Mayor Barrett Statement on the Approval of the Vel R. Phillips Statue on the State Capital Grounds

November 3, 2021

“Milwaukee takes pride in the pioneering achievements of Vel R. Phillips, and I am pleased she will be honored with a statue on the grounds of the State Capitol in Madison.

“Vel Phillips achieved numerous important firsts. She was the first African-American to win election to Milwaukee’s Common Council and the first to be elected Wisconsin Secretary of State. She was a leader in civil rights, in the law, and in politics.

“A prominent street in the heart of Milwaukee now carries the name, Vel R. Phillips Avenue, a posthumous honor that recognizes her remarkable accomplishments as a woman and as a person of color. It is fitting that she will be additionally memorialized at our State Capitol.” 

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