Board of Supervisors

Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson

5th District Supervisor

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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. We've declared racism a public health crisis and have built Milwaukee County's strategic plan around achieving racial equity and becoming the healthiest county in Wisconsin. We're confronting a second health care crisis in the form of the Coronavirus. Each of these challenges calls for thoughtful, steady leadership and ongoing engagement with the public. Please don't hesitate to contact me with your thoughts or concerns about these and other issues.

I continue to serve on the Boards of the Milwaukee Public Library and 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.

Staying connected with my constituents is critically important to me. Please let me know about noteworthy events in your neighborhood or that involve an organization to which you belong. I look forward to attending neighborhood and community events where I can discuss district issues with you, and I encourage you to attend my events, like my upcoming Chats with the Chairwoman.

I will continue to sponsor legislation and work with you to make our community better for all. Please let me know about issues that are important to you.

I encourage you to reach out to my office so that we can keep you up to date on any new developments or events in the district.

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

Postponed - Date TBA

"Black women discuss racism, colorism and erasure"

With special guests: 

  • Stephanie Morales, Commonwealth Attorney, Portsmouth, Virginia (a Commonwealth Attorney is the equivalent of a District Attorney in states like Wisconsin.)
  • Shavonda Sisson, Program Director of Ally and Alumni Experience, Public Allies Milwaukee
  • Elle Halo, Health Connections, Inc

The Chairwoman will continue to hold monthly chats on issues related to racial equity in 2021.

Previous Chats

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

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020

2021 Budget Listening Session

View the video on Facebook

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

2021 Budget Listening Session

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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 Selected to Join TEMPO Milwaukee’s Emerging Women Leaders


TEMPO Milwaukee recently announced that they have included County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson in their Emerging Women Leaders group, a network of “rising stars and high achievers” whom TEMPO has recognized for their outsize influence as community-minded changemakers.

Chairwoman Nicholson to Host Online Chat featuring Prominent Black Leaders


Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson will moderate an online panel discussion Wednesday night at 7:00pm on the topic of “The Unique Challenges of Being a Black Leader”. Wednesday’s chat will cover such topics as the recent rise in death threats against and harassment of Black leaders, racist micro-aggressions at work and in the community, and the barriers and obstacles to elected office and positions of influence facing Black leaders.

Chairwoman Nicholson Named a 2020 Power Broker


The Milwaukee Business Journal has included County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson in its annual “Power Brokers” list for 2020. It is the first time Chairwoman Nicholson has received this distinction.

Chairwoman Nicholson Issues Guiding Principles for Setting County Budget


As the Board of Supervisors begins deliberations on the 2021 Milwaukee County budget, Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson launched a new approach to the budget process with a letter to County Supervisors that lays out a set of “guiding principles.”

Board of Supervisors Adopts 2021 Milwaukee County Budget


The Board of Supervisors adopted (14-4) the 2021 County budget Monday after approving several amendments that make additional investments in racial equity efforts, county parks, improved service delivery that will help improve the health of Milwaukee County residents.

Nicholson Measure Providing Housing Support to MATC Students Approved


The Milwaukee Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal from Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson today to allocate $35,000 to an independent fund that helps Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) students avoid eviction and maintain housing stability while they earn their degree.

Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson’s Omnibus Amendment to Enhance Racial Equity Efforts and Invest in Communities Adopted by Board


The Board of Supervisors approved (17-1, Weishan) an amendment to the 2021 budget from Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson that makes additional investments in racial equity efforts and in improving the health of Milwaukee County residents from all walks of life.

Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson Endorses County Exec’s Vision, Pledges to Work Together


In a statement released Monday, County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson endorsed County Executive David Crowley’s vision for Milwaukee County and pledged to continue to work together towards common goals.

Finance Committee Unanimously Approves Chairwoman Nicholson’s Amendment to Enhance Investments in Equity


The County Board’s Finance Committee unanimously approved a budget amendment Thursday from Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson that would make additional investments in equity for communities across Milwaukee County.

Chairwoman Nicholson Urges Local Health Officers to Enforce Statewide Mask Rule


In a statement released Thursday, County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson praised Governor Tony Evers for his emergency order requiring facemasks indoors and called upon the local health officers in Milwaukee County to commit to enforcing the mandate.

Official Public Hearing on 2021 County Budget Will be Held Online, October 30


County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson announced today that Board of Supervisors will hold its official public hearing on the 2021 budget on Friday, October 30, at 4:00 p.m. In the interest of public health, this year’s hearing will be held online.

“We Need Federal Aid, Not Federal Agents” - Leaders of One Milwaukee Task Force Issue Joint Statement


Leaders of the One Milwaukee Task Force issued a joint statement Tuesday on President Trump’s announcement that he is sending federal law enforcement officers to Milwaukee.

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