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Milwaukee Municipal Research Library

Milwaukee Municipal Research Library The MRL is the official depository for city documents and an information source for the public. Our Look to this page for Milwaukee city government news and information.

Our librarians are happy to help with reference questions about city ordinances, policies, and procedures, or to direct you to the appropriate department to address specific issues.

Operating as usual

The Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) presents HomeSAFE, an educational program designed to inform and empower t...
02/24/2022
HomeSAFE

The Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) presents HomeSAFE, an educational program designed to inform and empower the public on building code and neighborhood issues.
Through a combination of in-person and live digital educational presentations, and an online resource library, the Department strives to bring helpful information to Milwaukee’s citizens to keep them safe, healthy and happy. Go to https://city.milwaukee.gov/HomeSAFE to learn more.

Affordable land and leasing costs, abundant fresh water, an educated workforce, low business costs and easy access to financing, technical assistance and efficient transportation have helped local businesses succeed and grow.

02/22/2022

Due to weather, our location and the rest of the City Hall complex are closing for the day. We will be open tomorrow, Feb. 23, regular hours.

Yesterday dignitaries from city, county, and state governments gathered in downtown Milwaukee to unveil new street signs...
01/18/2022
Young Milwaukeeans Petition, 1983 – City of Milwaukee

Yesterday dignitaries from city, county, and state governments gathered in downtown Milwaukee to unveil new street signs and officially extend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive south from McKinley Ave to Wisconsin Ave. This change completes the original intent of renaming Third Street in Dr. King's honor, which was met with some resistance at the time and resulted in the street being MLK Drive to the north and Old World Third Street to the south. The City Records Center has posted some of the original legislative documents, in Council file number 83-1267, including the 1983 petition from the Young Milwaukeeans Organization that helped start the process. https://milwaukeemrc.starter1ua.preservica.com/uncategorized/IO_aa965c7e-8359-464a-88bd-72897503da24/

Redistricting update: The Council's deliberations over the drawing of aldermanic district boundaries continue on Monday,...
01/06/2022
City of Milwaukee - File #: 211396

Redistricting update: The Council's deliberations over the drawing of aldermanic district boundaries continue on Monday, January 10 when the Judiciary & Legislation Committee meets to discuss the file linked here. Various maps and supporting data are in the file attachments. https://milwaukee.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5361000&GUID=362F5467-5E78-4FF5-B803-DD4D7A7438BC

Title: A substitute ordinance relating to aldermanic district boundaries commencing in 2022.

12/20/2021

Most city agencies will be closed Dec. 24, 27, 31 and Jan. 3. Concerned about paying your property taxes? See the City Treasurer's page for office hours and information about secure drop boxes. https://city.milwaukee.gov/treasurer

Tonight! A virtual town hall meeting discussing changes to the aldermanic district boundaries. (See the comments below f...
11/19/2021
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Special Virtual/Bilingual Town Hall Meeting on Redistricting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

Tonight! A virtual town hall meeting discussing changes to the aldermanic district boundaries. (See the comments below for a link to the legislative file that contains attachments of the proposed map.) Register for the town hall here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mPSGNvAyR9a4zraTyrGc-w

Please join with Alderman Ashanti Hamilton and neighbors to review the draft aldermanic district map for the city 6:00 p.m. Friday, November 19th.

Redistricting update: The Council will hold a special meeting Wed., Nov. 17 to vote on the city's proposed voting ward b...
11/16/2021
City of Milwaukee - File #: 211118

Redistricting update: The Council will hold a special meeting Wed., Nov. 17 to vote on the city's proposed voting ward boundaries. Some boundaries have to shift to reflect changes in the city's population and density, and then the wards are renumbered. Once the ward map is approved, those wards are the building blocks to redraw the aldermanic districts, and the public is invited and encouraged to give input on that process at a virtual town hall meeting on Friday, Nov 19 or at the Judiciary and Legislation Committee meeting on Monday, Nov. 22. The ward map is attached in the legislative file (link below). See the comments for the dates and times of the other meetings. https://milwaukee.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5206619&GUID=F53437A4-23FF-4B6F-8F66-C57A25CDD8F1&Options=&Search=

Title: Resolution approving the establishment of election ward lines in the City of Milwaukee.

The Common Council meets tomorrow to adopt the city's 2022 budget. The Council will vote on packages of amendments that ...
11/04/2021
City of Milwaukee - File #: 210001

The Common Council meets tomorrow to adopt the city's 2022 budget. The Council will vote on packages of amendments that are recommended by its Finance and Personnel Committee and also on amendments brought to the floor by members. Amendments and many other documents used in crafting the budget are attached to Council file 210001. https://milwaukee.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5080877&GUID=DA842927-E2FC-4183-B4BB-FED299987BED&Options=ID|Text|Attachments|&Search=210001

Title: Communication from the Mayor relating to the proposed 2022 budget.

Today Mayor Barrett presented his 2022 proposed budget to the Common Council. Detailed budget documents for 2022 and pri...
09/21/2021
City Budgets

Today Mayor Barrett presented his 2022 proposed budget to the Common Council. Detailed budget documents for 2022 and prior years are available here: https://city.milwaukee.gov/doa/budget/Milwaukee-Budgets

Affordable land and leasing costs, abundant fresh water, an educated workforce, low business costs and easy access to financing, technical assistance and efficient transportation have helped local businesses succeed and grow.

08/31/2021

New on the city's redistricting page: The Legislative Reference Bureau has created maps showing the changes in population at two local levels--aldermanic districts and the voting wards that make up those districts. These changes will guide how the boundaries of the city's voting wards and aldermanic districts will be re-drawn. (Scroll down the page to get to links to PDFs of the maps.) https://city.milwaukee.gov/CommonCouncil/Redistricting

Looking for info on the redistricting process? As in past years, the City Clerk has set up a handy web page all about it...
08/17/2021
Redistricting

Looking for info on the redistricting process? As in past years, the City Clerk has set up a handy web page all about it. This page will be updated frequently as the details about the city's Census tracts get analyzed and mapped into the voting wards which make up aldermanic districts. Data and maps will be added here as they become available. https://city.milwaukee.gov/CommonCouncil/Redistricting

Affordable land and leasing costs, abundant fresh water, an educated workforce, low business costs and easy access to financing, technical assistance and efficient transportation have helped local businesses succeed and grow.

Sharing from Mayor Barrett. Don't miss your chance to be heard about the city's budget!
08/16/2021

Sharing from Mayor Barrett. Don't miss your chance to be heard about the city's budget!

Budgeting for our city’s future has to be a collaborative process. That includes elected officials and the community we serve. After all, every household in our city is affected by budget decisions. Our budget pays for health, housing, safety services and more.

Register online for Budget Awareness Week events and complete the 2022 Budget Priority Survey in English, Spanish or Hmong at milwaukee.gov/budget.

08/02/2021

Tenants and landlords in the Milwaukee area dealing with housing challenges can get help at the Rental Housing Resource Center. Go to https://www.renthelpmke.org or call 414-895-RENT (7368).

07/29/2021

Good Morning, everyone. There may be storm damage out there. The Dept. of Forestry asks: If you see a CITY TREE BROKEN, HANGING, OR DOWN: PLEASE CALL (414) 286-2489. Do not submit Forestry emergencies electronically.

It's true, the 1971 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks didn't get a parade like today's, and that's a shame. But they were cel...
07/22/2021

It's true, the 1971 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks didn't get a parade like today's, and that's a shame. But they were celebrated in this Council resolution from May 5, 1971.

Here's a wonderful story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about The Bindery, the official book binder for the Municip...
07/06/2021
This former Bay View industrial site is now home to writers, graphic artists and others — while making books, zines and other works

Here's a wonderful story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about The Bindery, the official book binder for the Municipal Research Library, https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/real-estate/commercial/2021/07/01/milwaukees-bindery-combines-co-working-space-bookbinding-service/7785400002/. Kudos to Zach and Daniel!

The Bindery provides co-working space, private studios, bookbinding services and printing equipment. It redeveloped an old Milwaukee industrial site.

It's that time of year again: Milwaukee residents are reminded that the city bans the sale and use of all fireworks/fire...
06/28/2021
Fourth of July Commission

It's that time of year again: Milwaukee residents are reminded that the city bans the sale and use of all fireworks/firecrackers and other materials, including sparklers and caps, under Ord. 105-47. Please save your money and leave the fireworks to professionals. Several county parks will be presenting fireworks displays on Monday, July 5. The list of parks is here: https://city.milwaukee.gov/DCD/BoardsCommissions/July4th

Since 1911, the City of Milwaukee has provided its citizens, neighbors and visitors a safe and friendly celebration of America’s independence. On July 4th in parks throughout the city, families and friends gather for picnics, games, doll buggy parades and talent contests. At night the sky is fi...

06/21/2021

City Hall offices AND the Water Street entrance are reopened today.
Due to the ongoing work on City Hall's foundation, the building entrance on Market St. will be closed until summer 2022. Visitors are encouraged to use the entrances at Wells St. and Water St., and there are some metered parking places on Water St. The tunnel under Market St. between City Hall and the Zeidler Building remains open and can be accessed via elevators to the basement level.

06/15/2021

City Hall offices will be reopening for in-person business on Monday, June 21. For the time being, masks will still be required to be worn while inside city-owned buildings.

As some of you may know, Milwaukee changed street numbering and some street names in 1930, which can make it difficult t...
03/16/2021
Researching Your Property

As some of you may know, Milwaukee changed street numbering and some street names in 1930, which can make it difficult to research older properties. The Historic Preservation department has posted a PDF of the handy address cross-referencing directory on its web page. Scroll down to "Resources" to find it and other helpful materials!
https://city.milwaukee.gov/cityclerk/hpc/Research

Affordable land and leasing costs, abundant fresh water, an educated workforce, low business costs and easy access to financing, technical assistance and efficient transportation have helped local businesses succeed and grow.

On this date in 1894, the cornerstone for Milwaukee's City Hall was laid. The building took at least two years to comple...
02/24/2021
Construction workers posing at City Hall construction site

On this date in 1894, the cornerstone for Milwaukee's City Hall was laid. The building took at least two years to complete, although dedication festivities were held on December 23, 1895. The Milwaukee Public Library's online collections of historic photos and the popular "Remember when..." newspaper series have a few photos of its construction. This one of a work crew, presumably doing some finishing work in 1896, proves that Black Milwaukeeans played a part in building one of the city's architectural treasures. https://content.mpl.org/digital/collection/HstoricPho/id/3764/rec/1?fbclid=IwAR0leuHUJE7tt1DbFTyQ1gIVnI-76oNhIX-kgdTqAkf55RCD2CyTcotOkMQ

01/04/2021

Happy Birthday, Milwaukee! 175 years ago this month, Wisconsin’s Territorial Legislature officially approved the founding charter of the City of Milwaukee. (“Territorial”? Yes. Statehood was achieved two years later, in 1848.)

So, what’s the word for a 175th anniversary? We found out there isn’t a commonly accepted term for it the way there is for a 150th (sesquicentennial) and 200th (bicentennial). One suggestion is dodransbicentennial, a word some Latin enthusiasts constructed to mean “one quarter-century less than a bicentennial.”

No matter the term, we’ll call it a milestone birthday for the City of Milwaukee. As the city’s official document repository, the Municipal Research Library will continue to collect and preserve the city’s history as it happens, sharing it with all citizens for years to come.

Here's some answers to FAQ's about snow-related ordinances: Sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours af...
12/30/2020
Snow and Ice Control Operations

Here's some answers to FAQ's about snow-related ordinances:
Sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours after precipitation has stopped (Ord. 116-8). Dumping snow onto a public way (street or alley) or onto private property other than your own without permission is considered littering (defined in Ord. 79-1-7) and is prohibited under Ords. 79-11 and 79-12. Snow-removal equipment is exempt from nighttime noise restrictions (Ord. 80-67-4).

A snow emergency has been declared for Dec. 30, 2020, which particularly affects overnight parking. See details here: https://city.milwaukee.gov/mpw/operations/snowoperationstatus

Current Operation status and information for snow and ice control in the City of Milwaukee.

Early voting in the City of Milwaukee begins one week from today on Tuesday, October 20. There are multiple voting sites...
10/13/2020
In-Person Absentee (Early Voting) Schedule

Early voting in the City of Milwaukee begins one week from today on Tuesday, October 20. There are multiple voting sites to choose from. Please note that not all sites have the same hours, and despite previous announcements, the Fiserv Forum and Miller Park will NOT be used as voting locations for this election. Click the link below for places and times. For help with other questions, call the city Election Commission at 414-286-3491.
https://city.milwaukee.gov/election/ElectionInformation/In-Person-Absentee-Schedule

Check the schedule to see when and where you can cast your vote early for the November General Election. 

09/22/2020
city.milwaukee.gov

UPDATE: As was announced at today's Common Council meeting, the public hearing on the 2021 proposed budget will be at 6:30 on Tuesday, October 6 and will be held virtually. Details on how to access the meeting and register to speak are in Council President Johnson's press release:https://city.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/ccCouncil/News/2020/District-02/09_22JointPublicHearingRelease.pdf

Tomorrow Mayor Barrett will present his proposed 2021 budget to the Common Council at its scheduled meeting. Individual ...
09/21/2020
Budget Management

Tomorrow Mayor Barrett will present his proposed 2021 budget to the Common Council at its scheduled meeting. Individual departments' hearings on their proposed budgets begin Friday, Oct. 2 and a meeting to hear from citizens is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6. The budget office posts helpful information on its web page, https://city.milwaukee.gov/doa/budget

City of Milwaukee Budget and Management Home Page. Information current and prior years' budgets.

Please remember to respond to the Census. In our city, everybody counts!
09/01/2020

Please remember to respond to the Census. In our city, everybody counts!

On Wednesday, August 26, Mayor Barrett, Budget Director Dennis Yaccarino, and Finance & Personnel Committee Chairman Ald...
08/24/2020
Mayor Barrett Invites Residents to Virtually Join Preliminary 2021 Budget Hearing and Presentation

On Wednesday, August 26, Mayor Barrett, Budget Director Dennis Yaccarino, and Finance & Personnel Committee Chairman Alderman Michael Murphy will host an online presentation and preliminary public hearing on the 2021 city budget. this is a virtual meeting and those who wish to register in advance can do so by following the link in the news release below. https://city.milwaukee.gov/Mayor/News/2020-News/Mayor-Barrett-Invites-Residents-to-Virtually-Join--Preliminary-2021-Budget-Hearing-and-Presentation

Mayor Tom Barrett invites Milwaukee residents to join him, Budget Director Dennis Yaccarino and Finance & Personnel Committee Chairman Alderman Michael Murphy on Wednesday, August 26 from 5-7 p.m. for a hearing and presentation on the City of Milwaukee’s 2021 Budget.

08/19/2020
CONTENTdm

The Milwaukee Municipal Research Library (MRL) is pleased to introduce its latest digital collection: The Street Name Index. (https://content.mpl.org/digital/collection/MKEMRC)

Until now, this information existed as a unique collection of index cards housed at the MRL that reflects the days before databases. Originally compiled by unknown city employees, it was used to document locations of, and changes to, street names in the city of Milwaukee and neighboring communities in Milwaukee County. A citywide street renumbering and renaming project took effect in 1930, but many streets were renamed piecemeal in standalone legislation, and this card index was updated into the 1980s. A good resource for historians, genealogists, or anyone curious about a pre-1930 address in the City of Milwaukee, it reflects the growth of the city and its connection to its neighbors.

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Hi, I'm looking for info about the historic change from Wards to Aldermanic Districts referenced here: https://www.wuwm.com/post/race-representation-redistricting-why-milwaukee-s-wards-became-districts#stream/0 Is there a good source to map the changes to Wards and then later Districts over the years? Specifically wondering, which Ward was the seat of Vel Philips during her time on the Common Council? Was this Ward centered on the black population of Milwaukee, and how long did it take for another Ward or District to be represented by an African American? https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2015/julyaugust/statement/vel-phillips-knocked-down-racial-and-gender-barriers-in-wiscons