Tom Barrett is a lifelong Milwaukeean, having grown up on the city’s West side. After earning his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he entered public service starting in the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate and continuing his legislative career representing Milwaukee in the U.S. Congress.
On April 6, 2004, Milwaukee elected Tom Barrett as its 40th Mayor. He has won reelection in 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020.
As Milwaukee’s Chief Executive, Tom Barrett combines careful planning, practical budgeting and innovative programming to strengthen Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. Mayor Barrett has been instrumental in reimagining former industrial sites, navigating the local impact of national housing issues and promoting unprecedented growth in Milwaukee’s city center.
Mayor Barrett focuses on improving the health of our city by providing local leadership and resources to respond to emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as long-term health goals like ending infant mortality and reducing teen pregnancy. He recognizes the value of creating local, family-supporting jobs, and his workforce initiatives have provided job opportunities for Milwaukee’s young people. Through the creation of the Earn & Learn program, Mayor Barrett has placed more than 36,000 students in summer jobs.
The Mayor is recognized as a national leader on the topics of stormwater management, sustainable manufacturing and urban agriculture. He continually celebrates Milwaukee’s greatest natural resource: Lake Michigan. His vision for a more sustainable Milwaukee is carried out by the City’s Environmental Collaboration Office, which advances cost-effective sustainability practices that meet Milwaukee’s environmental, economic and social needs while enhancing economic growth.
Tom Barrett has advocated for modern public transit, acting as a driving force behind the Milwaukee streetcar. He prioritizes safety in Milwaukee neighborhoods through increased public safety services, targeting gang and illegal guns, and partnerships with neighborhood organizations. Mayor Barrett is also a founding member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Mayor Barrett is proud to serve Milwaukee: America’s Fresh Coast, a city full of warm, friendly people and a kaleidoscope of diversity.