By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
In 2004 Milwaukee elected Tom Barrett as mayor and in 2020, residents will have the opportunity to vote for him again.
Earlier this week during a press conference at Shindig Coffee, the café in the Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Mayor Tom Barrett announced his decision to run for reelection. If elected, it will mark his fifth term as mayor of Milwaukee.
Currently there are several names in the running: Daniel Crowley, Theresa Garner, David King, Tremell Noble, Paul Rasky, Lena Taylor, Ramone Williams and Anthony Zielinski.
During the press conference, Barrett said that he is focused on moving the city forward.
“I want to continue to bring this city together I want to move this city forward and I really do think our brightest days are ahead of us,” said Barrett.
Barrett said the Sherman Phoenix is an example of what happens when the city comes together. He said that the 2016 Sherman Park riots were a difficult time, but Milwaukee demonstrated its resilience.
Individuals came together to show what Milwaukee really looks like, what it really is, he said. The Sherman Phoenix came as a result.
“It happened because we came together because we are stronger together,” Barrett said.
As mayor, Barrett has brought several successful programs to Milwaukee such as the Earn & Learn, which allows youth living in the inner city an opportunity to earn a paycheck in safe work environments.
Barrett acknowledged that there’s more work to be done regarding issues such as lead, housing and employment.
He said the goal is to have 10,000 more homes constructed over the next 10 years. Homes are the backbone of the neighborhood, he said. He added that part of this process includes revitalizing the neighborhood all together, which has been done with Milwaukee’s neighborhood libraries.
“We’re building for the future of this community,” he said.
One of Barrett’s main focuses is employment, specifically family supporting jobs.
“I think family supporting jobs are really the key to moving the community forward,” Barrett said.
Milwaukee has already seen an increase in employment through endeavors such as Century City, Menomonee Valley and the Pabst Site. However, Barrett noted that more needs to be done to bring more jobs to Milwaukee.
Barrett said he wants to see a stronger Milwaukee and that means supporting the children and neighborhoods and increasing housing and job opportunities. The key to moving forward is to continue to come together, he said.
“I have a passion for this job, and I love this city,” Barrett said.
The Spring Primary is February 18, 2020 and the Spring Election is April 7, 2020.