Civil rights activist Vel Phillips

The legislation designating the U.S. Post Office located at 2650 North Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in Milwaukee as the “Vel R. Phillips Post Office Building” has been signed into law, according to Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s office.

“Vel contributed so much at every level and paved the way for other Wisconsinites to help make a difference in people’s lives,” said Baldwin in a statement. “She was a leader in engaging the Milwaukee grassroots in dialogue with the Community Brainstorming conference and she encouraged everyone to join her on the march for social justice. Vel had a lifelong passion of doing right by others, and I’m proud to honor her memory and do right by her and her family by designating this Milwaukee building in her name.”

Senators Baldwin and Ron Johnson introduced legislation in September to secure this designation at the Post Office location on MLK Drive. This bill passed in the Senate in November and a companion bill, led by Congresswoman Gwen Moore, passed in the House of Representatives in September. It was signed into law on Dec. 6.

Velvalea “Vel” Phillips was the first woman judge in Milwaukee County and the first African American elected to the Milwaukee Common Council and to statewide office in Wisconsin. Following Vel’s passing in April, Senator Baldwin authored a resolution in the Congressional Record to honor her life of public service and her many contributions to the state of Wisconsin and as a civil rights leader.

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