Jim Sullivan

For Milwaukee County Executive

Meet Jim

Jim Sullivan was appointed as the Director of Milwaukee County Child Support Services in 2011, and has been serving in that role for the past 8 years. His past public service includes serving as an alderman on the Wauwatosa Common Council from 2000-2006 and in the State Senate from 2007-2011. Jim was a Commissioner on the Social
Development Commission from 2013-2019. He has also served in the Navy Reserves and is an attorney. Jim has his bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison and his law degree from Marquette Law School.

Sullivan has a long track record of tackling tough issues on behalf of the people of Milwaukee County. Sullivan helped enact Milwaukee County’s first municipal smoke-free ordinance during his time on the Wauwatosa City Council, paving the way for statewide action. As a State Senator, he was the lead author of groundbreaking drunk driving reform and payday loan regulation. Jim Sullivan is the only candidate in the crowded County Executive field with experience at the city, state and county levels.

Leading a staff of 136 in Child Support Services (CSS), Sullivan has modernized operations and improved the system that ensures every child has the support of both parents. This support helps parents gain employment and ensures children have health care coverage. More than 100,000 Milwaukee children and their families are served by CSS each year. The people of Milwaukee County can count on Jim Sullivan to bring common sense leadership, vision for public services, and responsible fiscal stewardship of taxpayer dollars to the county’s highest office.

Why I’m Running

Parks
I pledge to protect our parks as public space for all to enjoy. Milwaukee’s over 150 parks, trails, beer gardens, golf courses and much more provide year-round recreational and community benefits. They keep us healthy, they shape our civic identity, and help build strong families and neighborhoods. Years of neglect in some areas will mean “all hands on deck.” My first job as a teenager was a Milwaukee County lifeguard. We were taught to look out for others and give back to our community. This is what a sustainable government looks like. Working with the newly created Milwaukee Parks Foundation, we will maintain and improve our Parks system for the 21st century.
Public Safety
  • Reckless Driving has claimed too many lives in recent months on Milwaukee streets. Whether in the city or the suburbs, the danger of high speed driving, red light running, or driving under the influence has taken lives too soon and puts everyone at risk. I will partner with the Milwaukee County Sheriff, local police departments, and city leaders to find solutions.  There is no simple answer; we need stronger enforcement, new technology such as red light
    running cameras, and help from the State government to get dangerous drivers off our streets..
  • Opioid Crisis. We all hear and see the stories.  It’s happening elsewhere, not to us. And then a family member, a friend or a neighbor is dead from drug overdose. Opioid deaths in Milwaukee have exceeded drunk driving fatalities.  Milwaukee County has started to work on solutions and my Administration will not rest until we stop this unnecessary and tragic loss of human life.  We need to address all forms of AODA, mental health struggles, and the cracks in our health care systems along with working in partnership with law enforcement.
  • Justice system reform. Keeping our community safe and protecting human dignity go hand in hand.  Milwaukee County has too many men, women and children with mental illness or AODA problems being locked up in our prison system.  It’s expensive and it does not lead to rebuilding lives.  I want taxpayer dollars to help people get their lives back on track, become productive citizens and contribute back to the economy and their families.  My Administration will roll up our sleeves and work with the Governor, State legislators, and community leaders to enact meaningful reforms.  It’s about saving lives and spending our money responsibly.
Transit
With tens of millions of rides each year, Milwaukee County Transit provides access to work, school, shopping, medical appointments, entertainment venues, and much more. While planning for the future is already underway, there is much more work to do. This is a critical piece of funding from the State government that needs to change. Milwaukee has seen nearly $100 million in gas tax and registration fee revenues disappear to the bureaucracy in Madison each year. We need this money for local road repairs and to boost our transit system.

Working with the County Board, civic and business leaders and others my Administration will continue the fight for a Fair Deal from the State Capitol. With or without a penny sales tax, we deserve more state funding and more flexibility on spending for local needs. Whether it’s bus rapid transit, mobility hubs, zero emission bus fleet, links to rail and airport services, Milwaukee County’s economic growth and workforce success depend on a sustainable, thriving and modernized public transit system.