JoCasta Zamarripa makes history by becoming Milwaukee’s first Latina Alderwoman
JoCasta Zamarripa, the newly elected Alderwoman of the 8th District, took her oath of office in-district on April 21 at the Mitchell Park Domes, and became one of five female members of the Milwaukee Common Council.
Earlier in the morning, during the charter meeting of the 2020 – 2024 Milwaukee Common Council, Alderwoman-Elect Zamarripa was sworn in via remote video due to the pandemic crisis along with four other female colleagues.
Municipal Court Judge Valarie A. Hill joined the tele-meeting to administer the oath simultaneously to Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderwoman-Elect Marina Dimitrijevic, and then the remainder of the full Council. The occasion marked the first time in Milwaukee’s history that the 15-member body had five women, or one-third of the group, all serving at the same time.
“Over the past nine years, I have worked hard to move this city and our state forward. Although we have faced many obstacles during that time, I am proud of how we have fought and moved the needle on many key issues,” said Alderwomen Zamarripa.
Alderwomen Zamarripa and Dimitrijevic both gained their seats on the Common Council in the April 7 election. District 8 on the city’s south side has a large Hispanic population, and was previously represented by Alderman Bob Donovan who retired after two decades. In taking office, Alderwomen Zamarripa made history by becoming the first Latina and the first out LGBTQ member of the Milwaukee Common Council.
At the Mitchell Domes ceremony, City Clerk Jim Owczarski got Alderwomen Zamarripa’s signature and completed the paperwork process. The event was livestreamed over social media, and attended by friends, family, and other elected officials within their automobiles – in observance of proper social distancing practices.
“I fully understand that I take office during a global pandemic that is challenging our community like never before. I will make it my top priority to keep our community healthy and safe and help folks recover from the economic hardship we are dealing with,” added Alderwomen Zamarripa. “I will advocate for taking all necessary steps to make sure none of our residents have to choose between participating in our democracy or risking their lives ever again.”