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Official Government Communication

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my email newsletter. 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.

Here to serve,

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Sen. Lena Taylor

4th District

Spread love and peanut butter with the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/012916/peanut%20butter.jpgYesterday, I joined in partnership with PKSD, Epsilon Kappa Omega Alpha Kappa Alpha, Lenaís Food Store and A-LEGO to donate 200 jars of peanut butter to support the local Hunger Task Force. 

From January 25 Ė March 4, local schools, businesses and church groups are invited to host peanut butter food drives to help Hunger Task Force stock up. Community members can drop off peanut butter donations at any Milwaukee fire station. Our local fire fighters are proud to serve as community drop off points. Peanut butter is a staple in many familiesí homes, including my own.  

Hunger Task Force provides a safety net of emergency food to a network of local food pantries and meal programs and is the only food bank in Milwaukee that does not charge for food, delivery or network membership. Hunger Task Force is an advocate for social policies and strong nutrition programs that fight future hunger.

To see locations of participating fire stations, to donate, or for any more information click here.

Women in Government Conference

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/012916/Women%20In%20Government%20State%20Directors%20Conference%20photo.jpgI am very fortunate to have attended the 22nd Annual State Directorís Conference with a brilliant group of women. I was sworn in as a State Director for the Women in Government Foundation, Inc. along with 199 other honorable women state legislators for 2016. I will be serving as an Ambassador for the state of Wisconsin, helping drive commerce and educational opportunities while assisting WIG with its state-based policy events across the region. WIG nominates four directors from each state every year to ensure all sides of the electorate are fairly represented.

WIG is a national 501c3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves the 1,804 (or 24.4%) women state legislators across the nation. It is based in Washington, DC and supports women state legislators across the United States. WIG provides leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources to address and resolve complex public policy issues. Its goal is to empower state legislators to make the most informed policy decision based on the most up-to-date information available. WIG has been serving in this capacity for 27 years to date. For more information about WIG, please visit www.womeningovernment.org.

Victim notification and revocation bill heads to Senate

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/012916/blackmenjail1.jpgIf you know me, you know Iím all about getting things done. And this has been a great week for getting things done. One of my bills passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and is headed to the full Senate. The bill requires the state to notify victims of a crime if their violatorís probation or parole has been revoked. Current law allows crime victims to be notified when their offender is released on parole or probation, but does not permit them to be notified if that personís probation or parole is revoked. Every victimís experience is different, but far too many suffer emotional trauma when their victimizer is released from prison. This bill is one of two victim rights bills Iíve introduced. The second bill will give victims information about the programming their victimizer is undergoing while in prison. I work to make laws that will make peopleís lives better, and I believe these two bills together will help victims emotionally recover.

DNA Expungement bill receives public hearing

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/012916/incarceration-AA.jpgItís no secret that Wisconsin has the highest incarceration rate of black men in the entire country. Wisconsinís 13% incarceration rate of black men is nearly double the national average. In Milwaukee County, nearly 1 in 8 black men of working age have spent time behind bars. But this problem goes beyond the incarceration rate. It starts with police contact. In 2014, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviewed nearly 46,000 traffic stops and found that a black driver was seven times more likely to be stopped than a white driver. Itís easy to see how more police contact leads to more arrests which leads to more incarcerations. In Wisconsin, when you are booked and your DNA is forcibly taken from you, that DNA can legally stay on file with the police department, even if you are found not guilty. This is where one of my billsówhich received a public hearing this weekócomes in. I believe if you are innocent, our government has no business keeping your DNA on file. If we arenít going to make all innocent Wisconsinites put their DNA on file, then we shouldn't keep any innocent Wisconsinite's DNA on file. My bill would make the expungement of DNA for detainees found innocent or not guilty a law. With a bipartisan list of cosponsors I hope my bill will soon get a vote in committee and make its way to the Assembly floor.

Making college applications about merit, not money

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/012916/0_A_college_costs.jpgI never thought I would go to college. If it werenít for my mother, I probably wouldnít have. But I know not everyone is lucky enough to have a mom pushing them to apply to college, and with the rising costs of college across the board, even application fees are starting to push budgets. In 2014, only 68.4% of high school graduates went to college. Thatís the lowest figure in a decade. Our young men and women are just as smart as their parents and grandparents. Something isnít right here. Thatís why Iíve been busy writing bills, one of which received a public hearing this week and addresses this problem. My bill creates a one week period where every Wisconsin high school student may apply to any UW System or Wisconsin Technical College free. For many, a college degree provides both the hope and the opportunities to make a brighter future. Far too many Wisconsinites think the doors to higher education are closed to them. This bill cracks that door open. Admittance to college should depend on a student's merit, not the size of their wallet.

 

 

 

Stay in touch:

     Email: Sen.Taylor@legis.wi.gov

    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810

 

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Community Events:

Senate Judiciary Committee Agenda: click here and here for critical information about public hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.

Milwaukee Public Theater Auditions! Milwaukee Public Theater is looking for adult women of diverse backgrounds to fill roles in an upcoming production. Auditions are January 30 and 31. More info here.

Sendik's 'Red Bag' Free Admission Weekend: January 30 and 31, 10am-5pm. Bring a Sendik's red bag to the Milwaukee Art Museum and receive free admission this weekend! Details here.

Foster Care and Adoption Information Meetings: Learn more about foster care, treatment foster care, respite and special needs adoption. Four meetings in February, more details here.

Great Decisions Series Returns: Franklin Public Library brings international issues to the community on Wednesday evenings February 17-April 6. More information here.

 

 

 

 Quote of the Week:

 "Trying to cure the diseases of crime and violence by building more prisons is like trying to cure cancer by building more cemeteries" -Marc Klaas (victim's father)

This is an official government communication from Sen. Lena C. Taylor. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to send me an email to unsubscribe.