Former Senator Nikiya Dodd (D-Milwaukee) represented Milwaukee’s 6th Senate District. As a Milwaukee native, Nikiya cares deeply for the needs of her family and community. Nikiya graduated from the UW-Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in community education and a Master’s in adult education, enabling her to become a pre-school teacher and pre-college coordinator.
Prior to serving in elected office, Nikiya worked in fund development for the Urban Ecology Center. This position emboldened her love for children and families and solidified her desire to run for office. Through her work, she empowered families to take back their neighborhoods through environmental initiatives such as urban gardening, safe and clean parks, and involvement in recreational activities.
Leading with the simple motto, “I just want to do God’s will,” Rev. Christopher Boston serves Christ and community with passion and purpose. He was ordained into the Gospel ministry in 2002 and installed the Senior Pastor of the Lamb of God Missionary Baptist Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in September 2012. He is the third pastor in the 60 year history of the church. Prior to his pastoral call, he served under the leadership of Dr. Archie L. Ivy as an Associate Minister of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church of Milwaukee.
Rev. Boston has previously worked as Director of Sustainable Communities for Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) Milwaukee office. He has also labored as a steward of social justice and equality as the Lead Organizer/Director of Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) where he led the agency in growth and social reforms through new initiatives such as “The People’s Campaign” and was instrumental in the passage of the Milwaukee Opportunities for Restoring Employment (MORE) ordinance and the Park East Redevelopment Compact (PERC).
Rev. Boston is frequently called upon to speak at conferences and workshops on issues relating to the role of faith in social justice, community organizing and civic engagement. He has participated and presented at the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change Seminar on Racial Equity and Society and leads workshops and trainings across the country helping both individuals and organizations develop strategies that foster community transformation.
President Ashanti Hamilton was elected to the Milwaukee Common Council in 2004 and was re-elected by an overwhelming margin in 2016.
On April 19, 2016, President Hamilton was elected unanimously by his peers to serve as the 48th president of the Milwaukee Common Council. He is the fourth African American in Milwaukee history to serve in that role.
Throughout his tenure on the council, President Hamilton has written and introduced key legislation including the Milwaukee Opportunities Restoring Employment (MORE) ordinance and the Milwaukee Promise, which was established in 2011 to address poverty, disparities and inequality.
President Hamilton has implemented and supported programs like Be the Change (BTC), a comprehensive program that supports the development, success and achievement of young men of color in Milwaukee. He was also the driving force behind the Milwaukee Promise Zones initiative, which was created to strengthen revitalization efforts in the city’s poorest neighborhoods through the collective input and efforts of community stakeholders, reducing violent crime, improving educational opportunities and creating jobs.
President Hamilton sponsored the Milwaukee Jobs Act, which developed a comprehensive set of policies related to job creation, job opportunity, job quality and job security for Milwaukee residents, establishing a unified strategy to address the crippling joblessness in the City of Milwaukee and the lack of family-sustaining jobs for Milwaukee workers.
President Hamilton has served on numerous boards and commissions throughout his tenure on the council. He served as president of the Milwaukee Public Library Board of Trustees. He is a standing board member of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, the Wisconsin Center District and the National League of Cities. He also serves on the Milwaukee Area Technical College Board of Directors.
President Hamilton has been instrumental in the ongoing revitalization of the 30th Street corridor and the development of Villard Library Square.
President Ashanti Hamilton is a proud graduate of Riverside University High School, and earned his bachelor’s degree in English at Marquette University, where he became a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. After graduation, he went on to teach English, and coached track and football at Riverside University High School. He earned his law degree from Thurgood Marshall Law School at Texas Southern University.
Dr. Grenell serves as the current Partner and CEO of Global Capital Group, LLC Wauwatosa, WI, and current Executive Director of the Manufacturing Diversity Institute, Milwaukee, WI.
He is the former Vice President and Dean of Diversity and Associate Professor of Africana and Latin American Studies, Colgate University, former Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Political Science, Marquette University, former Interim Assistant Provost for the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Director of the Master of Public Administration Program, Associate Professor of Political Science, Auburn University.
His goal is to lead and empower talented teams and individuals on a mission to create shared prosperity through innovation, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation globally.
He focuses on pursing opportunities to assist organizations, communities, regions, and nations identify and execute strategies to unleash human capital, entrepreneurial innovations, and change leading to excellence.
Maria Watts has served Milwaukee’s Latino and broader community for the past 24 years. Her career includes 19 years with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) where she currently serves as a Senior Business and Community Engagement Officer
For 19 years Maria has assisted hundreds of public and private entities by leveraging WHEDA’s knowledge and resources. Before coming to WHEDA, she worked as a Housing Coordinator for La Casa De Esperanza and as an Assistant Vice President for Tri-City National Bank.
Over the past two decades Maria has served on numerous boards of directors and is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for UMOS.
Que El-Amin is a co-Founder of Young Enterprising Society based in Milwaukee, WI. Q. El-Amin’s role has led him in charge of building a social media following of over 28,000, six YES Tours and countless media impressions distributed physically and digitally.
Que El-Amin began his entrepreneurial pursuits in 2007 beginning with Scott Crawford, Inc. as a real estate managing entity of which he still owns and operates.
Que El-Amin’s educational experience includes an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Art and a Master’s Degree in Geography with a concentration in Urban Planning from the Chicago State University in August 2015.
Que has served in a number of leadership capacities including: Transform Milwaukee Initiative Executive Committee, SEED Council, Associates in Commercial Real Estate Graduate, and Former President of CSU Aquaponics Association. He was also a member of Gamma Theta Epsilon Honor Society and a member of the John H. Scott Memorial Scholarship Foundation.
Kein Burton is the Development Manager of the 30th Street Industrial Corridor for the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee. Kein develops and implements strategies that promote and grow economic capacity for businesses, people and places in the area. Central to this goal is the transformation of the 84-acre former A.O. Smith/Tower Automotive site to the Century City Business Park which is designed to attract advanced manufacturing companies. Century City, as well as other Corridor plan catalytic projects, draw upon Kein’s career commitment to real estate development, community development finance, workforce development and neighborhood improvement with a singular goal of attracting investment in business and human capital.
Willie C. Wade is a former alderman of District 7 on Milwaukee’s North Side, having served from 2003 to early 2016. Wade has lived in the 7th District for more than 40 years and spent more than 27 years working in the community as a mentor, coach and teacher. He attended Milwaukee’s Hamilton and Riverside high schools. He attended Armstrong State College in Savannah, Georgia and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
He has a long history as a government worker and union member. Prior to his election, Wade spent 19 years as an employee of Milwaukee Public Schools, including 15 years working with special education students. He was a member of Service Employees International Union for 10 years and is a longtime member of Milwaukee Teachers Union. He currently serves on 14 committees or boards both locally and regionally.