Milwaukee mayor marks 100 days; tests positive for COVID-19

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson shared a report on Friday, July 22 on the work of his administration over the past 100 days.  

Mayor Johnson highlighted accomplishments in the areas of public safety and economic success.

Johnson said he is strengthening relationships with senior elected officials in the state capitol – like Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. He has even invited the speaker to Milwaukee – to discuss Milwaukee's financial predicament. Johnson said the city needs the support of state lawmakers with budget talks ahead. 

"I continue to be energetic about the challenges that we face and the opportunities that abound," said Mayor Johnson. 

FOX6 asked Milwaukeeans near the lakefront what issues in the city are most concerning to them.

We also asked their thoughts on the Mayor’s performance as he reaches 100 days.

"Gun violence is my major concern every day," said Milwaukee resident David Lehmann. "He's doing what he can with what he has to work with,"

"The gun violence and violence in general… Drive-by shootings," said Milwaukeean Ray Curtiss. "I haven't seen much change,"

Mayor Johnson says public safety remains a top priority.

"Major categories rape, burglaries we have several others I believe event car thefts those numbers are down even double digits. We’re making some progress here but there’s obviously more to do," said Johnson.

But the city is still dealing with a record high homicide rate.

This time last year the city logged 91 homicides. Today, that number is at 131.

"It’s important that this city grow and that city is prosperous," he said.

Challenges ahead for the mayor will be tackling the city’s budget tied to a ballooning pension problem. The mayor says he is focused on strengthening relationships with state lawmakers. His goal is more shared revenue and the ability to bring a local sales tax.

"You don’t need to be an accountant to understand if you have rising costs and declining revenues you are going to have a problem meeting your bills," said Johnson.

After 100 days in office, the mayor says his position is complex. And there's no shortage of pressures.

"I’m eager to continue doing this work because it's important to the people we serve," said Johnson.

Johnson said families need stable jobs that pay a living wage – so they can afford to invest in their housing.

"When we create stability in neighborhoods, and folks talk to each other, they know their neighbors; they start to care about them. They are not just people who live near me, they actually become a part of you. They watch your kids grow up. You become familial in a sense. That's how you create the true public safety all of us want to see," Johnson said.

The mayor's supporters say one of his biggest accomplishments since taking office is bringing Milwaukee so close to hosting the 2024 Republican National Convention – which could bring an economic boost. Of course, there are some who are skeptical about the impact this will have on the city. This is all pending a final vote of approval from the RNC in August.

Johnson tests positive for COVID-19

Shortly following Friday’s news conference, Mayor Johnson took a home COVID-19 test that produced a positive result.

As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, a news release says the mayor will isolate himself – staying home and away from others – for the coming days. His symptoms are very mild. The mayor has been tested on at least five occasions this week, and Friday’s is the only test that returned a positive result.

This is a developing story.