Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:49 am
Antonio M. “Tony” Pérez, a longtime social justice advocate for the City of Milwaukee and underprivileged citizens, has been unanimously selected by the Frank P. Zeidler Public Service Award committee as the 2011 recipient of the award
Antonio M. “Tony” Pérez, a longtime social justice advocate for the City of Milwaukee and underprivileged citizens, has been unanimously selected by the Frank P. Zeidler Public Service Award committee as the 2011 recipient of the award, which honors the life and work of former Milwaukee Mayor Frank Zeidler.
Pérez, secretary-executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, was nominated by Common Council president Willie Hines, Jr., and will be honored on Tuesday, September 20 prior to the start of the regular Common Council meeting at 9 a.m.
Pérez, was selected by the committee primarily for his extensive work prior to his position in the Housing Authority. In 1991 he founded the Milwaukee Community Service Corps, a non-profit vocational training organization that provides employment and education to young adults in Milwaukee. During his tenure at MCSC from 1991 to 2000, more than 900 participants found jobs, receiving more than $4.5 million in income, while more than $7.8 million in both fee-for-service and public works projects produced more than $8.7 million in value to completed projects. Chaired by civil rights attorney and activist Arthur Heitzer of the Frank P. Zeidler Center for Public Discussion, the selection committee is composed of Alderman Bob Bauman, Milwaukee historian John Gurda, and community members Shelley Bruehling and Jack Murtaugh.
“His persistent work and dedication is credited with bringing the federally funded Job Corps Center to Milwaukee, as well as the founding of the Milwaukee Community Service Corps,” Heitzer said. “Both of these initiatives address the massive need for jobs and job training for young adults and especially urban youth in Milwaukee. Given the epidemic rates of joblessness and some of the much-publicized (youth violence) events during the summer, it is clear that he has long had the vision to address these conditions with programs that are needed now more than ever.”