By Dylan Deprey
As State Senator Lena Taylor stood on her block at 15th and Capitol, she reminisced about the Milwaukee she grew up in. She said it was a City of opportunity, a place where neighbors took accountability of each other. It was a time when she could walk to school safely and bike freely around her neighborhood.
“We could double dutch on the block. We could play hide-and-go-seek. Go into neighbor’s yards and pick rhubarb, and apples and pears off the trees. We’d have birthday parties with each other. That’s the Milwaukee I know, and that’s the Milwaukee that made me and that’s the Milwaukee I demand,” Taylor said.
Friends, neighbors, and supporters gathered at Sen. Taylor’s house, as she announced her bid for the 2020 Milwaukee Mayoral election during a press conference on Sept. 3, 2019.
Sen. Taylor was critical of Milwaukee’s current state. She said issues like the lack of business growth, community and police relations and absence of urgency on major issues within minority communities pushed her to run.
“Everybody should have an opportunity, a Milwaukee that’s for all, not for some because we’re more than just downtown, we’re neighborhoods, and we’re going to put the neighbor back in the hood,” Taylor said.
Taylor will be joining 14th District Alderman Tony Zielinski, and Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton in the race. Ald. Hamilton has filed the paperwork, but has not formally announced his run. Mayor Tom Barrett is speculated to run, but has not officially announced his chase for a fifth term. Other candidates include Tremell Noble and Paul Rasky.
The Milwaukee Courier has reached out to the candidate’s campaign offices for a statement on Taylor joining the race, and will update.
Taylor said she was putting her sole focus on this election, and could not confirm if she would run again for State Senate. She said when it came to campaign funding, her work ethic and track record were clear indicators of longtime supporters in the community.
“I’m going to meet people to raise money, but more than anything I’m going to continue to do what I do every day,” Taylor said. “I tend to stay a little busy, so I intend to do even more.”
Taylor is a lifelong Milwaukee resident and attorney. She served in the State Assembly and State Senate. She ran against Scott Walker in the 2008 Milwaukee County Executive race and lost the election.
In 2011, she was one of the several Democratic Senators to leave Wisconsin to block then-Gov. Walker’s ACT 10 legislation, which limited power to public unions.
Taylor said Milwaukee was at a crossroads, and that leaders needed to either step up or get out of the way.
“This is not my Milwaukee, and I will not sit on the sidelines and watch us expect to take this as the status quo. In my Milwaukee, I have the vision to create health and wealth. In my Milwaukee, we address trauma and we collaborate. In my Milwaukee, we demand accountability from non-profits, and from city, state and federal organizations,” Taylor said.
The Milwaukee Mayoral Election Primary is on February 18, 2020 and the General election is on April 7, 2020.
To register to vote visit https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/