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Best of Milwaukee 2013: City Confidential

Most trusted politician, favorite landmark and more

Nov. 13, 2013
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Local Activist

Michael Hupy

Personal injury lawyer Michael Hupy (Hupy and Abraham) doesn’t ride, but he has fought for protections for bikers since the ’80s, when he realized that “bikers had no good lawyers.” They do now. In addition to his legal advocacy, Hupy’s influential “Watch for Motorcycles” campaign has reached more than 10 million people via the web, print and broadcast media, and ubiquitous bumper stickers. (Lisa Kaiser)



Will Allen
Christine Neumann-Ortiz
Steve Jerbi


Local Character

Local TV Personality

John McGivern

Those nostalgic for Milwaukee’s “wonder years” find much to like in John McGivern’s career. The upbeat performer has relived his favorite childhood memories in a series of one-man performances but he’s also known for his stand-up comedy and ensemble work. His PBS TV series, “Around the Corner with John McGivern,” allows the lifelong Milwaukeean—along with historian John Gurda—to explore all parts of Wisconsin, from Up North to the Dells to Sherman Park. (L.K.)


Runners-up for Local Character:

Bernie Brewer
Roosevelt “Freeway” McCarter
Art Kumbalek


Runners-up for Local TV Personality:

Ted Perry
Vince Vitrano


Local Entrepreneur: Will Allen

Urban Farm: Growing Power
5500 W. Silver Spring Drive

Shepherd readers were introduced to urban farmer Will Allen back in 2005, when we featured him on the cover, holding up one of his beloved compost-creating worms. Since then, the MacArthur genius has expanded Growing Power, been embraced by First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah, and wrote the acclaimed book The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities. We can’t wait to see what he cooks up next. (L.K.)


Runners-up for Local Entrepreneur:  

Leslie Montemurro
Joe Sorge
Russell Rossetto
Jess Stern


Runners-up for Urban Farm:

Hunger Task Force Farm
Sweet Water Organics
LotFotL Community Farm


Milwaukee Alderman

Bob Donovan

The ever-excitable Alderman Bob Donovan is one of the few conservatives on the Milwaukee Common Council and perhaps its most outspoken member. Donovan loves to issue press releases and grant interviews to spark even more controversy and media attention. The South Side alderman has been fighting the city’s streetcar plan and his supporters are urging him to run for mayor. Is 2016 the year he finally tests his citywide popularity? (L.K.)



Nik Kovac
Tony Zielinski
José Pérez


Milwaukee County Supervisor

Marina Dimitrijevic

You could say that Marina Dimitrijevic, the Milwaukee County board chairwoman, has had a difficult year. She tried to reform the board but was outgunned by the county executive and his right-wing allies who saw a chance to grab more power. But Shepherd readers are seeing past that battle and view her as a public servant who keeps her poise even when the chips are down. (L.K.)



Peggy Romo West


Milwaukee Landmark

The Calatrava
700 N. Art Museum Drive

Milwaukee seemed stuck in a four-sided rut before Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was commissioned by the Milwaukee Art Museum to create a much-needed addition. Calatrava’s structure sits ideally on its lakefront location, its sweeping form suggesting a clipper ship at dock or a great gull nesting on the shore. The gleaming white interior encompasses a gift shop, café and gallery space along with Windhover Hall, whose spectacular views are a perfect backdrop for a reception. (David Luhrssen)



Oriental Theatre
Milwaukee Art Museum


Milwaukeean of the Year

Most Trusted Public Official

Tom Barrett

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is a pretty low-key guy but he does come out swinging for the issues he believes in. Despite opposition, he’s implementing a Downtown streetcar route, making the city more economically and environmentally sustainable via his ReFresh Milwaukee plan, fighting the state Legislature’s intrusion on the city’s rights, and supporting sane gun ownership regulations that improve public safety. No wonder why you trust him. (L.K.)


Runners-up for Milwaukeean of the Year:    

Michael Hupy
Marina Dimitrijevic


Runners-up for Most Trusted Public Official:

Scott Walker
Chris Larson


Most Beloved Politician

Scott Walker

After a very competitive balloting between Mayor Tom Barrett, former Senator Russ Feingold and Governor Scott Walker—during which Feingold was in the lead until the final week—Walker received a burst of votes in the final days and, with the liberal votes split between Barrett and Feingold, Walker pulled ahead to win the Shepherd’s Most Beloved Politician category. Despite the fact that there is a lot of criticism of the governor, he still has a solid core of supporters who seem to love him. Congratulations. (Louis Fortis)



Russ Feingold
Tom Barrett


Most Despised Politician

Scott Walker

We think Republican Gov. Scott Walker is trying to be less divisive and polarizing than he was during his first two years in office because he’s facing re-election next year. Despite all that, he managed to tick off enough Shepherd readers to win this category again. Perhaps you’d like him more if he actually created the 250,000 new jobs he promised and stopped attacking women’s rights, low-income Wisconsinites and the environment. (L.K.)



Tom Barrett
David Clarke


Place to Pick Up the Shepherd Express

Pick ’n Save
Multiple locations

It makes perfect sense that our readers would pick up the Shepherd at their neighborhood Pick ’n Save—almost 200,000 Shepherd readers shop at a Roundy’s Pick ’n Save or Metro Market. We very much appreciate your loyalty to the paper and to this grocer. Despite the increase in competition for grocery shoppers in Milwaukee, Pick ’n Save has continued to comfortably dominate the local market by constantly responding to their customers’ needs in a dynamic marketplace. (L.F.)



Colectivo (previously known as Alterra)
Outpost Natural Foods


Rising Star in Politics

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan is certainly a rising star in the Republican Party as their V.P. choice last year and in Congress where he chairs a powerful committee. His boy-next-door demeanor allows him to take wildly right-wing positions on everything from raising the debt ceiling and ending the government shutdown (Ryan voted against the compromise bill on Oct. 16) to wanting to outlaw abortion in virtually all cases. The longtime Janesville congressman’s votes and his positions on issues has certainly endeared him to the tea party network and its wealthy benefactors, and the Washington corporate special interest groups who have contributed huge sums to his campaign account. Don’t be surprised to see him try for the presidency in 2016 as a seemingly sensible candidate, but run back to Wisconsin to run for his congressional seat when things aren’t working out for him in his national campaign. (L.K.)



Chris Larson
Justin Moralez


State Legislator

Chris Larson

It isn’t easy being in the minority party, nor is it easy being in leadership. But Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson’s feisty approach to his job has endeared him to Shepherd readers. It doesn’t hurt that he’s staunchly progressive and always outspoken. Larson also backed a slew of similarly fair-minded candidates in last year’s elections, providing an opportunity to establish a new generation of progressive Milwaukee lawmakers. (L.K.)



Sandy Pasch
Peter Barca
Jon Richards


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