoping to make history as the first alderwoman of district one.
"I already have the connections. I already know who to call within the city to get things done. So, we really don't have time for someone who has a learning curve," Pratt said.
Pratt, the daughter of former mayor and alderman Marvin Pratt, said she has solutions for the concerns people living in her district are bringing forward.
"It's a unique district so sometimes concerns are more focused on illegal dumping, other times concerns are around reckless driving, lots of concern around gun violence," Pratt said.
Former Rep. David Bowen said he left the state capitol because he felt his service was better needed in his home district, but he plans on bringing his connections and resources with him.
"We know there has to be a better relationship between Milwaukee and Madison, even if there are different political leanings," Bowen said.
Bowen said he'll revitalize district one by investing in infrastructure and contributing to a city budget that benefits everyone in Milwaukee.
"It's about making sure we can transform the north side of our city that is seeing years, decades of divestment and decades of neglect," Bowen said.
Milwaukee's aldermanic district five has been vacant for about four months. Former Ald. Nikiya Dodd represented the district since 2018. She resigned in Nov. 2022 and took a job at Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy in Milwaukee.
As someone who calls district five home, entrepreneur Lamont Westmoreland said he's ready to collaborate with his neighbors face-to-face.
"Their frustrations are my frustrations," Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland said he'll be a consistent leader in the community. He plans to address reckless driving, crime and small business growth.
"Our foundation in district five is great. I want to help strengthen the foundation, but my message is always I will be around for a long time," Westmoreland said.
Annette Jackson said her motivation to be alderwoman of district five intensified after advancing through the primary.
"I want them to think that it's time for something new. It's a fresh new look. I think I bring a fresh new vision to the district," Jackson said.
Jackson said she'll boost community morale by bringing back block parties and neighborhood watches. Her first priority is cleaning up neighborhoods.
"One of the things I want to do is I want the churches in the area to adopt a block. I mean we can put our youth to work by giving them pride in cleaning up their area that they live in," Jackson said.
District nine lost representation in July 2022 after former Ald. Chantia Lewis was removed from the Common Council. Lewis pled guilty to misuse of campaign funds and misconduct while in office.
Since her departure, some residents have felt voiceless when it comes to issues particularly impacting district nine, including the youth prison and the abandoned Northridge Mall.
Odell Ball's campaign took a turn days before the primary election when his online accounts were hacked.
"That probably was the best thing that ever happened to me because what I did, I ended up pushing all that aside and ended up going door to door and talking to people," Ball said.
Ball said he'll be a public servant for the people. His priorities are curbing reckless driving and bringing business back to district nine, where he'll support new ownership of Northridge Mall.
"I love that district. I take it personal about that district because my kids grew up there, I raised my family there, we lived there for 30 years. I want to see it be the best district in the country," Ball said.
Larresa Taylor said she sees herself as the next voice of district nine.
"I've always been the person that has always tried to make things right for others and always had a concern for other people," Taylor said.
Roads and housing are the top two issues on Taylor's agenda. Plus, she's hoping the new owners of Northridge Mall will collaborate on a space that all residents can use.
"Just focus on the issues at hand and try to find resolutions for them, especially when I know that it's going to make life better for myself, as well as the next person," Taylor said.
Early voting ends Saturday,
Election day is Tuesday, April 4.
Residents can still register to vote at their polling places on election day.