The union movement in Milwaukee is one of the most visible, but also one of its most underreported.
Union leaders have faced some of the harshest criticism of their profession in recent years, with some claiming that the party establishment has rigged the election, while others say they are being targeted for attacks and harassment by the police.
The Democratic Party has yet to officially declare a winner in the mayoral race, but the Milwaukee County Board of Elections has already declared the results as a tie.
Milwaukee has a long history of union organizing.
In the late 1960s, the city and county became the first in the nation to elect its first black mayor, and by the 1980s, Milwaukee was home to the first-ever Black Chamber of Commerce.
While the Milwaukee Police Department was formed to protect the civil rights of African-Americans, union leaders say that under the city’s first black police chief, the department was also infiltrated by white police officers and used to silence and intimidate black citizens.
Despite the protests that have been ongoing in the city, the union movement has managed to keep alive the political power of the Black community in Milwaukee.
According to the Wisconsin Coalition for Working Families, union workers make up approximately 20 percent of the city population and are the backbone of the black middle class.
During the 2016 election cycle, the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Teachers also endorsed Democratic candidates, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.