Meet Nikiya

"I will continue to work hard to earn your trust in improving our neighborhoods, delivering efficient city services to all, and working together to keep our neighborhoods safe. That is my pledge to you.”

Nikiya Q. Dodd is a lifelong public servant, leader in non-profit management, and fundraising professional. Elected in 2018, she is the first woman and African American to be elected to the 5th Aldermanic District in the City of Milwaukee, the first woman elected to the 6th  District of the Wisconsin State Legislature, and the second woman and African American in the history of Milwaukee to be elected to three branches of government in the state of Wisconsin.

As Alderwoman, with only 12 months in office, Nikiya sponsored legislation to add over 200 jobs to the 5th Aldermanic District by rezoning underutilized land for the development of a 325,000 square-foot building and future property tax revenue to the City. Alderwoman Dodd also sponsored a resolution urging the Wisconsin State Legislature to allow the City to extend benefits to those in domestic partnerships.

Nikiya hosted the inaugural, day-long tour for neighbors, investors, and community members to Explore the 5th District. Explore 5th District tour is a first of its kind to showcase vibrant neighborhoods, parks, and schools, thriving restaurants, and historical sites, as well as opportunities for business growth and development and homeownership on Milwaukee’s Northwest Side.

Born in Milwaukee, Nikiya is a graduate of Milwaukee Public Schools and the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. She and her husband purchased their home in the Nash Park neighborhood, over five years ago to raise their son.

“Tony and I love our neighborhood and are fortunate to raise our son in a community where neighbors feel safe to walk their dog, take their children on a walk to the park, and sit on their porches waving at passersby.”

As Alderwoman, she has worked to strengthen neighborhoods block-by-block by partnering with neighbors, area schools, the Milwaukee Police, and the Department of Neighborhood Services to coordinate neighborhood walks, block parties, and community meetings throughout the district.  She has also worked to forge strong partnerships with the Milwaukee Police and Fire Department’s leadership.

Nikiya has fought to maintain the integrity of our Police Department by ensuring that the Fire and Police Commission was fully funded to continue new recruitment for the police academy and firefighter training classes.

She has advocated for the passage of red light traffic cameras, initiatives such as Take It Eazy Milwaukee, and have looked to the Task Force on Reckless Driving as solutions to assist in curbing fast, erratic, and dangerous driving, and pushing for more proactive radar patrolling by law enforcement and working with neighbors on establishing residential speed humps, traffic controls, and stop signs in their neighborhoods. Additionally, she have pressed for the drafting of a city ordinance to address the towing and impoundment of vehicles without valid license plates or operated by persons without a valid driver’s licenses.

Nikiya started her political career on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors from 2010 through 2012. As a county supervisor, she led the County Board on the decision to separate the House of Correction from the Sheriff’s budget. The separation resulted in the implementation and restoration of inmate treatment and diversion programming for non-violent offenders. 

These changes increased evidence-based decision-making practices while saving millions, in taxpayer dollars. She also led the fight for voters’ rights by opposing Voter ID law. She eased voter access to the polls by passing an initiative that continues to allow hundreds of Milwaukee residents to receive a free birth certificate, including the elderly and young adults.

“We must be fair and equitable in the process of creating laws. It is incomprehensible that we would deny a fellow citizen the right to vote.”

She served in the Wisconsin State Legislature from 2013-2017. During the 2013-14 legislative session, Dodd pushed for an increase in the minimum wage, access to job training, and affordable healthcare. She also put forth initiatives to repair Milwaukee's foreclosure crisis and reform Wisconsin's broken criminal justice system and mental health system.

In April 2014, Dodd’s bill to create the Milwaukee County Emergency Detention Pilot Program was signed into law. The program aided police officers by putting the authority to initiate emergency detentions into the hands of qualified mental health professionals. The law was intended to provide services to members of our community suffering in mental health crisis situations while interacting with law enforcement.

Nikiya also served her community with over a decade of service in the not-for-profit sector as a Certified Fundraising Professional, Pre-college Program Advisor, and Pre-school Teacher.

Born in Milwaukee, Nikiya earned her Master’s of Education Degree in Administrative Leadership and an undergraduate degree in Educational Policy and Community Studies from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management. 

Nikiya credits her academic and professional achievements to setting a positive example as the eldest of 13 siblings.

She is happily married to Anthony T. Dodd, Sr. and proud mother of Anthony T. Dodd, Jr.