Board of Supervisors

Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson

5th District Supervisor

Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for electing me to serve as your Milwaukee County Supervisor for another term. 2020-22 is my third term as a Supervisor on the County Board. Since I was first elected in April 2016, I have made it my mission to amplify the voices and concerns of District 5 residents. As your representative, I particularly value and have enjoyed meeting personally with neighbors, community groups, local organizations, and businesses who are working to build a better community. You are the reason I'm here. 

I am honored that my colleagues on the Board elected me as their Chairwoman for the 2020-22 term. Milwaukee County continues to face many challenges. We're managing a revenue crisis that has forced us to cut about $30 million from the County Budget each year, and we've declared racism a public health crisis and launched a strategic plan to achieve racial equity and become the healthiest county in Wisconsin. We're confronting a second health care crisis with the Coronavirus. Both of these challenges call for intentional leadership and ongoing public engagement. Please don't hesitate to contact me with your thoughts or concerns about these and other issues.

In addition to my responsibilities as Chairwoman, I continue to serve on the boards of the Milwaukee Public Library and the  Milwaukee Art Museum. I also serve on the Board of Directors for Local Progress, a national network that supports, connects and unites progressive local elected officials and allied organizations.

As Chairwoman, I will continue to sponsor progressive legislation and work with you to make our community a better place to live, work, and play. If you have ideas for new policies or how to collaborate with the community to advance our shared values, please let me know!

Staying connected with you  is important to me. Please share any news of  noteworthy events in your neighborhood or community, or events and projects that involve an organization to which you belong. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

How to Contact Me

Email me

Call my office at (414) 278-4261

Connect With Chairwoman Nicholson

Chairwoman Nicholson welcomes the opportunity to hear from you. To receive advance notice of the Chairwoman’s upcoming events, please fill out the form below so that we can verify you are a Milwaukee County resident. This information is essential to ensuring the security of the event.

Chats With the Chairwoman

Exploring Topics on Race & Racism

June 2021: TBD

Previous Chats

Thursday, March 25, 2021
"Black women discuss racism, colorism and erasure"

With special guests: 

  • LaTonya Johnson, Wisconsin State Senator (District 6)
  • Shavonda Sisson, Program Director of Ally and Alumni Experience, Public Allies Milwaukee
  • Elle Halo, LGBTQIA/QTPOC Health Equity Advocate/Educator, Planned Parenthood of WI Inclusion Health Program Specialist

Watch the archived video here

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020
"The Unique Challenges of Being a Black Leader" 

  • Angela Lang, Black Leaders Organizing Communities
  • Wes Bellamy, Author and former Vice Mayor of Charlottesville, NC
  • Wanda Montgomery, President, Village of Brown Deer
  • David Bowen, WI State Representative (District 10)
  • Vaun Mayes, Community Task Force, Milwaukee
  • Arnitta Holliman, Office of Violence Prevention, City of Milwaukee Health Department

View the video on Facebook

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Map of the 5th Supervisory District

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About Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson

Marcelia Nicholson is an award-winning activist, and the first Black woman and Latina elected as Chairwoman of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. Prior to her election as Board Chair, she served as 1st Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Economic & Community Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committees. She sits on the board of directors of several community and national organizations, including Local Progress, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Milwaukee Public Museum. 

Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, Chairwoman Nicholson works to make opportunities that were given to her as a young woman growing up in 53206, one of the nation’s poorest and most incarcerated zip-codes, available to others. Chairwoman Nicholson is a champion for working people, public education, economic development, and community empowerment. Her past work as a union activist, community organizer, and educator informs her policy and community work. She has authored and sponsored several significant pieces of legislation, including a $15 living wage ordinance, an eviction reduction program, a resolution establishing Juneteenth Day as a major holiday, and a declaration of racism as a public health crisis (Milwaukee County was the first county or local municipality in the United States to do so). She has also secured funding for County parks, advocated on behalf of women of color seeking entrepreneurship, and fought for criminal justice reform. 

Chairwoman Nicholson is a proud product of Milwaukee Public Schools and is an honors graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Prior to her first election to the Board of Supervisors in 2016, she taught 4th grade at Milwaukee Public Schools. As a member of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association (MTEA), she worked to organize MTEA members and community groups for better teaching and classroom conditions. She earned recognition for for her activism and dedication to Social Justice Unionism with a feature profile and cover story in the Fall 2016 edition of the National Education Association magazine. 

As the current Vice President of Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization, Marcelia engages political leaders in the Fight for $15 and a Union, while connecting disenfranchised Milwaukeeans to good family-sustaining jobs, union representation, career development, and the halls of government. 

In her spare time, Marcelia serves as a national trainer for the Progressive Governance Academy, where she trains progressive elected officials across the country on various skills, including transitioning to public leadership and setting an agenda. She also has a passion for baking and owns her own business baking cookies, cakes, and sweets. 

Notable accomplishments and recognitions:

  • Milwaukee Democratic Party Rising Star Award (2020)
  • Panelist, Democratic National Convetion, Milwaukee (2020)
  • Young Elected Officials Inaugural 35 under 35 (2020)
  • Downtown Milwaukee Downtown Playmaker Award (2019)
  • Young Elected Officials Inaugural Trailblazer Award (2018)
  • Panelist, Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (2018)
  • Local Progress National Board Member (2017)
  • National Working Families Party Academy Delegate to Madrid, Spain (2017)
  • Center for Popular Democracy Elected Representative to World Transformed Festival in Brighton, England (2019)
  • Panelist, Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia (2016)
  • National Education Association (NEA) 30 Under 30 (2016)
  • NEA Magazine Cover Story (Fall 2016)
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Press Releases

Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson Reflects on First Year Leading Board of Supervisors


In a statement reflecting on her first year leading the Board of Supervisors, Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson thanked her colleagues for their support and collaboration, reflected on a year of firsts, and looked toward the future.

Chairwoman Nicholson Calls for Milwaukee County to go Carbon Neutral by 2050


The Committee on Parks, Energy, and Environment unanimously recommended for adoption two proposals sponsored by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson aimed at combatting climate change earlier today.

Chairwoman Nicholson Announces Updated Committee Assignments, Leadership Roles


With Supervisor Priscilla Coggs-Jones recently sworn-in to represent the County’s 10th Supervisory District, Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson has announced updated County Board committee assignments.

Lilliann Paine’s Ideas Led to a Seismic Shift in Public Health Policy in Milwaukee and Nationwide


Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson released the following statement regarding the contributions of Lilliann Paine to Milwaukee County’s efforts to dismantle institutional racism and work towards racial equity.

County Board Adopts Policy to go Carbon Neutral by 2050


The County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted two proposals sponsored by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson aimed at combatting climate change at today’s meeting.

County Board Adopts Nicholson Proposal to Improve Equity for Women Employees


At last Thursday’s County Board meeting Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson celebrating Women’s History Month and seeking data that will aid Milwaukee County in advancing racial and gender equity for Women employees.

County Board Adopts Proposal to Eliminate Single-Use ‘Forever Plastics’


The County Board of Supervisors adopted a proposal at today’s meeting to phase out single-use plastics and other non-biodegradable products from Milwaukee County facilities and parks.

Reimagined County Board Health Committee Will Add a New Focus on Strategic Planning


Health equity, human needs and strategic planning will be the focus of a reimagined Milwaukee County Board committee, thanks to a newly-adopted (16-1, Weishan) ordinance change proposed by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson and co-sponsored by Supervisors Shawn Rolland, Joseph Czarnezki, Jason Haas, Ryan Clancy, Sequanna Taylor and Willie Johnson, Jr.

Chairwoman Nicholson Congratulates Newly Elected Supervisor Priscilla Coggs-Jones on her Victory, Announces Updated Committee Assignments


County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson congratulated newly elected Supervisor Priscilla Coggs-Jones on her election victory Monday and announced updated committee assignments.

Chairwoman Nicholson to Discuss Milwaukee County Support for Small Business Community


County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson will take to Facebook Live on Wednesday to discuss the success of Milwaukee County’s Small Business Recovery Initiative Grant program and provide helpful tips and insights for business owners that want to work with the County.

Parks Committee Advances Proposal to Eliminate Single-Use ‘Forever Plastics’


The Committee on Parks, Energy, and Environment unanimously recommended for adoption a proposal to phase out single-use plastics and other non-biodegradable products from Milwaukee County facilities and parks.

City and County Leaders to Receive COVID-19 Vaccination at Kosciuszko Community Center Tuesday


At the Kosciuszko Community Center at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson will receive a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, together with County Executive David Crowley and Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson.

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In The News

TMJ4: Health Officials And Elected Officials Turn More Attention Towards Fighting Vaccine Hesitancy


The U.S. has passed a new milestone with more than 200 million citizens vaccinated. But now, the Biden administration and health officials nationwide are refocusing their attention on vaccine hesitancy.

Milwaukee Courier: ‘We are Doing This in the Spirit of Equity’: Milwaukee Expands Vaccine Distribution


The fact that the vulnerable communities in Milwaukee have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic is nothing new. The inequities in health care and resource distribution made it almost inevitable that people living in some of the poorest neighborhoods would suffer the most.

Urban Milwaukee: Dontre Hamilton Memorial Proposed for Red Arrow Park


Milwaukee County Supervisor Sequanna Taylor is sponsoring a resolution that would create a memorial for Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park. Hamilton was shot and killed by a Milwaukee Police officer in the park in 2014.

Urban Milwaukee: Top Local Elected Officials Get Vaccinated


Three of Milwaukee’s top elected officials received a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to encourage more citizens to take advantage of the free vaccine clinics being operated by the city and the county.

WPR: Milwaukee County Banning Single-Use Plastic In Its Facilities


Milwaukee County plans to phase out single-use plastics and other non-biodegradable products from county-owned facilities and parks by next year. The county has also set a goal for the county Parks Department to eliminate polystyrene foam, commonly used for to-go containers and cups, in 2022.

CBS 58: Milwaukee County leaders get COVID-19 vaccine: 'Everybody's got to do their part'


Milwaukee County leaders say they're keeping equity at the forefront as they encourage thousands of people across 10 ZIP codes to get the COVID-19 vaccine. To help reinforce that message, three leaders leaders got their shots on Tuesday, March 23.

Cap Times: In Wake Of Wisconsin’s Racial Justice Protests, Curfew Tickets Raise Equity And Speech Questions


The envelope looked like any other — slightly wrinkled, a handwritten address scrawled across the front. But Jared Cain said he felt violated after looking inside.

CBS 58: Milwaukee County District 5 businesses receive $1.2 million in Covid-relief grants


More than 150 small businesses in Milwaukee County's 5th Supervisory District received a total of $1.2 million on Tuesday, March 16. The grant is through the county's Small Business Recovery Initiative Grant Program. The amount is more than any other Supervisory district, according to county officials.

Milwaukee NNS: Sunday April 25 Caravan And County Board Call For Normal Relations With Cuba


This Sunday, April 25, Milwaukee will join a rapidly spreading movement of car and bike caravans calling for an end to the US economic blockade of Cuba, beginning at the Mitchell Park domes at 1 PM.

Urban Milwaukee: Federal Bill Combats Voter Suppression


On January 6th, we all watched as right-wing extremists, spurred on by one of the most divisive presidents in the history of the United States, attempted to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election by attacking the U.S. Capitol, and attempting to thwart the certification of the Electoral College vote.

TMJ4: Milwaukee County Board Adopts Resolution To Eliminate Single-Use Plastics, Foam Products


The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution Thursday that calls for the elimination of single-use plastic or polystyrene foam products in county facilities and parks.

Wisconsin Examiner: Shifting the narrative around legalizing Badger cannabis


Ending Wisconsin’s cannabis prohibition is an effort being pushed across multiple fronts. While proposals are hashed out in the halls of government, and not likely to succeed while the GOP controls both Legislative branches, advocates also see the need to shift the narrative around cannabis.

Urban Milwaukee: Board To Consider Climate Change Policy


On Thursday April 22nd, also known as Earth Day, the Milwaukee County Board will consider a raft of climate and pollution related legislation.

Urban Milwaukee: County Supervisors Back $1 Pot Penalty


The Milwaukee County penalty for marijuana possession would drop from up to $500 to $1, under a proposal introduced by a group of county supervisors. “In achieving racial equity, disparities in the criminal justice system, including marijuana and paraphernalia possession laws, must be eradicated,” the resolution said.

Milwaukee Courier: Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson Calls for Milwaukee County to Go Carbon Neutral, Battle Climate Change


The Committee on Parks, Energy, and Environment has recommended adoption of two climate change combat proposals sponsored by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson, a press release announced earlier this week.

Capital Times: Milwaukee County considers leaving statewide organization after Dane County pulls out


The state's biggest county is putting off a decision on whether to continue its membership in a statewide lobbying association, a group Dane County already left over concerns that it did not represent its interests. Wisconsin senators must support voting rights bill


Earlier this month, the U.S. House took a democracy-affirming step that is sorely needed as we confront some of the biggest threats to our rights in recent memory. It passed the “For the People Act,” a comprehensive bill that shores up voting rights and goes after corruption and secretive big spending in politics.

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