Milwaukee Common Council

Teran Powell

Update: Tuesday, the Milwaukee Common Council voted 12-2 to approve the ban on conversion therapy in the city.

The measure now heads to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's desk, which he intends to sign.

Original Post, March 9, 2018:

During a hearing at City Hall Thursday, aldermen and community members pushed for Milwaukee to take the first step toward eliminating conversion therapy. The practice – also referred to reparative therapy – includes a range of tactics meant to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Teran Powell

During a committee meeting at Milwaukee's City Hall Tuesday, residents and citizen groups said the city does not need another strip club.

James Harrison, owner and operator of Tatou Ultra Pub on the city’s north side, and his attorneys attended the meeting in hopes of renewing the license for his pub’s operations, but residents were upset with the plan.

Marti Mikkelson

Hundreds of people on Monday packed into a room at the Northwestern Mutual tower downtown to hear Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s annual State of the City address. The Mayor touted potential areas for growth in housing – yet voiced concerns about future budgets.

Mayor Barrett highlighted some of the city’s building developments in the past year - including helping businesses invest in Park Place on the northwest side and advancing a new residential development in the Walker’s Point neighborhood.

Michelle Maternowski

People who've wanted to open a strip club in downtown Milwaukee for years appear to have gotten their way. On Tuesday, the Common Council approved a license application after repeatedly rejecting the plan in the past.

For five years, a group of owners has tried to get the city's OK to open a strip club on Old World Third Street. The group even sued the city for blocking its plans.

Opponents have argued that a strip club isn't a good fit for the area. They've also criticized some people in the owners group, including one who's been in trouble with the law.

Adam Ryan Morris

It has been about a year since Alderman Ashanti Hamilton was elected to the presidency of the Milwaukee Common Council. The election took some by surprise, but others had already noted Hamilton’s rising political star.

Hamilton's rise to the head of the Common Council was the result of a South Side and North Side alliance, which seemed unlikely to some observers. His first year in office has not been without controversy. 

Community groups lined up at Milwaukee City Hall on Monday, when they were invited to voice opinions about a plan to boost public safety. City leaders assembled the draft in August and are now taking it out for public comment. Its recommendations include hiring nearly 300 new police officers and building a juvenile detention facility. Many people who testified Monday panned the proposal to put more officers on the streets.

Courtesy – City of Milwaukee Public Information Division

A coalition of Milwaukee Common Council members has issued a call to action. It wants residents to join civic leaders and police to make this a safer summer for all.

Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton is leading the charge. At City Hall Thursday he said, "We’re calling for all hands on deck. This is a call for all hands. All facets of the community."

Alderman Ashanti Hamilton / Facebook

Milwaukee's City Hall has a few fresh faces. Three new Common Council members took the oath of office Tuesday, beginning four-year terms. Members unanimously chose a new president, Ashanti Hamilton, who represents the city's far north side.

Hamilton succeeds Ald. Michael Murphy, who held the leadership post for two years.

Council members say they're embarking on a new beginning. Yet they're facing some old challenges.

MILWAUKEE POLICE/RIEMANN

Aldermen tried to use the city budget Tuesday to get their arms around this year's spike in violent crime.

Several put forth measures to add police officers. Ald. Bob Donovan submitted one proposal. He made the case for a bigger police force, pointing out that crime surged from 2011 to 2014.

"Milwaukee has seen a 49 percent increase in violent crime, a 19 percent increase in robberies, a 78 percent increase in aggravated assaults," Donovan said.

And 2015 has been a tough year, with a high homicide rate and other crimes.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday approved spending $47 million to help the Bucks build a new downtown arena and entertainment center. 

The city and team had worked out differences on a few issues that had the potential to derail the project.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

Several members of the Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday engaged in a heated debate over proposed amendments to an arena financing deal. The project is expected to cost around $500 million, with the city’s projected share at $47 million. City leaders say they want to make sure Milwaukee is getting the best deal for its money.

Brett Levin / Flickr

Members of a Milwaukee Common Council committee took up a proposal Thursday that could reduce the penalties for first-time offenses for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Advocates say reforms are needed to address disparities in how marijuana laws are enforced and their impact on offenders.

"When you look at the percentage of the population that is African-American versus the percentage of offenders who are actually being picked up by police in Milwaukee and prosecuted, there is a disparity there," says Public Policy Forum president Rob Henken.

LaToya Dennis

Milwaukee alderman would not ban panhandlers outright but would prohibit them from standing in medians, asking for money.

Erin Toner

Some Milwaukee aldermen are calling for policing reforms in the wake of Monday’s decision in the Dontre Hamilton case.

Milwaukee Streetcar

A Milwaukee alderman says what’s fair for the city is fair for other communities. He’s talking about the proposed streetcar for downtown.

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