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Walker announces plan to name building after Vel Phillips

Gov. Scott Walker announced Tuesday that the future Milwaukee State Office Building will be named after the late Vel Phillips.

Phillps, who died in April, was a civil-rights pioneer who helped lead open-housing marches in Milwaukee in the 1960s and was the first black person elected to a statewide office in Wisconsin.

Phillips blazed a trail for minorities and women by becoming the first black woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She was also the first woman and first black person elected to the Milwaukee Common Council.

Walker, who leads the State Building Commission, will include language enumerating the Vel R. Phillips Milwaukee State Office Building in his 2019-21 Capital Budget proposal, which will be released in early 2019. Adopting the proposal will require action by the full Building Commission and state Legislature.

The new building will replace the current Milwaukee State Office Building at 6th and Wells Street, which was built in 1963. The Department of Administration has issued a request for proposals for the construction of the new office building and is reviewing the responses.

About Erika Strebel

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for The Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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