Week of June 25th - July 1st
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.
in Caroline's Kitchen
On Sunday, I was a guest sous chef
with Caroline's Raw Creations Interactive Healthy Cooking Class over at
Pete's Food Market, in the Bronzeville
neighborhood. It was a great opportunity to further learn the health
benefits of vegan and raw food. This was a lively demonstration presented
in a format that was fun and easy to get engaged with. I look forward to
learning more and am excited about the ability to connect it to my work
on Urban Agriculture. The host has been cooking with raw food since 2005,
when her friend happened to bring her to a raw cooking class for fun.
Since then, she has immersed herself in the raw food movement and its
many health benefits. With the help of her daughter, she turned her hobby
into a business. They created Eden's Market, co-hosted an eight-part
cooking show for Milwaukee Public Television, and wrote a cook book
together. Today, she hosts cooking classes in Milwaukee.
This week, I attended the F.I.R.E.
(Females In Recognition Of Excellence) Awards. This red carpet event is
all about celebrating Milwaukee's own. My Sista's
KeepHer (MSK) honored six women and students
from the community, who were nominated by the community. The high energy
celebration included a variety of live entertainment and the opportunity
to be inspired by people who embody the Arts, Entrepreneurship, Community
Involvement, Image, Sisterhood, and Perseverance.
On Sunday, I was pleased to join
community members at a Jazz/Poetry brunch to honor Interim Milwaukee
Health Commissioner Dr. Pat McManus. It was only fitting to take time to
honor the work of this public health advocate, who has been instrumental
in the effort to to reduce racial and ethnic
disparities in Milwaukee's infant mortality rate. In accepting her award,
McManus said "my ONLY pledge is to the community! I only know how to
speak truth to power!"
Good Soil: Faith-based Urban Ag Project
Wednesday, I met with a faith-based
representative from Crossing Jordan Ministry to discuss the possibility
of the Church taking on an urban agriculture project in the Milwaukee
community. We talked about the resources and scholarships available to
support the project, and the way it could intersect with my own LOVE
Initiative. Another connection made and hopefully another opportunity
created for the people of Milwaukee!
of the Judge
This week, a huge topic of
conversation has been the sentence handed down by Judge Stephen Ehlke in the case of Alec Cook. A former UW-Madison
student, Cook was sentenced to only three years in prison for sexually
assaulting three women and strangling or choking two others. Initially,
Cook faced 23 charges involving 11 different women. Even with paired down
charges, he could have been sentenced to 40 years in prison. The
prosecution asked for 19 and a half years, and Judge Ehlke
sentenced him to three.
I, among others, am concerned about many aspects of this case and the
message it sends. In particular, three years is equal to roughly 7 months
for each women's case. Also alarming is data that shows sex offenders in
cases involving UW-Madison, are often given lighter sentences when
compared to others in the area. Another concern is the questionable
racial disparities in sentencing demonstrated by Judge Ehlke over the years. In a previous case, Ehlke sentenced a 16 year old African-American
teenager with one charge of sexual assault to 20 years in prison. This
teen, like Cook, had no criminal history. Given that the Sentencing
Project has found marked racial disparities in cases like this, the
difference in treatment is noteworthy.
This weekend, I have the pleasure of
attending the NOBEL Women Annual Legislative Conference in Birmingham,
Alabama. NOBEL Women is a non-profit, non-partisan organization made up
of former and current black elected legislative women from around the
nation. Originally, when NOBEL was created in 1985, the goal was to
increase the number of black women working in the government. Today, they
continue to work towards this aspiration but have also expanded to
address the underlying factors that lead to disparities for women and the
black community. The conference will include topics like solutions to
housing disparities, the income gap, healthcare access, and other policy
arenas in which equity has yet to be achieved. It is always rejuvenating
to hear about the work being done around the country and use that
information in addressing the problems we face in our state.
Maxine Waters and Civil Discourse
Since first learning that
Congresswoman Maxine Waters was scheduled to speak at the NOBEL
Conference, I couldn't wait to see her. Rep. Waters is a fearless leader
that has earned a reputation for being an outspoken advocate for her
constituents. I can relate! She was recently criticized for telling folks
at an immigration rally to protest members of Trump's cabinet. In a
tweet, Donald Trump warned Waters to "be careful what you wish
for". Yet, she didn't encourage violence, as Donald Trump has so
many times before. Does "kick the crap", "Get 'em out of here", or "I'd like to punch him
in the face" ring a bell? All of those statements can be attributed
to Mr. Trump.
During the conference, we were informed that Waters would no longer be
attending due to a "serious death treat". She canceled events
in Texas as well.
This week’s intern spotlight will be written by Danny Farber, a
communications intern in my Madison office. Danny will be writing about
Chris Thone is a policy intern at Senator
Taylor’s Madison office. Chris comes from Osseo, Wisconsin, a town of just 1,700 people in the
Northwest part of the state. He is a rising junior at UW-Madison set to
graduate in May of 2020 with degrees in political science and economics.
Chris believes that knowledge in both of these fields will be integral if
he chooses to continue a career in politics. He wanted to intern with
Senator Taylor because her political views align closely with his. Also,
as a policy intern he would get the opportunity to improve people’s lives
through legislative action.
Public service is very important to Chris. He is currently enrolled in
the Army ROTC program at UW while also being a member of the Wisconsin
National Guard for the past year. After graduation he hopes to commission
as a Second Lieutenant into the WI National Guard while pursuing options
for either graduate or law school. Chris one day hopes to run for office
on his own, where he can use the skills learned in his studies and
Senator Taylor’s office to impact policy even more directly.
Chris has been a pleasure to work with and we cannot wait to see what
further contributions he’ll bring to Senator Taylor’s office.
June 30th, Families Belong Together protests are taking place all
over the state. Information for two protests near Milwaukee are below.
Village Hall Parking Lot to Atwater Park: Saturday, June 30th at 8:30am. RSVP
Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53202: Saturday, June 30th at 1:00pm. RSVP
The Salvation Army Opens Cooling
Centers in Milwaukee County
To mark the start of summer, The Salvation Army worship and community centers
are open as cooling centers, Monday through Friday and Sunday mornings.
"Everyone deserves comfort and a safe place to go during the
extreme heat," said Major Steve Merritt, Divisional Commander for
The Salvation Army of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.
is a list of the cooling center locations and hours:
Citadel Corps Church and Community Center
4129 West Villard Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53209
Monday - Friday: 9 a.m to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon
Coldspring Church and Community
2900 W. Coldspring Rd., Greenfield, WI 53221
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 9:30 a.m to
Friday: 9:30 a.m to noon
Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon
Oak Creek Centennial Church and Community Center
8853 South Howell Ave., Oak Creek, WI 53154
Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon
West Corps Church and Community Center
1645 North 25th St,, Milwaukee, WI 53205
Monday - Friday: Noon to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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
- I-43 North to I-94
- I-43 North to 10th
Street and Michigan Avenue Off-Ramp
- I-94 East to I-43
(Until Late July)
Street/National Avenue On-Ramp to I-43 North
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.