Former Alderman Mike McGee, Jr., holds early voting rally at city hall

February 4, 2016

Former Milwaukee Ald. Michael McGee, Jr. (right) hosted a rally at Milwaukee City Hall on Monday, February 1. The rally was aimed at encouraging people to vote in the upcoming spring election. Among the many people gathered with McGee were Lucille Jackson (left) a long-time family friend and mother figure for Mr. McGee.

On Monday, February 1, 2016 former Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee, Jr., returned to City Hall for a rally aimed at encouraging people to vote in the upcoming spring election.
“This is the worst place for black folks, and black people, no matter how much money you make,” McGee told the crowd. “It’s time for us to really just take the city over — we’re one of the biggest ethnic groups. And it’s time not just for black folks, but all people of color in this city, to unite around changing our conditions.”
McGee said the push to encourage people to participate in early voting, which started Monday, was just the beginning of his “We Built This City” movement. Flanked by people holding signs and wearing shirts featuring a photograph of black workers at City Hall in 1895, McGee said the “city was built on the backs of black people.”
McGee was joined at the rally by representatives from Pastors United, the Nation of Islam, Ald. Joe Davis, Ald. Milele Coggs and other Common Council candidates.
Davis, who is running for mayor, spoke of systemic poverty, the “mass incarceration of the African American male” and a lack of jobs.
In races where there are more than two people running, candidates will be on the Feb. 16 primary ballot. In two-person races, there’s no need for a primary and both candidates will appear on the April 5 spring election ballot.
Mayor Tom Barrett faces three challengers: Davis, Ald. Bob Donovan and political newcomer James Methu.
After the event, McGee voted for the first time in more than a decade. Like other convicted felons in Wisconsin, he again became eligible to vote once he finished serving his sentence, which includes extended supervision, probation and parole.
McGee said his “We Built This City” movement would include get-out-the-vote efforts as well as fighting back against “foreign business owners who are really disrespectful to the community and need to be taken care of.” He also talked about pursuing the creation of a sovereign township, modeled after places like Whitefish Bay, that would become a separate city, saying his father, Michael McGee Sr., started working on such a move in the 1990s.
McGee said he hoped the city would be named “King’s Paradise,” after Martin Luther King, Jr.