Week of June 4th - June 9th
There is a lot
happening at the State Capitol and it is my hope that this email will
help you stay in touch with your government. As your Senator, I truly
believe in public service. If there is anything my office can do to
assist you, please feel free to contact us.
Youth Development Center
On Monday, I traveled to Laurel,
Maryland to visit the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services' New
Beginnings Youth Development Center. At the invitation of Dr. Ramel
Smith, I went to learn about this juvenile corrections system that has
undergone a transformation similar to the work we are undertaking in
Wisconsin to address the problems we experienced at Lincoln Hills and
Copper Lake juvenile facilities. The facility serves a big portion of the
Washington D.C. area and is a 60-bed secure residential treatment
facility for young males involved with the most serious and chronic
offenses. Youth participate in the D.C. Model program, which provides
long-term supervision, rehabilitation, and community reintegration
planning. This program has been able to reduce recidivism through a
transformative approach to serving the most vulnerable in our society.
The amount of care and desire to see these youth turn their lives around
was evident in my tour of the facility. I am excited to share all that I
learned with my colleagues interested in this work and incorporate
lessons learned as we move forward.
Hospital of Wisconsin's Dental Center of Excellence
Tuesday, my office participated in a tour of Children's Hospital of
Wisconsin's Dental Center of Excellence in Milwaukee. This clinic is
specifically for children with special health care needs including those
with developmental or cognitive disabilities, physical limitations, and
behavioral issues. Children's Hospital has years of experience providing
this specialized dental care and train dentists from all over the country
in this specialty.
During the tour, my office learned how this clinic continues to be an
innovator in this field. Their dentists, orthodontists, and nursing staff
receive additional training after dental school on techniques and
approaches which can help alleviate the stress some special needs
children feel when visiting the dentist. It was amazing to observe a
surgical procedure on a patient, that was
estimated to take 7 hours to complete all of their needed work. The
Dental Center of Excellence treats patients from ages 1-12 and are
available through referral. They also work with families to develop a
unique care plan to ensure children have good dental health moving
forward. The frustrating fact, though, is that they have far more people
than they can accommodate and funding continues to be a problem to expand
these much-needed programs. Hopefully, the number of legislative offices
in attendance will be able to work to ensure access for all Wisconsin
Wednesday, I attended a press
conference to announce Milwaukee's annual Safe Summer Kickoff event. In
an effort to highlight the shared community goal of making Milwaukee's
neighborhoods a safe, fun place for all of the city's residents,
community partners and elected officials continue to join forces to
achieve this goal. The work done by individuals from neighborhoods like Harambee, Amani and Sherman Park are a huge testament
to the power of collaboration. Some of the activities planned for the
Friday, June 8th event include performances, informational tables and
activities for people of all ages. Previously, these efforts have left
those that attended emboldened and ready to spread the call for peace and
safety, a message that has gained a bigger voice than ever in our city.
You can find more information about this event here.
with Trevonte Maxwell
On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of
meeting with Trevonte Maxwell-King, a local
filmmaker in the Milwaukee area to discuss his upcoming project regarding
the epidemic of youth and stolen cars. In his current project, "The Stolie Tippers", Trevonte
discusses the problem of car theft among young people in Milwaukee. The
film will follow four teenagers and discuss the consequences of car
theft. Trevonte is a pursuing this film with
mostly self-funded resources at the moment, but that is not stopping him
from sending out this important message. I cannot wait to see what Trevonte will do with this upcoming film. Having
studied acting in the Second City Chicago Training Center, Trevonte is an accomplished young man who mentors
at-risk youth in Milwaukee. His work in film and underscoring the needs
of urban youth is important to Milwaukee, as well as other urban cities
throughout the country. If you would like to learn more about his
project, you can follow this link to
his GoFundMe page.
week, I met with a local entrepreneur to discuss some of the ways she can
expand her business and the available resources to assist her work. At
nearly every level of government, there are opportunities to receive
grants and technical assistance for varying types of businesses.
Entrepreneurship might mean making your own business or product, but it
doesn't mean you have to take each step towards success alone. Programs
like Fast Forward can be of tremendous help. Fast Forward is a Wisconsin
initiative geared towards helping budding businesses train skilled
workers in a variety of fields in order to improve the state economy from
the ground up. Fast Forward grants are available to help small businesses
sharpen their brand and fine tune their skills. It was great to share
such important information with someone one-on-one and I can't wait to see the next steps they take to bring
their business to the next level. For more information about Fast Forward
visit their website.
On Thursday afternoon, I met with a
representative from Trees Forever, a nonprofit organization based in
Iowa, which aims to motivate communities to go green and engage in
agriculture through hands-on conservation projects. They educate the
public on sustainability through local programs that provide engaging
work for participants. Trees Forever currently has conservation projects
in both Illinois and Iowa and wants to expand into Wisconsin. Increasing
urban agriculture opportunities in Milwaukee is a passion of mine, so we
met to see how I could support similar efforts in Wisconsin.
Even in urban areas, trees are vital in restoring the environment
through energy conservation, and improved air and water quality. In
addition, growing your own produce can certainly be achieved in cities,
providing healthy food options for those willing to learn. It was great
to get to sit down and discuss legislation, funding, and partnerships
that could enhance the urban agriculture of Milwaukee. To learn more
about Trees Forever visit them here.
Familia Dental Tour
Today, I visited Familia
Dental's River Glen clinic to tour the location and meet the staff. The
dentistry has clinics across the state of Wisconsin, including one in my
district, and is committed to a mission of providing affordable and
accessible care. During my visit, I learned much about the organization's
values and the positive impact they have had in the cities in which they
have clinics. A major focus of the organization is to provide high
quality dental services to Medicaid recipients. Due to low reimbursement
rates, many dental offices are unable to serve Medicaid patients, meaning
that dental has become one of the most inaccessible types of care for
Medicaid recipients. I find this lack of accessible care for Wisconsin's
most vulnerable population unacceptable, as everyone deserves access to
essential medical care. Familia Dental has been
working to alleviate this pressing issue through new payment structures,
which has resulted in the organization building a platform of support for
Medicaid recipients, with them now representing as much as 80% of the
case load at some locations. I'm glad to know that my constituents, those
who are Medicaid patients or those who are simply seeking quality dental
care, can utilize Familia Dental as a resource.
More information about Familia can be found on
This week's intern spotlight is written by one of our communications
interns- Kelsey Mjaanes. Kelsey is a
senior at UW-Madison studying Journalism and Spanish. This week she is
writing about Jonathan Drew, a casework intern in my Madison office.
Jonathan Drew graduated this spring
from UW-Madison with a double major in History and Political Science, as
well as a certificate in Scandinavian Studies. Jon has always been
interested in history and says that it lends itself well to politics
because it offers important insight. As far as his certificate in Scandinavian
Studies, Jon took a class about Swedish language and literature freshman
year that he found fascinating and just decided to go for it.
Jon's studies in these fields transitioned well into his internship at
Senator Taylor's office. As a casework intern, Jon is enjoying learning
about the Department of Corrections and its processes as well as what
Senator Taylor's office does to help people in the corrections system.
These experiences will be helpful as he looks towards a career in foreign
policy and nonprofit work. Because he is from Milwaukee, Jon says he was
very familiar with Senator Taylor and her efforts even before he started
working at this office. He eventually wants to move back to Milwaukee and
continue to help people there with the skills he takes away from this
Waved for 2-Year UW Campuses
Wisconsin System President Ray Cross announced that application fees will
be waived, effective immediately through September 7th, for students
applying to any of the 13 two-year UW College Campuses for the upcoming
fall 2018 term.
application fee demonstrates our continued commitment to the access and
affordability mission of these campuses," said President Cross.
"During the transitional period of our restructuring, we want to
reassure prospective students that all campuses remain open and we
encourage them to apply and enroll."
Safe & Sound
Donations: June 19-28
Dear City of Milwaukee Residents:
For their 20th anniversary the Safe & Sound Campaign will be
accepting donations June 19-28 to support projects and other efforts that
create stronger and safer communities in the Milwaukee area.
Free “Little Libraries”, neighborhood cleanups and community gardens are
some examples of how Safe & Sound has been a positive influence in
the Milwaukee community.
Also, Safe & Sound has partnered with the Milwaukee Police Department
in holding monthly Crime and Safety Meetings for each Milwaukee district.
4th district meetings are held 6 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month
at in the Safety Academy at 6680 N. Teutonia
For more information on these meetings contact Community Liaison Officers
Tracey Geniesse at (414) 935-7248 or Carrie
Resnick at (414) 935-7373.
If you can please help Safe & Sound reach their $5,000 goal to
continue these incredible programs!
Work Continues Along
Milwaukee's Valley Bridge
Please see the briefing below from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on continuing work on
Milwaukee's Valley Bridge
On the evening of Wednesday, May 30, the
Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)
will begin the next phase of the Valley Bridge overlay project in the
city of Milwaukee. This phase will shift southbound I-43 traffic allowing
for the 11th Street / Wisconsin Avenue on-ramp to I-43 south to reopen.
As the project advances, access to certain
system ramps will continue to become available. Please note that these
closures are weather dependent and subject to change.
Current long-term ramp closures:
- I-794 West to I-43
(Until Late June)
- I-43 North to I-94
(Until Late June)
- I-43 North to 10th
Street and Michigan Avenue Off-Ramp
(Until Late June)
- I-94 East to I-43
(Until Late July)
Street/National Avenue On-Ramp to I-43 North
(Until Late August)
The primary detour route for navigating interchange
access continues to be the I-794 Hoan Bridge.
For more information on closures and detour routes, visit 511 Wisconsin
or visit their website.