Marti Mikkelson

News Reporter

Marti, a Waukesha native, joined the WUWM news team in February of 1999. She is also host of WUWM's weekly political podcast, Capitol Notes.

Previously, she was an anchor and reporter at WTMJ in Milwaukee, WIBA in Madison, and WLIP in Kenosha.

Marti’s work has been recognized by RTNDA, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, Associated Press, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and the Milwaukee Press Club.

Marti earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Marti currently lives on her favorite side of town – Milwaukee’s east side.

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President Obama
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President Obama spoke to a cheering crowd of Master Lock employees Wednesday. The president cited the central city company as an example of what he intends to promote – manufacturing growth in the U. S. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, Master Lock decided to bring 100 jobs back here from China.

Hundreds of people celebrated on the streets of downtown Madison Tuesday, as a truck full of petitions aimed at recalling Gov. Scott Walker pulled up to the Governmental Accountability Board office. Volunteers carried dozens of boxes into the building as organizers claimed they’ve collected more than one million signatures to force an election. The recall effort began last year in response to Walker’s push to end most collective bargaining rights for public unions. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, election officials now have their work cut out for them.

While WUWM is spending the week exploring Wisconsin’s political climate in our series, Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval, the state elections chief came to town. Government Accountability Board Executive Director Kevin Kennedy spoke to reporters Wednesday at the Milwaukee Press Club. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson had an opportunity to question him about this unprecedented year of recalls and new voting rules.

We now continue Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval. All week, we’re exploring the impact of Wisconsin’s divisive political climate this year, mixed with a tough economy. Tuesday, we reported on some winners of the new Republican majority’s agenda, including business interests and social conservatives.

Today, we focus on entities that lost ground, the biggest – public workers. Gov. Walker’s budget required them to pay more for their health insurance and pensions, in order to ease the state deficit. The GOP went one step further in 2011, by stripping most public unions of all rights except to bargain for limited wage increases. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, angered public workers are now part of a massive effort to recall the governor.

We now continue “Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval.” All week, we’re examining the divisive year Wisconsin has experienced politically, with perhaps economic worries at the core. Last fall, for the first time in over a decade voters put Republicans in control of state government. New Gov. Scott Walker insisted he had the formula to erase the state’s massive deficit and create jobs.

It was a long night for supporters of Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling. The incumbent survived her recall, defeating Democratic Rep. Sandy Pasch 54 to 46 percent. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson attended Darling’s victory party in Thiensville.

The subject of Indian school mascots will pop up again on Wednesday. The former Legislature approved a law requiring school districts to remove Indian logos, if they offend any residents. To keep the logo, the district must prove to the Department of Public Instruction that the name and caricature are not offensive. On Wednesday, a Waukesha County judge is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the mandate. Two Mukwonago residents are contesting it. They claim it’s vague and that the state violated their rights by not giving notice of a hearing. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson visited Mukwonago High School, which has been given more time to remove its Indians logo and nickname.

Community leaders say a skilled and educated workforce along with transportation options for it, are keys to ensuring the economic success of southeastern Wisconsin.

There’s been a significant increase in Milwaukee County in the number of young, African-American gay men infected with HIV. The state Division of Public Health puts the increase at 144 percent over eight years. On Monday, there was a daylong conference in town about ways of reducing infection rates among young, black men. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports on efforts already underway to educate a demographic that can be difficult to reach.

Despite the sluggish economy, there’s been a slight uptick in restaurant ownership in Milwaukee. The health department reports 1,461 eateries: that’s 26 more than last year and on par with the number before the recession hit. At least one establishment in the Third Ward, south of downtown, appears to be bouncing back. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson found that some of the ‘new’ establishments are actually recycled restaurants. Entrepreneurs have moved in, believing they possess the formula for success.

The state Assembly approved Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill early Friday morning. It contains a provision that would strip public employees of most collective bargaining rights and has been the subject of massive protests at the capitol in the past ten days. UW-Madison student Lance Janssen says the debate isn't over because the state Senate still has to vote. He plans to return to the capitol in the next few days.

More protests are planned in Madison on Thursday. The state Capitol has become the center of opposition to Walker administration plans to virtually abolish state labor unions. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson is in Madison and has been speaking with some of the thousands of protesters as well as supporters of the governor's plans.

The halls of the state Capitol are expected to be packed again today as the state legislature prepares to vote on a proposal to strip state employees of most collective bargaining rights. Marti Mikkelson is in Madison and file this report.

For the second day in a row Wednesday, thousands of people converged on the state Capitol, many of them upset with Gov. Walker’s proposal to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public workers.

Southeastern Wisconsin has long been a leader in the world of manufacturing. That reputation might conjure images of machinery and tools. But nine percent of the items manufactured here are food products.

There are more than 250 food and beverage factories in southeastern Wisconsin, and the economic development group, the M7, estimates that those companies employ more than 14,000 workers and generate nearly $600 million in annual salaries. In this installment of “Project Milwaukee: What’s on our Plate?” WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson takes us to several operations that have been growing.

We now continue out Project Milwaukee series, exploring the barriers that confront thousands of Milwaukee Public School students. Today, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson takes us to one of the lowest performing schools in the state: Bay View High School on the city’s south side. She spoke with teachers and other adult leaders there about educating a relatively large number of students who are struggling academically or personally.

Our series Project Milwaukee: The Currency of Water continues this morning. We’re reporting on Milwaukee’s efforts to become a global hub for water research and technology. In the past few years, companies already in the water business here have been expanding. But as WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, leaders are now working to kick the effort into high gear. The ultimate prize would be jobs and economic development, along with a good dose of prestige.

Today, we conclude our series about race relations. Projects Milwaukee culminated in a forum on the topic Wednesday evening at the Mitchell Park Domes. As part of the discussion, audience members brainstormed at their tables about barriers to racial harmony and who's responsible for change. Here are some conclusions reached, conveyed by Yvette Mitchell, Paul Schneider, Steven Hunter, Gina Green Harris, Kori Schneider, Omar Barbarana and Mary DeNoble.

Our series about race relations concludes today on WUWM. Project Milwaukee: Black and White culminated in a panel discussion earlier this week at the Mitchell Park Domes. Here's a snapshot of the comments our panel members offered. Our panelists were: Mark Levine of UW-Milwaukee, Tim Sheehy, head of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Enrique Figueroa, Director of the Roberto Hernandez Center at UWM, Howard Fuller of Marquette University and Paula Penebaker, President and CEO of the YWCA of Greater Milwaukee.

Our Project Milwaukee series about race relations continues now on WUWM. Today, we talk about a newer wave of immigrants to the city: Latinos. They now comprise 12 percent of the population of Milwaukee County, or more than 114,000 residents. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports on the Latino movement here and how it compares with the black and white experiences.

Milwaukee has long held a reputation of being segregated: with blacks living primarily on the north side and whites on the south.

In today’s installment of Project Milwaukee: Black and White, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson visited establishments on both sides of town, to ask blacks and whites about their interactions with each other.

For the past few years, Milwaukee has grappled with a triple digit homicide rate, and among the victims have been children. Some have been involved in gangs and criminal activity; others were innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson talked to one young gunshot survivor, as part of our series, Project Milwaukee: Youth Violence.

Last year, Milwaukee’s public schools became a testing ground for a national program designed to reduce school violence. Under the Violence Free Zone Initiative, specially-trained youth mentors from the neighborhood walk the halls of local high schools, breaking up fights and diffusing potentially violent situations. It appears the strategy has been working in the six Milwaukee high schools that have implemented the program.

Yesterday, we visited part of a Milwaukee aldermanic district that's thriving. Today, we tour another section that's struggling to develop - Riverwest. WUWM's Marti Mikkelson reports on Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood. She spoke with Alderman Mike D'Amato and members of the community.

This month, WUWM is exploring the subject of economic development in metro Milwaukee. As part of the Project Milwaukee series, Marti Mikkelson is profiling one aldermanic district that has seen success in one section, and challenges in another.

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