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Patrick Flaherty for Third District Alderman


Feb. 13, 2008
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On Feb. 19, voters in Milwaukee’s East Side and Riverwest neighborhoods will have a chance to elect a new representative to the Milwaukee Common Council. The only open seat for alderman this year has attracted eight strong candidates who are vying to represent one of the city’s most dynamic, high-profile, diverse, politically active and aware neighborhoods.

The Shepherd Express believes that Patrick Flahertyis the best candidate for the district. Because of the importance of this race, the Shepherd Express editorial board made this decision in consultation with a panel of 15 individuals who work or live in the Third District. We sent these advisers detailed questionnaires from the candidates and asked them to rank their top choices. We then tallied their votes. It was not close—Flaherty won by a 2-1 margin over the next contender. Flaherty had strong support from business owners, environmentalists, labor representatives, elected officials and community activists. Our panel respected Flaherty for his intelligence, professionalism, dedication to progressive causes and the belief that he will be responsive to his constituents.

We agree with that assessment. Flaherty has deep roots in the community and has shown a commitment to progressive causes that Shepherd readers support. Flaherty’s work with Citizen Action, AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin and Center Advocates has resulted in many policy changes that have made Milwaukee more livable and welcoming to a broad spectrum of residents. Our panel members noted that Flaherty has successfully fought for policy changes at the state and local levels, and we believe that he can master the legislative process quickly as alderman.

What’s more, Flaherty shows a refreshing sensitivity to the needs of current Third District residents. Unlike the district’s current alderman, Flaherty would balance the interests and input of current residents with the plans and visions of developers. We believe that he would enthusiastically support development projects that preserve the character and integrity of the neighborhood and benefit the district. Flaherty promises to include residents in making those decisions, and if he does win a seat on the council, we will hold him to that promise. Flaherty also holds strong progressive positions on protecting the Milwaukee River, supporting homeownership, promoting safety and reducing congestion in high-traffic areas. And as a former UW- Milwaukee student and a homeowner who has rented to students, Flaherty says that common ground can be found to reduce the current tension between students and homeowners.

Candidate Nik Kovac also drew strong support from our advisory panel and won the second-most votes. Kovac has run a strong campaign and is well-versed in residents’ concerns about the direction of the district. Kovac’s dedication and intelligence also drew praise from our panel.

However, we believe that Third District voters would be well-served by Patrick Flaherty as their alderman. You can learn more about Patrick Flaherty by clicking on “Elections” at www.expressmilwaukee.com.


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