Michael J. Murphy was first elected in a special election in 1989. Now serving in his eighth term for the 10th District, Alderman Murphy is the longest-serving member of the current Common Council.
On February 11, 2014, Alderman Murphy was elected by his peers to serve as the 47th President of the Milwaukee Common Council. For more than two years (until April 2016) he presided over every meeting of the Council, and had the power to appoint committee chairs and their members. As president he also chaired the Steering and Rules Committee.
Alderman Murphy has served on a multitude of boards throughout his tenure in office and currently serves on the Finance and Personnel Committee and the Public Works Committee. From April 2004 through February 2014, he served as chair of the Common Council’s budget-writing Finance and Personnel Committee. As a long-time supporter of the local arts, he chairs the Milwaukee Arts Board and is a member of the Milwaukee Public Library Board.
Seeing a growing need for supportive housing for Milwaukee’s at-risk populations, Alderman Murphy brought to life the Housing Trust Fund Task Force in 2006. As chair of this initiative, he has overseen the group’s successful funding of numerous housing projects throughout the community. Alderman Murphy has been recognized by various local organizations for his work on Milwaukee’s housing and foreclosure needs, as well as for his financial leadership. In April 2012, he was recognized as a Common Ground Hero.
In 2015 Alderman Murphy created MKE Plays, a program to revitalize parks in the city so that all children – no matter the neighborhood they call home – could enjoy the fun of creative, safe and well-designed play equipment and play spaces. To date MKE Plays has raised more than $1.69 million from private sources and leveraged an additional $1.31 million in public funding, totaling more than $3 million of investment in Milwaukee parks.
Alderman Murphy spearheaded the creation of the City-County Heroin, Opioid, and Cocaine Task Force in 2017 to address the public health crisis of drug overdoses and deaths in the region. As a result of Alderman Murphy’s advocacy, community experts came together around the issue and recently released a report with a detailed list of recommendations, ongoing prevention initiatives, and community resources, including overdose management guides and trauma response team materials.
Alderman Murphy has also been on the forefront of addressing e-cigarette use in the City of Milwaukee through public health legislation aimed at protecting residents from hazardous second-hand aerosol, and keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of youth.
Alderman Murphy is a lifelong west side resident, a member of the Gesu Parish, and the first son of Irish immigrants to be born in America. He attended Hi Mount and St. Catherine’s elementary schools and graduated from Milwaukee’s Madison High School in 1980.
In 1986 Alderman Murphy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Wisconsin and has since completed graduate course work toward a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. To pay his way through college, he worked in the Milwaukee Public Museum’s Geology Department and as a lab technician at the Great Lakes Research Institute researching the effects of heavy metal contaminants in the Fox River Valley.
Additionally, during college the alderman also worked in the Acquisitions Department at the Golda Meir Library at UWM and served on the Golda Meir Library Board for several years.
He has served on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association Board.
Alderman Murphy is married to Terry (Theresa) Tuttle, and they are the proud parents of a daughter, Maggie.