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BOM Winners 2015: City Confidential

Jan. 20, 2016
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best of milwaukee 2015 

{ city confidential }

 

Best Organization

Supporting Veterans

First Place:

Honor Flight Network

 

Anything we can do to honor our country’s military veterans is a good thing, but a great thing is the national Honor Flight Network, which sponsors trips for World War II, Korean War and seriously ill veterans to Washington, D.C. For some, the flights are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to view war memorials and receive once again the recognition these heroes deserve. Wisconsin’s Stars and Stripes Honor Flight plans two flights in spring 2016. (Lisa Kaiser)

 

Runner Up:

Dryhootch

Honorable Mentions:

Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative

American Legion

 

Local Activist

First Place:

Will Allen

 

Visionary urban farmer Will Allen of Growing Power has shown that small changes can lead to major transformations. In two decades, Allen has turned a small plot of urban farmland into a global mission to provide good food to those who live in urban food deserts, where fresh produce is in short supply. But that’s not the most important part of Allen’s work. What’s truly important is his ability to inspire others—especially our youth—to work together, reclaim urban land and create healthier communities. Growing Power’s 2016 theme is “scale it up” so look for this organization to expand in exciting ways. (Lisa Kaiser)

 

Runner Up:

Michael F. Hupy

Honorable Mentions:

Maria Hamilton

Tynnetta Jackson

 

Local Character

First Place:

John McGivern

 

If you’ve lived in Wisconsin for any amount of time, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the work of the irrepressible John McGivern. Born and raised in Milwaukee, McGivern can be seen and heard on MPTV’s “Around the Corner with John McGivern,” in numerous television and radio commercials, and performing one-man theatrical productions. He personifies Wisconsin hospitality and whimsy. (Eric Engelbart)

 

Runner Up:

Milverine

Honorable Mentions:

Roosevelt “Freeway” McCarter

Art Kumbalek

 

Local Entrepreneur

First Place:

Lizzi Weasler

 

Fashion retailer and event host Lizzi Weasler took a pragmatic approach to growing her business, Lizzibeth. Weasler launched her store online and with private party and pop-up versions of her clothing and jewelry boutique first, then formally opened her Third Ward brick-and-mortar shop at 550 E. Menomonee St. in 2014. Weasler offers reasonably priced items unique to Milwaukee and also hosts private parties for shoppers. Thanks to Weasler’s entrepreneurial spirit, who knows how Lizzibeth will evolve in 2016? (Lisa Kaiser)

 

Runner Up:

Eli Bliffert

Honorable Mentions:

Brandis Ohlsson

Philip J. LeClaire

 

Milwaukee Alderman

First Place:

Bob Donovan

 

Longtime Alderman Bob Donovan has won in this category before, showing that the Shepherd’s readership includes a sizeable number of conservatives. Donovan is the Milwaukee Common Council’s most outspoken right-wing member, always willing to offer his opinions on the issue of the day—typically, crime. In a crowded February primary field, Donovan is attempting to unseat Mayor Tom Barrett in the spring elections on a tough-on-crime/anti-streetcar platform. He’s also on the ballot to retain his aldermanic seat. If there’s an April showdown between Barrett and Donovan, expect sparks to fly. (Lisa Kaiser)

 

Runner Up:

Nik Kovac

Honorable Mentions:

Michael Murphy

Tony Zielinski

 

Milwaukee County Supervisor

First Place:

Marina Dimitrijevic

 

There are few people who seem not to let adversity stop them in their tracks but rather let those obstacles fuel their desire to succeed. Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic is one of those never-say-die individuals. The experienced pol has toughed out some of the worst attacks on the Milwaukee County Board from County Executive Chris Abele and the Republican-dominated state Legislature, but she doesn’t seem the least bit daunted. In fact, she’s cheerfully taken on the extra task of helming the Wisconsin Working Families Party, part of a national network of progressive activists who are pushing elected officials to actually respond to the needs of the 99%. Look for Dimitrijevic and her party to be quite active in the 2016 elections. (Lisa Kaiser)

 

Runner Up:

Jason Haas

Honorable Mentions:

Theo Lipscomb

Patricia Jursik

 

Milwaukeean of the Year

First Place:

Tom Barrett

 

Mayor Tom Barrett won a huge victory last year when the Milwaukee Common Council approved the Milwaukee Streetcar, a project that makes a lot of sense but nevertheless was highly controversial among the city’s conservatives. He also had the good sense to say no to two terrible ideas offered to him by Republican legislators: Start up his own personal school district that can privatize public schools, and pay for the city’s portion of the Bucks arena deal by trying to collect bad debt from the city’s cash-strapped property owners. Barrett wisely passed, but Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said yes to both. Barrett is running for re-election this spring, and it looks like he can yet again tout Shepherd readers’ support on the campaign trail. (Lisa Kaiser)

 

Runner Up:

Michael F. Hupy

Honorable Mentions:

Lizzi Weasler

Mazen Muna

 

Most Beloved Politician

Most Trusted

Public Official

First Place:

Russ Feingold

 

Looks like perennial Shepherd Best of Milwaukee favorite Russ Feingold will be on November’s ballot, taking on tea party Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. When Feingold spoke to us about his campaign last summer, he said he wasn’t motivated to run to settle a score or finish some business from his previous stint in the Senate. Rather, he said, “What I’m seeing is that my state, the state that so many of my friends and family have cared about, is under assault by an ideology, not really a Wisconsin ideology, but a big money corporate ideology that tries to gut the traditions in our state, including respecting the hard work of working people, including the University of Wisconsin and including public service.” No wonder you trust and love this guy. (Lisa Kaiser)

 

Runner Up Most

Beloved Politician/

Most Trusted

Public Official:

Scott Walker

Honorable Mentions

Most Beloved Politician/Most Trusted

Public Official:

Tom Barrett

Chris Larson

 

Most Despised Politician

First Place:

Scott Walker

As Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Well, Shepherd readers have seen plenty of Scott Walker over the years and you consistently name him your most despised politician. Walker was an early media darling in the Republican presidential race last year, but after making a slew of inane statements about topics he knew nothing about—but should have—the governor quickly dropped out with literally 0% support and a pile of debt. Looks like voters around the country saw Scott Walker for who he really is and believed him, too. (Lisa Kaiser)

 

Runner Up:

Gwen Moore

Honorable Mentions:

Tom Barrett

Chris Abele

 

Place to Pick Up

the Shepherd Express

First Place:

Colectivo Coffee

Multiple locations

colectivocoffee.com

It’s a pleasure of urban life that dates back to 18th-century London—sitting in a coffee house with a black cup of strong brew, reading a newspaper just off the press. In Milwaukee, the Shepherd Express is a likely choice for customers at Milwaukee’s popular Colectivo chain. Finding a seat at any Colectivo can sometimes be a challenge (they do get crowded) and finding a Shepherd can occasionally be hard as well—they move fast off the stand. (David Luhrssen)

Runner Up:

Outpost Natural Foods

Honorable Mention:

Beans & Barley

 

Rising Star In Politics

best State Legislator

First Place:

Chris Larson

 

State Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) has been able to seize opportunities that others back away from. It wasn’t too long ago that he was a fledgling county supervisor who decided to take on conservative but influential Sen. Jeff Plale in the 2010 Democratic primary. Larson won handily, then soon became Senate minority leader during a really bleak era in state government. Now, he’s taking on conservative County Executive Chris Abele in the spring election, opposing the billionaire’s son who’s flush with unlimited cash, taking over public schools for privatization, forcing county taxpayers to pay a disproportion amount of the cost of the Buck’s arena and has a penchant for closed, secret government. This is definitely a race to watch. (Lisa Kaiser)

 

Runner Up Rising Star

in Politics:

Justin Moralez

Honorable Mentions

Rising Star in Politics:

Jonathan Brostoff

David Bowen

 

Runner Up best State Legislator:

Lena Taylor

Honorable Mentions

best State Legislator:

Jonathan Brostoff

Evan Goyke

 

 

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