“A relentless fighter for equality, inclusion and justice for all.” Fitchburg Joint Council Chambers, officially dedicated to Frances Huntley-Cooper

"A relentless fighter for equality, inclusion and justice for all."  Fitchburg Joint Council Chambers, officially dedicated to Frances Huntley-Cooper

The Joint Council Chambers in Fitchburg City Corridor at the moment are the Frances Huntley-Cooper Joint Council Chambers.

A crowd of political leaders (together with a former governor of Wisconsin and the present governor of Wisconsin) and neighborhood leaders, brimming with standing-only halls, gathered at Fitchburg Metropolis Corridor on the night time of March 8 to inform emotional and heartwarming tales about and honor the legacy. got here. Frances Huntley-Cooper on the official dedication of the Metropolis of Frances Huntley-Cooper’s Joint Council Chambers of Fitchburg.

Huntley-Cooper made historical past in 1991 when he turned mayor of Fitchburg and the primary African-American mayor elected to workplace within the state of Wisconsin. This The Metropolis of Fitchburg Joint Council introduced final 12 months that they’d title their room after Huntley-Cooper, and on March 8, when it turned official, the whole neighborhood got here out to have fun.

Frances Huntley-Cooper together with her son Akil Cooper celebrates the official opening of the Frances Huntley-Cooper Metropolis Fitchburg Joint Council Chambers.
(Picture: David Dahmer)

Kesha Bozeman, who helped arrange the ceremony, was the host of the ceremony, whereas Fitchburg Mayor Aaron Richardson was the host.

“I feel it is too late to have fun Francis Huntley-Cooper and all the nice issues he is achieved for not simply the town of Fitchburg, however for the state,” stated Richardson. “Once I take a look at what he is completed and the way he is been a pioneer and somebody who stands out and is really an idol, I feel somebody has been a mentor to lots of people, together with individuals of coloration. nicely… I feel that is actually legacy.”

Marketing campaign literature from Frances Huntley-Cooper’s 1991 mayoral marketing campaign.

Founding father of The Middle for Black Excellence & Tradition, Dr. Alex Gee did the prayer on the occasion. Gee has lived in Fitchburg since 1995.

“There are numerous issues on this metropolis that make me proud. However in all of the years I have been right here, that is the proudest second I have been part of – the town will acknowledge the legacy of this nice chief, this excellent girl,” Gee stated. to be the co-chairman of our capital metropolis marketing campaign for And it wasn’t one thing I wished him to be part of however he did not hesitate to help me, she. Miss Kesha [Bozeman] He stated he could not think about a world with out Miss Francis earlier than. Due to the motion we took at the moment, we’ll by no means need to think about Fitchburg with out it.”

Huntley-Cooper had spent an excessive amount of time. Fitchburg Joint Council Chambers. Huntley-Cooper spent 4 years as Fitchburg’s District 1 alderman, together with serving as chairman of the Joint Council, earlier than making historical past as mayor.

TEMPO Madison, who helped arrange the occasion, introduced Huntley-Cooper with a plaque for show within the halls. Inauguration of the official plaque by Shana Lewis, lawyer of Renning Lewis & Lacy, SC, Dr. It was made by Leslie Petty and Michael Johnson, president and CEO of Dane County Boys & Women Golf equipment. Johnson was answerable for getting the ball rolling on the renaming with an open letter to Fitchburg Mayor Aaron Richardson and a social media marketing campaign in 2021.

Frances Huntley-Cooper together with her sisters from the Kappa Psi Omega part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the place she has been a member for the reason that 70s.

“I am so grateful to see so many individuals on this room,” Johnson stated. “And let’s not simply have fun Francis at the moment, let’s have fun him each day, yearly. We’re so grateful for the management you present to this neighborhood, and personally, I do know you might be at all times there after I go to you on the Boys’ and Women’ Golf equipment. Francis, we love you. And a lot for being honored at the moment. We’re grateful.”

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers informed the gang he remembers the primary time he met Huntley-Cooper when he was the superintendent of the Verona Faculty District and mayor of Fitchburg.

“Francis, your efforts and participation over time has been instrumental in making our state a extra simply, inclusive and equitable place that we will all name residence,” Evers stated. Francis, you signify the very best of us and everyone seems to be right here to have fun with you tonight. This occasion is a testomony to the constructive affect you could have and the affect you could have because the chief of the state of Wisconsin.

“And when people come into these halls and see this plaque, whether or not they’re newly elected members of the Joint Council or speaking about it for the primary time right here, they are going to be reminded of your service and management, and in addition reminded them how vital illustration is,” Evers provides. “They are going to be reminded how vital it’s to interact as a civic, to take an opportunity at being a pacesetter in society, and to do all this with kindness, empathy, respect and compassion.”

Along with being the primary Black mayor in Wisconsin, Huntley-Cooper was elected as a Barack Obama delegate to the 2008 Democratic Conference in Denver, Colorado, and was inaugurated because the forty fourth President of the US in Washington DC in January 2009. joined. Moreover, Huntley-Cooper was elected as a delegate to the Nationwide Democratic Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina from September 3–6, 2012.

Appointed by Governor Jim Doyle, Huntley-Cooper was additionally director of the Staff Compensation Division of the Wisconsin State Division of Workforce Growth earlier than retiring in 2011.

Former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle talks about his experiences with Frances Huntley-Cooper.

Doyle, who was governor of the state of Wisconsin from 2003 to 2011, informed the gang that he and his spouse, Jessica, had a friendship with Huntley-Cooper “that goes again nearly 50 years.”

“I feel within the first few days after being elected, I known as Frances to see if she was prepared to affix the board,” Doyle recalled. “And we have been very fortunate to have Frances for all these eight years. And there have been some very laborious occasions and good occasions.

“However I do know that, as anybody who has labored with him within the metropolis authorities is aware of, if somebody wants to speak quietly to you about a difficulty, have extremely good values, excessive intelligence, and a very good analytical thoughts, and give you an answer that actually works, I do know it.” The answer then is Frances, and she or he’s achieved it again and again.”

Exterior of his distinguished political {and professional} profession, Huntley-Cooper was actively concerned within the Madison neighborhood. By way of numerous organizations over time, together with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s Kappa Psi Omega Division and the Dane County NAACP. He has a protracted profession and keenness for social justice and African-American highschool college students who’re inspiring and supportive of success.

Madison Faculty’s president, Dr. Jack Daniels remembered Huntley-Cooper for his fantastic work as its president. Madison Faculty Board.

Jack Daniels III

“Frances’ affect and affect goes far past all of the awards and recognition he has obtained,” Daniels stated. “He’s a tireless advocate of blacks and their inclusion in all points of this neighborhood and society as an entire. He’s a fierce fighter for equality, inclusion and justice for all. He represents this neighborhood on our college board of administrators. Similar to I stated earlier than.

“Regardless of his retirement from the board, his affect on Madison Faculty will probably be felt for a couple of extra years,” he continued. “I feel it is nice, and it is applicable that the Fitchburg Metropolis Council Chambers are known as the Frances Huntley-Cooper Metropolis Fitchburg Commons. His affect and legacy will dwell on perpetually.”

Different audio system too Official dedications embrace Fitchburg Metropolis councilor Joe Maldonado, Honorable Choose Hamdy Ezalarab, Alpha Kappa Alpha President Stephanie Bradley Wilson, Dane County Administrator Joe Parisi, TEMPO Madison President Michelle Vetterkind, Madison’s 100 Black Males Dr. Floyd Rose and neighborhood chief Carola Gaines. .

On the shut, Huntley-Cooper obtained all elected officers within the chamber and thanked the Fitchburg residents within the chamber who voted for him and labored on his election campaigns. He thanked everybody within the room for coming.

“Let’s proceed to do nicely and help variety, equality and inclusion each day, not simply in the future, one month, however… let’s problem one another with respect,” she stated. “I additionally need to thank all of the individuals I labored with within the room and everybody concerned within the present. Thanks for coming, for all the sort phrases you stated and for all of the belongings you did.”

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