Dennis R. McBride
Alderman - District 4
7003 Cedar St.
Ph: (414) 391-1140
Wauwatosa's 4th District is an exciting mix of historic homes, new apartment developments, small business districts, and schools and churches. It generally covers the southeastern portion of Wauwatosa, from Hawley Road on the east to Honey Creek Parkway on the west, and from State Street/Maple Terrace/Portland Avenue (between 68th Street and 76th Street) and Milwaukee Avenue (between 60th Street and 68th Street) on the north to Blue Mound Road (and a few streets south of Blue Mound) on the south.
In the 4th District are Jefferson Elementary School and St. Jude’s Catholic School. Our parents also send their children to Wilson Elementary School, just to the west of the 4th District, and St. John’s Lutheran School, just north and west of the 4th District. All four schools have proud traditions, provide excellent education, and enjoy strong community support.
It has been an honor to represent the 4th District since April 15, 2008. Every day, it’s a pleasure to work with my neighbors to address our challenges, take advantage of our opportunities, and share our successes.
My Wauwatosa Roots
I was one of seven McBride kids who grew up in a Victorian house at 7631 Rogers Avenue, two blocks south of the Wauwatosa Civic Center. My parents were both newspaper reporters and, around the dinner table, provided their children with a nightly education in public affairs. Our family home is now 145 years old. My mother loved history and old homes, and instilled that love in me.
I graduated from Wauwatosa East High School, where I played baseball and basketball, ran cross country, and was a member of East’s state championship track & field team. Four of my brothers also graduated from Tosa East. My upbringing gave me a passion for Wauwatosa’s historic neighborhoods, beautiful parks, and excellent schools.
As a teenager, I was the paperboy for the City Hall and Library and, as a high school student, served on the City’s first recycling committee. I didn’t know then that, someday, I’d return to City Hall as an alderman.
Now I live in a 100 year-old Arts-and-Crafts bungalow at 7003 Cedar Street, surrounded by friendly neighbors. Every day I’m reminded that, from corner to corner, Wauwatosa is blessed with wonderful neighborhoods.
My Service on the Common Council
My neighbors first elected me to the Wauwatosa Common Council in 2008. In 2012, I was elected to a second four-year term, and also elected by my colleagues as President of the Wauwatosa Common Council for a two-year term. I was reelected President in 2014.
I’ve served on all of the Council’s committees. Currently, I’m a member of the Government Affairs and Financial Affairs Committees. Since joining the Council, I’ve also has been the aldermanic liaison to the Wauwatosa Historic Preservation Commission. I’m especially proud to have worked with fellow members of that Commission to have the Wauwatosa Avenue Historic District added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Recently, I began serving on a committee of elected officials and residents with special expertise (in engineering, architecture, and landscaping). Our task is to make into a unified whole all of the recent plans for the Wauwatosa Village: staging and putting up “wayfinding” signs and street furniture (benches, waste baskets, etc.); creating a pedestrian crossing over the railroad tracks at 74th Street; reconstructing State Street from 68th Street to Menomonee River Parkway; coordinating intersection improvements; reach consensus on the form and functioning of Root Common and the Pocket Park; and reaching consensus on bike, pedestrian, and transit improvements.
My Community Service
My parents raised me to give back to my community. As a result, I’ve been involved in civic activities for my entire life. Here is a partial list of my volunteer activities, in Wauwatosa and beyond:
Member, board of directors, Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool, Inc., Wauwatosa, 2007-present
Coordinator, Hedge School, Milwaukee Irish Fest, 2006-present
Member, State of Wisconsin Retirement Board, 2005-2008
Chairman, Wauwatosa Civil Service Commission, 2004-2006 and 1995-1998 (Member, 1992-2008)
Member and co-founder, “Wall of Inspiration” Committee, Wauwatosa East High School, 2002-2011
Co-Chairman, Wauwatosa High School Memorial Project, 2003-2005
Member, Senior Choir, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wauwatosa, 2003-present
Vice President, Wauwatosa Historical Society, 2001-02 (Director, 2000-2002)
President and co-founder, Pasadena Neighborhood Association, Wauwatosa, 1995
Wauwatosa East High School: diploma
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: bachelor’s degree in journalism
Princeton University: master’s degree in public administration (with an emphasis in urban planning)
New York University: law degree
I earned my way through college, graduate school, and law school through part-time work and scholarships.
My Professional Work
After graduating from NYU Law School, I served as a Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Terence Evans (Milwaukee), worked for law firms in Milwaukee and Boston, and taught part-time at Marquette University Law School. Currently, I’m an attorney for a federal agency in downtown Milwaukee.
In 2014, the Wisconsin Law Foundation named me a Fellow of the Foundation "in recognition of professional attainment, distinguished service, and commitment to the legal profession and the administration of justice, to maintain and advance high standards of ethical conduct in both the legal profession and the community." Membership in the Fellows is limited to 2.5% of the members of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
I’ve also has been rated “AV Preeminent” (highest for legal ability and professional ethics) in a poll of other lawyers in the Milwaukee area.
I’m married to Karen Barry and have three children – Meredith, Gillian, and Donovan. Meredith and Gilly graduated from Tosa East in 2006 and 2013, respectively, and Donovan will graduate from Tosa East in June 2016. Karen and I are grateful to Wauwatosa’s public schools for the excellent education our children have received.
I’m grateful to have been recognized for my work in a variety of fields. Here are some of the honors I’ve received:
Yard of Distinction award, Wauwatosa Beautification Committee, 2008 and 2013
Alumni Citizenship Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2012
Community Service Award, Federal Executives Association of Milwaukee, 1996
Athletics Hall of Fame, UW-Milwaukee, inducted in 1986
Fortunately, I’m not always running for office. Sometimes you’ll see me running around our community. Twice, I won the Milwaukee Mayfair Marathon (26.2 miles), the predecessor to the current Lakefront Marathon, when the Mayfair Marathon was held in Wauwatosa.
As an alderman, my mission has been to preserve what we all love about Wauwatosa – beautiful neighborhoods, community spirit, and recreational opportunities – while finding ways to continue to pay for our excellent municipal services (police, fire, and public works). For several years, the Wisconsin Legislature has imposed a cap on municipal property tax levies, which means that we can only keep pace with inflation if we redevelop properties, like old industrial sites, that are underutilized. Fortunately, because of our location and mix of businesses, Wauwatosa has been a redevelopment “hot spot.” Our task is to strike a good balance between preserving what is best about Wauwatosa while welcoming appropriate redevelopment.
Wauwatosa Village improvements
State Street improvements
Preservation of Schoonmaker Reef
The Reef apartment complex
UWM Innovation Campus
Preserving Wauwatosa’s neighborhoods and quality of life
Preserving Wauwatosa’s municipal services
Transportation planning in all of its forms (streets, mass transit, bikes, and pedestrians) for all of Wauwatosa