Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
Wisconsin State Assembly, awesome because I have the honor of representing thousands of great Milwaukeeans in the State Legislature and working on solutions to the challenges in our community around the state
How long have you lived in MKE & what brought you here?
I came to Milwaukee in 2006 to attend Marquette University Law School and graduated in 2009. I’ve lived in a bunch of different neighborhoods, but have always been drawn to the historic houses on the north side/west side. My wife and I have lived near 27th and State since 2011.
What do you love most about MKE?
Milwaukee continues to surprise me. No two days are the same. I never feel bored. I get to see all the different corners of the City and the State as part of my job and yet I still feel that I haven’t uncovered everything the City has to offer.
What is something that is missing from our community that you would love to see implemented?
Public Transportation. I would love to see better access to rail, buses, biking, walking/running, etc. One example: I live on the north side and it’s incredibly difficult to get to dedicated bike/ped from where I live and I believe that’s true for the majority of the central city.
What is one word that you would use to describe MKE?
Where do you see MKE in 5 years?
I see Milwaukee continuing to grow, especially infill of homes and neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the Great Recession and foreclosure crisis. The growth of downtown has been wonderful, I hope the future brings the same growth and stability to neighborhoods beyond downtown.
If you could create one thing in MKE, what would it be?
I would like to create a large scale funding source for our community to direct. We have a lot of needs and wants, but our current system leaves the City with very little money to use on needed projects. The best example I can think of is the Minneapolis/St. Paul region, which has a regional council that generates and spends huge amounts of money each year to benefit the entire region. This has prevented areas from falling too far behind their neighbors – I’d love to see something similar for Milwaukee.
What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
Great question. McBob’s, Mekong Cafe, Los Comales, The Tandem, Daddy’s Soul Food…these are just some that come to mind. The access to unique and diverse restaurants is really great and my wife and I take advantage often. I prefer smaller, independent, and local options and we love to try random new spots as often as we can.
What is your biggest hope for this city?
I hope that we can rally behind a few big ideas, work together to accomplish them and then repeat that over and over. I attend too many meetings with the same people talking about the same problems year after year…I hope we start to tackle one problem at a time, together, and experience a series of wins rather than a series of meetings arguing about where to start.
What is your favorite MKE tradition?
There are a few, but I love the neighborhood centered festivals or events. This would include something bigger like Garfield Street Days or smaller like the Washington Heights Boulevard Bash. Each allows you to meet a bunch of neighbors and sample local art, music, and food.
What does your ideal MKE weekend look like?
Just had one…enjoyed a show with friends, had a night out with my wife at a great restaurant and biked around town enjoying some local bakeries and coffee shops. There was some Milwaukee-brewed fun each night. I’m so much fatter…but it was a great weekend in Milwaukee.
What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
I live in the Historic Concordia Neighborhood, which is 27th to 35th, Wisconsin Ave to Highland Blvd on the near west side. I love the history of the houses and the proximity to just about everything. We live in an old Victorian that we bought in foreclosure and while we don’t always love the endless projects, we love our home and what we’ve been able to turn it into.
What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
November Project Milwaukee. I guess November Project isn’t very hidden anymore, but it is a great group of people that workout for free, outside, every Wednesday and Friday morning. Just show up, you won’t be sorry. Dan Graham, the leader of Milwaukee’s group, is the funniest person in Milwaukee.