Representative Darrin Madison is committed to building an equitable society that is grounded in social, environmental, and economic justice.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Darrin learned from a young age that the world did not value his identity or community. Madison’s journey in Milwaukee organizing began at the age of 14 as an intern for the Urban Ecology Center where he taught his community about environmentally friendly behaviors and practices. At 15, Madison, alongside other young organizers from Urban Underground in Milwaukee, launched an Urban Agriculture campaign called “Fresh P.L.A.I.T.S,” which encouraged residents to eat organic produce, buy organic produce, and grow organic produce. Madison’s knowledge of food systems and environmental injustices taught him about the intersectional dynamics at play in our current capitalist society and economy.
His leadership in the community, alongside his understanding of institutional inequities in society for people of color, led him to understand the harm caused by weak political leadership. He worked diligently to replace them with bold and progressive leaders, including as the Deputy Campaign Manager for former Wisconsin State Representative David Bowen.
Madison graduated from Ronald Reagan IB High School in Milwaukee in 2015 and attended Howard University. While attending Howard University, he majored in Biology, minored in Political Science, and worked on political campaigns in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. In 2016, Madison returned home to Milwaukee and worked for the Urban Ecology Center as the Riverside branch’s Volunteer Coordinator. He worked with their staff to implement a skills-based volunteer model to effectively engage volunteers on a high level within the organization. He also worked with the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office to launch their Eco-Neighborhoods Initiative which encourages neighborhood residents to engage in ecologically friendly behaviors (with a focus on communities of color).
In 2018, Madison began working for Youth Justice Milwaukee (YJM) as an organizer, supporting their efforts to close youth prisons in Wisconsin and creating smaller community-based rehabilitation centers. Additionally, Madison joined Opportunity Youth United (OYU) in fighting for a $4.5 billion national investment in Opportunity Youth.
In the spring of 2021, Madison ran for county board in a special election seeking to represent the 10th County Supervisory District. After losing his bid by approximately twelve votes, Madison began to work for the African American Roundtable as their Democracy Organizer. In 2022, after consulting with community members and other stakeholders, Madison ran for and won his bid to represent the 10th Assembly District. Rep. Madison openly ran for office as a Democratic Socialist, and along with Rep. Clancy, they were the first socialists elected to the Wisconsin Legislature since 1931!
Rep. Madison is currently serving his first term in the Wisconsin Assembly. He serves on the Assembly Committees on Children and Families, Corrections, Criminal Justice and Public Safety, and Workforce Development and Economic Opportunity. He was also appointed by Governor Evers to serve a two-year term on the Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Council.
Fellowships and Awards:
- 2012, Urban Underground - Leader of the Year
- 2019, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee - Emerging Leader Award
- 2019, Madison was selected as one of five fellows with the National Youth Alliance For Boys and Men of Color (NYABMOC). Madison collaborated with five national networks to establish a framework for a participatory grant-making process and manage a multi-million dollar budget.
- 2023, Madison was selected as a Fair Fight Fellow with Fair Fight Action.