Danielle Shelton is a fighter for justice.
As an African-American woman who has lived in Milwaukee for most of her life, Danielle and her daughters have been the recipient of targeted harassment, sexism, and racism, but persevered to succeed in their endeavors.
Danielle was arrested in her twenties for arguing with her partner on a city street in Waukesha County. Her misdemeanor conviction reminds her every day that Black citizens are held to a different standard, and often criminalized, for behavior that, for the majority, likely would not merit a second look.
Despite her arrest, for which she paid a $180 fine, Danielle served our country honorably for 6 years in the U.S. Army, including one year as a recruiter; she earned securities licenses while working in the financial industry; and she put herself through law school while raising two daughters as a single mom. When her daughters’ father fell far behind in child support payments, Danielle was forced into bankruptcy, but she has still succeeded as an attorney, working as a trial lawyer in the Wisconsin State Public Defenders’ office. Raising her daughters in Shorewood, the only Black family on their block, meant the whole family sometimes faced harassment. Danielle successfully enlisted the help of the ACLU to force a Shorewood police officer and one terrible neighbor to stop victimizing her family. In one instance, Danielle was taken to court after her daughter was called a n***** online. Again, Danielle won and the harassment stopped.
Her daughters have earned degrees from Loyola University, Brown University, and Johns Hopkins University; one is working as a business executive and model, while the other readies to enter graduate school to pursue her third degree.
Danielle has persevered. Danielle has overcome.
It is time to put a strong legal leader, who will be fair and just in the courtroom, on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court bench. Danielle would be only the 3rd African-American woman ever to serve as a county judge in Wisconsin, after Vel Phillips and Maxine White.
Below is a list of some of Danielle’s long history of advocacy and fighting against oppression:
At age 13, Danielle marched with the National Association of Black Veterans (NABVETS) for better benefits for soldiers affected by Agent Orange. She would continue to volunteer with NABVETS and advocate for Black veterans.
Worked with Senator William Proxmire’s office to get her father’s military record corrected to return his Purple Heart and restored to an Honorable Discharge, so that he could receive Veterans’ benefits and much needed medical help.
Volunteered with Planned Parenthood.
Had first trial at age of 18, in front of City of Milwaukee Municipal Judge, Jim Gramling, when she defended against a ticket for Driving too Fast for Conditions. Danielle had called the police for help, after her car slid into a snow bank during a snow storm, their response was to give her a ticket. She won the trial.
Successfully sued a Fortune 500 company on behalf of an indigent elderly woman.
Successfully litigated Russ v. Russ, 2007 WI 83, a Wisconsin Supreme Court case regarding the interplay between a Power of Attorney and a Joint Account Holder.
For several years, Danielle worked as a Birth Doula, advocating for and comforting laboring mothers. Danielle has attended about 40 births at homes, different area hospitals, and as an employee at Columbia Center Birth Hospital.