From time to time, we will trace the career journeys of leaders in our community. Today we put Ald. Khalif Rainey in the career spotlight.
Who: Khalif Rainey
Occupation: City of Milwaukee Alderman of Seventh District
Years in service: Four years as alderman; 16 years in politics total
High school: Graduated from Riverside
College: Graduated from Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences at Southern University A & M
What sparked your interest in this field?
When I was a senior in high school, I went to four different high schools-three in Arkansas, and I wasn’t performing well academically. One teacher, Mr. Wild, saw something in me. He thought I could do more and encouraged me to go to a four-year college.
Jack Rosenberg gave me a scholarship for $20,000 to go to college. He only asked that I finish college and serve my community. I promised him that I would do just that. And I did.
What is most challenging in this work?
I remember when before I was alderman, the job carried an allure. But it’s a tireless job. It doesn’t stop. Aldermen really work hard. Even though we all have the same title, we don’t have the same job. What Stamper (Russell Stamper II of the 15th District) has going on in his district may be different than the challenges in my district or Milele’s (Milele Coggs, alderwoman of the Sixth District). It’s a very challenging job. I don’t know if the community realizes how hard aldermen work.
How would someone go about becoming an alderperson?
First it requires self-reflection. What am I trying to achieve? What do I hope to reflect?
You have to understand the science of politics.
You have to be able to fundraise.
You have to get out, knock on doors and meet people.
What steps did you take to become an alderperson?
I majored in political science. There really is a science to politics.
The summer after college, I interned with Ashanti Hamilton.
After that, I went to work for Gwen Moore as a constituent liaison. I was the first African American male to work in Congresswoman Moore’s district office.
After 10 years of working for her, I decided to run for county supervisor.
What advice would you give someone aspiring to go into politics?
It should be on your core priorities. I ran because I wanted change in my city for my family.
Some of the most inspiring people are not elected officials. We all have the opportunity to be leaders and impactful on our blocks, in our own neighborhoods.
You don’t have to be a politician to do that. You can make changes in your community.
Who: Walnut Way
What: Neighbor Night: An Info Session on Level Up: MCFI’s Food Industry Job Training Program
When: Wednesday, Feb. 19t from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Walnut Way, 2240 N. 17th St
Food will be served.
Click here to register.
Who: Argus Technical Services
What: Argus Fair Chance Thursdays for justice-involved persons
When: Thursday, Feb. 20 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Employ Milwaukee, 2342 N. 27th St.
On the spot interviews with Batteries Plus!
Please dress for success and bring copies of your resume!
For more information, contact Frederick Nelson at Frederick.firstname.lastname@example.org
Who: Goodwill Workforce Connection Center
What: Recruitment event
When: Feb. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Central Library 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Please come dressed and prepared for an interview. Bring resumes.
For more information, click here.
Who: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
What: Spring 2020 Career Fair
When: Feb. 28t from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: UW-Milwaukee Union/Wisconsin Ballroom 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Free LinkedIn portraits are being offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Click here for more information.
Who: Milwaukee Public Schools
What: MPS student job fair
When: March 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: UW-Milwaukee Student Union, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
For more information, click here.
Please note: Students who completed a work readiness session at their school are eligible to attend the job fair. Students can speak with their counselor or stop in any College and Career Center with questions and to receive a permission slip. Bus transportation will be provided for students to attend the job fair.
Tip of the week:
Create a professional email address for job searches. Make sure your email address does not include nicknames, profanity or offense language. For example, don’t do this: Damiadoingitbigcauseygang@gmail.com. Do this: email@example.com. Your email address introduces you.
About this column: I will share stories of those who have taken a nontraditional approach to employment or an unusual career path. I will also list employment information such as job fairs, resource fairs and job training events. I encourage organizations to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with career information.