Now that her term on the Milwaukee school board has officially wrapped up, Meagan Holman, who has represented Bay View and other South Side neighborhoods on the board, is filing papers today to run for the 14th District Common Council seat, which includes Bay View, as well as Baran Park and Polonia to the west (see map below).
Holman will face incumbent Tony Zielinski in the April 5, 2016 election.
"I'm definitely running for re-election," Zielinski said Friday. "I've been out there already. Although our district is doing great right now, we're nowhere near the potential yet."
Zielinksi has represented the district since 2004. He represented the 12th District on the Milwaukee County Board from 1988 to 2004.
City clerk Jim Owczarski confirmed on Thursday that no other candidates had yet filed papers for the race.
Holman said in an exclusive interview with OnMilwaukee.com that she feels an urgency to further the work she did with the Milwaukee Board of School Directors now that her term has expired on Vliet Street, where she worked to expand the district's Montessori programs and on a project to turn around Bay View High School, among other things.
"It's abundantly clear to me that there is a tremendous amount going on in the city that needs some fresh eyes and we're making generational decisions when it comes to the streetcar, the arena, how we're handling a rash of violence in the city," she said. "It's not time for me to sit back and evaluate what I need to do, it's time to do what's right for the community.
"There's a degree to which we all know, especially in Bay View, that Milwaukee is at a make or break moment," said Holman, who lives near Humboldt Park and whose four children attend a Milwaukee Public School in Bay View.
"We see the big bright warning signs. We see that this is the worst place in the country to live if you're African-American. We see the achievement gaps in education in all our different school sectors. But we also see the opportunities that are happening at The Water Council; the opportunities that are happening with the streetcar. So, there's this question of, 'where is Milwaukee 15 years from now' and I don't necessarily feel like we have a cohesive answer for (that) now in Bay View."
Holman's District 8 school board seat was won by Carol Voss in the April 7 election. Voss was unopposed in that race.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.