We support Chantia Lewis in her bid to represent Milwaukee’s 9th District on the Common Council.
The aldermanic district on the city’s far northwest side is one Milwaukee’s most racially diverse. The conservative northern edge of the district, which stretches to Menomonee Falls, has helped Ald. Robert Puente get elected there since 2004.
Puente is often criticized for failing to take a pro-active role for his constituents, and it shows. The district has declined ever since his first election, losing hundreds of jobs with the closing of Northridge Mall, Sam’s Club and Target.
Johnson Park has deteriorated, as have many of the neighborhoods closer to the city’s center, Lewis said. Some have become food deserts.
Lewis vows to be an energetic advocate for the area, and she demonstrates the passion and leadership skills to be an effective one. A wife, mother, Air Force veteran and owner of a small business, she’s lived in the district for 15 years. She has a passionate commitment to the area, and she was inspired to run as an antidote to what she regards as Puente’s lack of interest in his job.
“One of the responsibilities of an alderman is to improve the district, and he’s basically missing,” she told WiG. “His job is to advocate and make sure our district is economically viable. We now have food deserts.”
Lewis graduated from Alverno College, where her studies focused on community leadership and development. She recently was appointed to the national board of 9 to 5, an organization that trains women to become grassroots advocates for economic justice. She also completed training by Emerge, a highly esteemed organization that identifies, trains and helps elect Democratic women with leadership potential.
If she wins her race, Lewis will become the second woman serving on the Common Council.
Lewis has received endorsements from AFSCME, Service Employees International, the Milwaukee Area Labor Council and the American Federation of Teachers.
Puente won his last election by a sliver of the vote. We urge the district’s voters to make a better choice on April 5 and see to it that Lewis wins.