Monday, January 9, 2012

Tracey Corder: "The People Will Be My Boss"

Tracey Corder
Tracey Corder is a candidate for the 18th District seat on the Milwaukee County Board. That seat is currently held by Supervisor John Thomas, who has decided to join the throng of people running for City of Milwaukee Comptroller.

On Sunday morning, Ms. Corder and her campaign manager, John Heflin, took some time out of their busy campaign schedule to meet with me.

I asked Ms. Corder what she thought were the main issue or issues the county is facing and what would she do to address them.

She responded with three things that she has been hearing a lot from the people she's been talking to as she's been knocking on people's doors: Transit, economic development of the Northridge area and the poor reputation of the County Board.

In regards to transit, she said that the northwest corner of the county has been getting their bus services cut very deeply and people aren't able to get to the jobs that are available.  She would like to see services restored with expanded routes and more frequent services.  

I asked how she would fund this, especially with the county being strapped for cash and she said that she would push for a dedicated funding source for the transit system.  As she put it, "You can't say you're serious about jobs if you're not serious about getting people to the jobs."

In regards to the Northridge area, Ms. Corder said that she would like to see the county put forth some effort in economic development in that area.  She said that many of the people that live in that district do their shopping in Menominee Falls and Germantown.  She said that this is a problem because that is Milwaukee County money being spent in neighboring counties.  If they developed the Northridge area up and attract the stores that people want to shop at, the people she's spoken to said they would rather shop there rather than go to those other communities.

She also told me that a lot of people have a negative impression of the County Board and that they see the board as a group of do-nothings.  She said that she would work to change that impression, at least in her district, by having monthly town hall meetings.  She also plans on being very active in her community and attend meetings with various groups and make herself as available as possible to the people in her district.

She said that she needs to hear from all the people in her district, whether they are people that vote for her, vote against her or just don't vote at all.  She said, "I can't put policy in front of the County  Board unless I know what they people want, how they feel."

I asked her if she had any statement regarding the word that one of her more prominent opponents, Lamar "Penny" Sikora apparently failed to get his name on the petition.  She told me that she wasn't focused on that or on any of her other opponents.  She said she was only going to worry about her own campaign and how she conducts it.  

I also asked her about the kerfuffle regarding her former campaign manager, Nicholas Reindl, who has been accused of sending out emails attacking Sikora under a false name.  She admitted that she wasn't clear on what the whole issue was between Mr. Reindl and Mr. Guerrero, who had made the accusations against him.  But she did know she did not want to take the focus away from her campaign to deal with that negativity.

She said that she was proud to have the endorsements of State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, Milwaukee Public Schools Board Director Annie Woodward, Judge Pedro Colon and County Supervisor Eyon Biddle.

When I asked her if there was anything else she wanted me to know, she said that she wanted to give credit to Emerge Wisconsin*.  She is currently taking their training and said that the program, as well as her classmates, is what gave her the confidence and the skill to run for his seat.  

After having met Ms. Corder and speaking with her, the people in the 18th District would be well served if they elected her to represent them.  During the entire conversation, she kept a positive and upbeat approach, even when discussing the most challenging issues.  She exuded confidence that while these issues were difficult challenges, they could and would be overcome.

I think that one of the things that impressed me the most is that she repeatedly emphasized that "the people would be [her] boss."

You can learn more about Ms. Corder at the her website.  You can also follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

*In the interest of full disclosure, I volunteer for Emerge Wisconsin, doing their social media work. However, this was the first time I met Ms. Corder and that commonality had no influence on my opinion of her.


  1. Will she be addressing her criminal background in the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access? These charges seem very serious.