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Learn more about Milwaukee's District 9 Common Council candidates

Left: Denzel Taylor / Right Odell Ball Campaign
Left to right: Candidates Larressa Taylor and Odell Ball

This past July, District 9 Alderwoman Chantia Lewis was removed from office after being convicted of two felonies related to misuse of funds while in office.

Since then, Milwaukee's District 9 residents have been without representation on the Common Council.

Odell Ball, who wants to fill District 9’s Council seat, says he has a lot of ideas if he wins. For example, Ball is looking to bring more businesses to the district and create family-sustaining jobs. He’s lived in District 9 for 30 years and recalls when businesses thrived there.

Ball says,"These businesses have gone and gone on to greener pastures because they were not motivated and they're not nurtured to grow in the areas that they were. It's important for the 9th district to sustain that type of business, we need to sustain family, family ways giving jobs."

Ball is a father and husband too — married to Milwaukee County Sheriff Denita Ball. He taught in Milwaukee Public Schools for 26 years and taught at Marquette University for five years.

Ball has been retired for six years. He says that he’s hoping to make this his final job.

"This is a job I want because I want to leave a legacy for my family, for my children, saying this is what my pop up worked on. This is what we did because when you do that, you create a legacy .... And I know that this district could be the best district, not only in the city and the state [but] in the whole country if it's done right. And I'm going to do the work," says Ball.

Ball’s opponent. Larressa Taylor, has been a Milwaukee Public Schools teacher for 17 years. She is also a veteran, a mother and is an active member in District 9’s block watch.

"Many of the issues are issues that the neighbors have shared with me, but one that I found that is of great concern is the housing issue, making housing acceptable and affordable for many of the residents. That's real important because I think that having acceptable and affordable housing speaks to health concerns as well as safety concerns," says Taylor.

Taylor added that she has a deep passion for service. For the last four years, she has been a lead representative for Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, which represents MPS teachers.

Taylor says campaigning for Common Council has been a positive experience.

"I would say that the most rewarding this has been an awesome journey to be on and the most rewarding part of it is meeting the residents and feeling the compassion that they have for not only where they live, but for each other," she says. "Because it's the togetherness for me, that strengthens the community and that allows us to make differences and to be successful and to improve and elevate the quality of life that we desire. So that is the most rewarding part of this journey."

Taylor says if elected, she’ll strive to be visible and present in District 9.

Need help learning how to vote on April 4? Our voter guide has the information you need on the voting process and how to participate.


Kobe Brown was WUWM's fifth Eric Von fellow.
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