History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - People - Bios




"20 Giving 20" was part of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin's commemoration of its 20th anniversary combating the AIDS epidemic. View all 20 of those honored on the ARCW "20 giving 20" page.

City of Milwaukee
Tom Barrett, Mayor

"They are our sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, family and friends. They deserve all the support we can provide."

Throughout more than 20 years as a public official, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has witnessed the impact of the AIDS epidemic on the lives of the people he serves.

"I remember watching the epidemic just mushroom, knowing that I had to act."

He has fought with deep conviction for enlightened AIDS policies. In the State Legislature, he worked to enact the law that protects HIV patients from discrimination. In Congress he fought hard to lift the federal ban on funding needle exchange. He also stood up to special interests and fought for equity in the distribution of federal AIDS funding.

As Mayor of Milwaukee, Barrett leads a city that embraced the fight against AIDS from the very beginning and has funded AIDS services ever since.

In l985, the City of Milwaukee aggressively pursued AIDS prevention funding from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and was one of the first cities to receive a grant. In 1993, the City Council passed the Milwaukee AIDS Initiative to fund innovative and diverse HIV prevention strategies. In 2002, Milwaukee launched the powerful "No Condom, No Way" marketing campaign to refocus the public on the threat of AIDS.

Mayor Barrett believes that Milwaukee must continue its leadership role in the fight against AIDS.

"Itís a quality of life issue. Itís a recognition that many people with AIDS live in Milwaukee and we must do all we can to help."

Photos and Text courtesy AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, copyright 2005.
Last updated: 10-May-2005.