Rep. David Bowen announces bid for Milwaukee alder

By: - December 22, 2022 6:09 am
Rep David Bowen with Gov. Tony Evers 2/2019 Black History Month celebration in the Capitol rotunda, via Evers on Flickr. Black History Month Rotund

Rep David Bowen with Gov. Tony Evers 2/2019

As he transitions out of the Legislature, Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) is making a bid for Milwaukee’s 1st Aldermanic District. The district is one of five vacant common council seats in the city of Milwaukee. On Feb. 21, 2023 the city will hold a special election to fill the 1st, 5th, and 9th districts which are all vacant. Candidates have been able to circulate nomination papers since Nov. 28. Bowen put in his own bid just before Christmas.

“Serving honorably in public office has been one of the highest honors of my life,” said Bowen in a press release. “Following my departure from the state legislature, the outpouring of encouragement to continue to serve the residents of Wisconsin has been both valuable and overwhelming. After much reflection, prayer, and counsel, I am honored to bring my passion and experience to the 1st Aldermanic District race.”

Bowen has served in Wisconsin’s government for over a decade. As a member of the Wisconsin Assembly he advocated for increasing shared revenue for Milwaukee, gun control and criminal justice reforms. Bowen co-authored a package of police reform policies called  the “enough is enough” bills of 2021 which would have instituted  independent police shooting investigations, created annual use-of-force reporting standards and addressed toxic  “warrior culture” in law enforcement. Bowen also joined  the crowds of protesters who took to the streets calling for police accountability in 2020.

Milwaukee is facing “critical challenges,” said Bowen in his press release, “possibly the most challenging in Milwaukee’s history.”  He cited  public safety concerns, a lack of equitable economic opportunities and a dearth of quality housing.

“And our challenges with the city budget, due in part to a continuous lack of state support, continue to threaten Milwaukee’s future,” he added.  “If Milwaukee fails, the state of Wisconsin fails. If Milwaukee grows its tax base, the state of Wisconsin grows its tax collection.” Bowen, a Milwaukee native who lives in the Rufus King neighborhood, says he’s already met with hundreds of locals, gathering support for  the spring election.

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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.