Julia Arata-Fratta, who’s served four terms as alder on the Fitchburg Common Council, announced in an email to supporters and media Wednesday that she will run for mayor.
“Over my four terms on the Fitchburg City Council, I’ve worked hard to ensure that the community that welcomed me 18 years ago continues to be a place that provides strong neighborhoods and a sense of community where everyone can have their needs met,” Arata-Fratta wrote in the email announcement. “Through sound investments in diverse housing and sustainable economic growth, paired with programs like the Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative, the HUB Park, and the Inclusive Playground at McKee Farms Park, my track record on the council supports the inclusive vision I have for our community.”
Arata-Fratta was born in Argentina and moved to Fitchburg in 2004 from Baton Rogue, Louisiana. Professionally, she is a senior manager at Wegner CPAs in Madison and has taught accounting at Madison College. She currently serves on the board of the Overture Foundation, which operates Overture Center for the Arts, and as treasurer for the Madison Region Economic Partnership. She was president of the board of directors for the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County in 2011, according to her LinkedIn profile.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she graduated from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina in 1991 with a degree in business administration, and earned an MBA from Kennesaw State in 1998.
“I want Fitchburg to be the best city to live in. I want to build our community’s unique identity and achieve our full potential,” she wrote in the announcement.
Fitchburg has been a rapidly growing and rapidly diversifying city in recent years. The city’s population is 15.5 percent Latino, more than double the percentage of Dane County, which is 6.9 percent Latino. The city also has a higher proportion of Black residents — 8.2 percent versus 5.7 percent for Dane County as a whole.
Arata-Fratta ran for Assembly in 2016, losing the Democratic primary to Jimmy Anderson by fewer than 500 votes.
Current mayor Aaron Richardson announced last month that he will not seek re-election. Fitchburg Common Council president Randy Udell is also running to replace Richardson.
Arata-Fratta’s announcement comes nearly a week after Gloria Reyes announced her bid to become the first Latina mayor of neighboring Madison.
If more than two candidates qualify for the ballot, the primary would take place on February 21. The general election is slated for April 4.