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,

      

Sen. Lena Taylor

4th District

Milwaukee gathers for 2016 Juneteenth festival

When a community comes together to celebrate their history, their culture, and their remembered overcoming of struggle, there lies a beautiful sight like no other. It is a moment of joy for where we are and a moment of pride for where we will still go. This moment is what the people of Milwaukee walk in together during the festivities of Juneteenth Day. On Sunday, Milwaukee’s MLK Drive again hosted the annual Juneteenth festival.

Juneteenth celebrates the official end of slavery in the United States, recognized by history on June 19, 1865. This date is notably two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, when word finally reached the last slaves in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth Day is a festival that deserves commemoration. Black people have the opportunity to gather our businesses, our art, our voices, our footsteps, and our food and remember the significance of this day. Its impact on the black community charged my efforts to author the resolution making Juneteenth an official Wisconsin holiday. It is a service I find necessary to honoring the history of black culture and it is a service that I continue to uphold in my work.

My staff and I were excited to again be a part of the opening parade, and to see the public come join this occassion. We thank the Milwaukee community for continuing to make this festival possible. I look forward to next year.

It’s time for Wisconsin to ban slavery

Did you know that Wisconsin’s Constitution allows slavery? Take a minute, because I didn’t believe it when I heard it at first either.

Currently, Article I, Section 2 of Wisconsin’s Constitution states, “There shall be neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude in this state, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” The constitution leaves the door open for slavery in prisons and it must be closed. Wisconsin’s constitutional slavery ban shouldn’t come with a loophole. Slavery is never okay, even in prison. My bill in the 2017 legislative session strikes language that allows slavery and involuntary servitude (labor without pay), for those convicted of a crime.

If my bill passes, it would have to pass the next legislative session in 2019 and then it could appear on the 2020 ballot before it would become law. I know that’s a long time, but my Senate district includes the 53206 zip code, which is the most incarcerated zip code in the nation. I’ve got more constituents living behind bars and far away parts of the state than any other legislator in Wisconsin. I believe inmates are people too and my goal is to help them come back to 53206 one day and help our community get stronger and better.

If we are going to start reforming our Department of Corrections, shouldn’t we start by banning slavery within DOC? We are not free until everyone is free. I feel it is my obligation to make sure that when we talk about liberty and justice for all, it truly does mean for all!   

"Milwaukee 53206" premieres to city public and leaders

Milwaukee 53206, a documentary film looking at the high incarceration rate of African-American men from the city's 53206 zip code premiered on Tuesday June 14 at an event that drew community members and several elected officials. I applaud Keith McQuirter and his team for creating such a superb enlightening experience.  Muhibb Dyer, a former 53206 resident, narrates the film's introduction and appears briefly in one scene.

Part of the movie looks at Wisconsin's “Truth in Sentencing” law, which limits early release, and its effect on people who were sent to prison before the law was passed in the late 1990s. As a state legislator during that time, Gov. Scott Walker was a main author of the sentencing law.

The audience, including myself, in a Milwaukee theater stood and applauded at the end of the film. I encourage people to see this film and make themselves aware of the struggle that face our black men and their families.

We mourn for the lost lives in Orlando

We mourn the attack on all those in Orlando. With a renewed sense of urgency and in memory of those who lost their lives in the Orlando shootings, especially the LGBTQ community, we will continue the work to create a world where we are all valued and respected and where love is enough. No one deserves to face such a tragedy, simply for the hateful and differing views of others. Violence and hate is much too prominent in our world, but I encourage everyone to everyday champion understanding and compassion.

 

 

 

Stay in touch:

     Email:   Sen.Taylor@legis.wi.gov

    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810

 

   

   

 

 

 Quote of the Week:

 "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  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.