Chris Abele is getting things done in Milwaukee County. Five years ago, Milwaukee County faced a dire fiscal outlook, and the Public Policy Forum asked of County government, “Should It Go or Should It Stay?”
Today, Milwaukee County, through the dedication of its employees, has held bus fares flat while adding nearly a million new route miles, paid down millions of dollars in debt and deferred maintenance, established a dedicated Office of Economic Development that has helped to create thousands of family-supporting jobs and leverage $500 million in new development just around the downtown area, and is ahead of schedule on our plan to end chronic homelessness.
County Executive Abele’s forward-thinking, yet pragmatic, vision is to create a model government that is able to sustainably invest in needed priorities like public safety and cultural assets like our award-winning Parks system, while still tackling the big community problems that exist in Milwaukee County.
After being re-elected to a second term in April 2016, County Executive Abele has committed to reducing racial disparities in our community. Central to these efforts is implementing the Office on African American Affairs that will be focused on workforce development and eliminating racial inequities in our criminal justice system. The levels of poverty, crime, and unemployment happening in neighborhoods like Milwaukee’s 53206 zipcode are at a crisis point and deserve an urgency and focus that’s historically been lacking.
Abele seeks to engage business leaders, community leaders, government, law enforcement, non-profits, faith leaders, and healthcare organizations in these efforts. Finding partners in every corner of our community is key to empowering more people and improving outcomes in our communities.
As a lifelong Democrat, County Executive Abele is proud to support Democrats and progressive causes across the state and country, but he is also proud to reach beyond political labels and across the aisle to achieve the outcomes that serve the people of Milwaukee County.
For more than two decades, County Executive Abele has been a successful business owner. He currently runs a growing real estate company, CSA Commercial, and venture fund, CSA Partners that has created net new jobs and attracted new business to Milwaukee. Most recently, the County Executive Abele started Ward 4, the city’s largest start-up hub, that aims to "spur economic development" through creation of a space for early-stage companies.
Prior to taking office County Executive Abele ran a medical equipment company and led the Milwaukee-based Argosy Foundation as its CEO, where he remains a trustee. The Argosy Foundation seeks to empower others by supporting leaders and organizations that employ creative and entrepreneurial approaches to solving systemic problems.
For nearly 20 years, Abele’s philanthropy and volunteer work has included serving on and leading numerous local, national and international nonprofit boards. He currently serves on many boards, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Schools that Can-Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Film Festival, which he co-founded. He has received numerous awards for his effective leadership and speaks regularly on leadership, philanthropy and nonprofit best practices.