1. While he was County Executive, Abele arranged for an increase in the powers of the office. Do you plan to keep those increased powers? Why or why not?
I will be a County Executive who puts the people of Milwaukee County first. Any decision I make regarding the powers of the County Executive’s office will be made with the best interests of the people of Milwaukee County in mind. I will take time to thoroughly assess the balance of power between the County Executive’s office and the County Board. It is critically important for the County Executive to have a healthy relationship with the County Board. I will immediately work to repair this damaged relationship and put decision making authority in the best place to improve the quality of life for Milwaukee County residents.
2. What do you consider the most important fight you have to lead as CE, including the biggest financial, health, and social issues? How do you plan to accomplish this?
As County Executive, I will be stepping into a highly complex pandemic containment and risk mitigation plan. I will communicate clearly to Milwaukee County residents about the state of the situation and make sure all necessary precautions are taken. These efforts will be closely coordinated with federal, state, and local public safety and public health officials. I will lean on infectious disease experts to help guide our decision making. Milwaukee County needs leaders who are calm in times of crisis and I will be that sort of level headed leader. Additionally, we need to do everything we can to bring in the financial resources Milwaukee County needs to provide high quality services to our residents. To do that, I will advocate for changes in the state’s shared revenue formula, champion the 1% sales tax, and create an office dedicated to seeking out federal, state, and foundation grants.
3. Should we restore supervisor status to full time? Explain why or why not, and how you would implement that change.
I believe our community deserves full time representation and I would support that change. However, restoring supervisor status to full time would require a change in state law and given the present composition of the legislature, that seems extremely unlikely. Given those circumstances, I would encourage the County Board to adopt evening meetings to allow board members to maintain additional employment and expand the pool of individuals able to serve on our County Board.
4. Why do you consider yourself the best candidate for the Milwaukee County Executive position?
I believe that my life and work experiences uniquely qualify me to be the next Milwaukee County Executive. Growing up in an economically struggling family in Milwaukee, I know what it’s like to be reliant on County services and what that really means to people. I know the struggles that many people in Milwaukee County face everyday because I have experienced those exact same struggles myself. I have built my reputation as a legislator on being a bridge builder. During my time in the legislature, I have been able to work with members of both parties to get things done. If we are going to move Milwaukee County forward we must be able to work with everyone. We can both elect a progressive and elect someone who can effectively champion our needs with those who aren’t already on our side.