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Despite population loss, community organizers spur a boost in turnout.

An outsider might think Milwaukee’s election results were a disappointment for local left-leaning organizers.

After all, Milwaukee voters cast 141 fewer ballots in 2020 than 2016, President-elect Joe Biden received a modest-at-best 2% improvement over Hillary Clinton while many of the city’s suburbs saw massive shifts toward Biden, and many majority-Black or Latino voting wards saw small yet surprising shifts toward Trump. But a deeper look at key context reveals how remarkable the city’s turnout was as Wisconsin broke away from President Donald Trump and delivered its 10 electoral votes to Biden by a margin of about 20,500 votes.

“I’m still so incredibly proud of everyone that threw down in this election,” said Angela Lang, executive director of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, an organization that mobilizes Black voters on Milwaukee’s north side.