MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee has a new acting mayor as of Thursday night.
Common Council President Cavalier Johnson was sworn in Thursday after Tom Barrett was confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.
It’s now been a full 24 hours in office for Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson. In the short stretch, he’s already getting to work, declaring reckless driving a public safety crisis on day one.
From alderman to acting mayor, Johnson ceremoniously took the oath of office and assuming the helm of city government in Milwaukee.
“My thought is if I ever sat in that chair, I would have earned it and now we’re here,” Johnson said while recounting prior time spent working in the mayor’s office.
In a speech to his family, fellow city leaders, and his supporters, Johnson declared reckless driving a public safety crisis, and even expressed a willingness to work across the aisle with republican leaders.
“We’re hitting the reset button here. Wisconsin needs Milwaukee to be strong and in order for that to happen, we need Wisconsin to help that to be,” he said.
After the swearing in, Johnson took to the halls of his Alma matter, Bay View High School.
Given the fact Johnson’s predecessor held the role for nearly two decades, other local leaders say they are hopeful the change in leadership will result in fresh ideas
“We have to be hopeful in leadership. We can not have this glass is half full kind of lead,” said Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman, who also held the “acting” role before being sworn in as police chief.
Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley also weighed in.
"I think it is going to give us the ability to hit the reset button, but at the same time, we got to make sure the state is willing to meet us halfway when it comes to hitting this reset button,” Crowley said.
Earlier Thursday, Common Council also formally set the dates for the mayoral race.
The primary is set for February 15 and the election on April 5 so now campaign season is officially underway.