Milwaukee aldermen have elected 12th District Alderman Jose Perez to serve as president of the Milwaukee Common Council.
Perez, 53, replaces Cavalier Johnson, who was recently elected mayor, in the role.
Perez is the first Latino to serve as president of the Milwaukee Common Council. He represents part of the city’s south side.
“That I am the first Latino to hold this title is not lost on me, and I am grateful for this opportunity,” Perez said in a news release. “As the child of Puerto Rican immigrants and a lifelong resident of the near south side, I know firsthand the divisions that still exist in our community. As council president, I will prioritize uniting our city as we strive to create an inclusive community that is welcoming and beneficial to all residents. Our constituents deserve nothing less. We must continue to address the issues of violence, fiscal sustainability, and neighborhood development, among other issues, and as president I am willing to work with anyone who has ideas about how to build a better Milwaukee.”
Perez was first elected to the Common Council in 2012.
He is a 1999 graduate of Cardinal Stritch University in Fox Point. Soon after, he became executive director for Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) and led the organization to create the Good Jobs and Livable Neighborhoods Coalition. He also served as Hispanic/Latino Advisory Committee member for former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold.
In 2004, Perez joined the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrialized Organizations (AFL-CIO) as a national field representative, and joined the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development (DCD) in January 2006. He served DCD as an economic development specialist working on business development, real estate development, planning, permitting and public housing until September 2009. He then became a program officer for the City of Milwaukee’s Community Development Grants Administration, where he managed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects.