Board of Supervisors

Sylvia Ortiz-Velez

12th District Supervisor

Dear Neighbor,

On April 3, 2018, you elected me to serve as your representative on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors and I want to thank you for that privilege.

I am truly honored and blessed to be able to work for the neighborhood I grew up in and love. I want you to know my phone lines and door to my office are always open and that I listen to all voices. I want to assure you the priorities of my community will always be placed first and I will be present and actively involved in community affairs.

In addition to serving on the County Board, I am also on an advisory board for UMOS (United Migrant Opportunity Services), which serves disadvantaged members of our community.

In my opinion we have the most vibrant and culturally diverse area of the County, but that is not to say that we don’t have our share of challenges. We face many issues that are common in many urban areas around the country and we must work together to meet those challenges head on.

I encourage all people in the 12th District to reach out to my office anytime to express your concerns or if you just have general questions as well. I am here to serve you.

Call my office at (414) 278-4269 or email me at

About Supervisor Ortiz-Velez

Sylvia Ortiz-Velez is a life-long south side community resident and activist. She attended Hayes and Morgandale elementary schools, Kosciusczko Middle School and Bay View High School. She has seven brothers and sisters and over 25 nieces and nephews. Her father was an evangelical minister for decades and is now a small business owner in the district.

Supervisor Ortiz-Velez has a degree in political science from the UW-Milwaukee and has been a Wisconsin-licensed real estate broker for over 15 years. Sylvia was born and raised in the district and has proudly been a volunteer in the community for many years prior to being elected. She has fought tirelessly on issues that our district has been presented with and she brings that passion with her to the County Courthouse on behalf of the people she is honored to serve. Sylvia understands the deep sense of pride that south siders share in our part of the County and has enthusiastically represented their interests both in and out of office.

Sylvia serves as Vice-Chair of the Judiciary, Safety and General Services Committee and the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee, and sits on the Parks, Energy and Envionment Committee. She also is a member of the Mitchell Park Domes Task Force, and an UMOS advisory board.

Sylvia represents one of the most diverse and unique districts in Milwaukee County and wants to make sure all people have a voice. Sylvia’s platform as County Supervisor is to re-vamp and preserve the Mitchell Park Domes to ensure its existence for generations to come, protect and expand public transit, practice fiscal responsibility while prioritizing vital public services to the people who need it the most and taking care of Milwaukee County’s most vulnerable citizens.

Sylvia proudly resides in Milwaukee’s Walker's Square neighborhood.


Map of the 12th Supervisory District

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Press Releases

Chairwoman Nicholson and Supervisor Ortiz-Velez Celebrate Beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month


Today begins the observation of Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of Hispanic Americans who have achieved success and inspired others.

Supervisors Denounce Violence and Discrimination Against Asian Americans


On Tuesday a gunman killed eight people across three Atlanta-area spas—six of whom were women of Asian descent—in the latest example of a rising number of violent Anti-Asian American crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Board of Supervisors Congratulate Colectivo Workers on Successful Union Election


On Monday, workers at Colectivo Coffee won an election to form a union by a margin of 106-99, after the National Labor Relations Board opened up seven challenged ballots that were uncounted during the first count, which resulted in a 99-99 tie result.

Expanded Vaccine Eligibility for Hard-Hit Zip Codes in District 12


County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez wants residents of District 12 to know that Milwaukee County has recently expanded vaccine eligibility for residents aged 18+ who live in zip codes ranked highly on the CDC’s social vulnerability index.

Ortiz-Velez Resolution Supporting Fentanyl Testing Strip Legalization Adopted by County Board


The County Board of Supervisors today unanimously adopted a resolution by Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez calling on the State of Wisconsin to legalize fentanyl testing strips.

Judiciary Committee Approves Proposal to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalty


Today the County Board’s Judiciary, Safety and General Services Committee approved a resolution sponsored by Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez that would reduce the fine for marijuana possession, and possession and delivery of drug paraphernalia, within Milwaukee County to no more than $1.

County Board of Supervisors Congratulate the Bucks on Historic NBA Championship


On Tuesday night the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the team’s first NBA Championship since 1971.

Many South Side Seniors Now Eligible for Vaccination at Kosciuszko Community Center


County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez wants residents of Milwaukee’s South Side to know that Milwaukee County recently launched a ZIP Code Vaccination Program, which provides free COVID-19 vaccines to individuals 65 years and older living in the 53204 and 53206 ZIP codes.

Supervisor Ortiz-Velez Resolution Supporting Fentanyl Testing Strip Legalization Advances


Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez is calling on the State of Wisconsin to legalize fentanyl testing strips. The County’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee unanimously endorsed the resolution last week, and the Board of Supervisors will vote on it later this month.

Supervisors Denounce Anti-Democratic Coup Attempt in Washington D.C.


Supervisors Ryan Clancy, Joseph J. Czarnezki, Jason Haas, Willie Johnson, Jr., Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, Shawn Rolland, Steven Shea, Liz Sumner and Sheldon A. Wasserman released the following statement regarding the riotous mob storming the United States Capitol in a reprehensible attempt to stop Congress from certifying the Presidential election

Supervisor Ortiz-Velez Calls on State Legislature to Legalize Fentanyl Testing Strips


County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez will hold a press conference on Monday, June 28 at 10 a.m. outside of the Wells Street entrance of the Milwaukee County Courthouse to introduce legislation calling on the Wisconsin State Legislature to legalize fentanyl testing strips.

Board of Supervisors Endorses Expanded Access to Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants


The Board of Supervisors adopted (14-2) a proposal from Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez to endorse portions of Governor Tony Evers' budget that would restore full access to driver's licenses for all Wisconsin residents, regardless of immigration status.

Supervisor Ortiz-Velez Proposal to Cultivate Hemp Clones at the Domes Moves Forward with RFP


County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez’s proposal to propagate hemp clones at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservancy’s (Domes) greenhouses has moved forward, with a request for proposal (RFP) now open for qualified businesses. It is live until Monday, June 7.

Supervisor Ortiz-Velez Committed to Repairing Mitchell Park Domes


Supervisors Sylvia Ortiz-Velez released the following statement in response to a study that called for the demolition of the Mitchell Park Domes.

Elected Leaders to Host Educational Event on Marijuana Laws


Local elected leaders will participate in Legalize MKE, a virtual educational event to inform residents of current marijuana laws at the municipal, county, and state levels on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m.

County Board Resists Review of Homelessness Funding


Milwaukee County Supervisors Deanna Alexander, Patti Logsdon, and Sylvia Ortiz-Velez wrote and submitted to the County Board, a resolution aimed at helping to house the part of Milwaukee’s homeless population that federal funding is unable to assist.

County Board Adopts Resolution Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalty


Today the County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution introduced by Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez that reduces the fine for marijuana possession, and possession and delivery of drug paraphernalia, within Milwaukee County to no more than $1.

Media Advisory: Supervisor Ortiz-Velez to Call for Study of Hemp Cultivation


Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez is calling for Milwaukee County to study if growing hemp in county greenhouses could generate revenue for the County through sale of hemp products.

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In The News

TMJ4: City Of Oshkosh Reduces Fine For Cannabis Possession To $75


The Oshkosh Common Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that lowers the fine for first-offense cannabis possession from $200 to $75, plus court fees.

BizTimes: County Seeking Businesses To Propagate Hemp At The Domes


Milwaukee County is seeking businesses to cultivate hemp clones in one of the greenhouses at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservancy. The county has issued a request for proposal for a private entity to lease one of the Domes’ greenhouses to propagate hemp clones for market consumption.

Urban Milwaukee: Saga Of The Domes Continues


So much has happened since the last time county policy makers formally paid attention to the aging Mitchell Park Domes. Since 2019, the leadership on both the Milwaukee County Board and in the county executive’s office has changed; and the county, like the rest of the world, was plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Milwaukee Record: Milwaukee County Is Looking For Businesses To Cultivate Hemp Clones At The Domes


Are you interested in cultivating hemp clones in one of the greenhouses of the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservancy—a.k.a. the Domes? If so, Milwaukee County would like to hear from you.

Urban Milwaukee: Supervisors Create Independent Redistricting Committee


Milwaukee County’s first-ever, independent redistricting committee — not done by the county supervisors — is beginning its work under less-than-ideal circumstances. The census data required for drawing new legislative maps recently arrived from the federal government, which was several months late. Typically, redistricting would already be well underway.

TMJ4: Milwaukee Leaders Answer Community's Questions About State And Local Marijuana Laws


Leaders in Milwaukee answered people's questions about state and local marijuana laws in a virtual information session Tuesday night. Marijuana is illegal in Wisconsin, and lawmakers say they expect it to be that way for some time.

Urban Milwaukee: Milwaukee Legislators Push Legalizing Fentanyl Test Strips


During the past five years, Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, has driven an alarming increase in drug overdose deaths. The powerful narcotic is often added to other drugs unbeknownst to the user. Addiction and substance abuse advocates in Milwaukee say simple testing strips that detect the drug could save lives.

FOX 6: Lifeguards Wanted For Milwaukee County Beaches, Pools


With COVID restriction easing more and more, many people are hoping to hit the pools and beaches in Milwaukee County this summer. But a staffing shortage may prevent that from happening, county officials say.

CBS 58: Milwaukee Co. Calls For Support To Legalize Fentanyl Testing Strips


One Wisconsin leader is heading the charge in a new fight against opioids and she's calling on state lawmakers to make it easier to detect fentanyl. Right now, it is illegal in Wisconsin to have fentanyl testing strips. County Supervisor and State Representative Sylvia Ortiz-Velez (D-Milwaukee) is working on legislation to change that.

Wisconsin Examiner: Voces Protests Removal Of Immigrant-Centered Policies From State Budget By Republicans


The Wisconsin State Capitol was closed to the public for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It only took four days after reopening for Republicans in the Legislature to draw a large group of protesters to the hallway outside the Joint Finance Committee meeting (JFC).

Milwaukee NNS: Is Weed Legal Now? Here Are 9 Things You Should Know About Marijuana Law Enforcement In Milwaukee


In late March, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors reduced the fine for marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession of 25 grams or less to $1. Leaders have also pushed for similar legislation in the City of Milwaukee.

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.

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