Week of July 9th - July 14th
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.
Monday morning, I visited a
Milwaukee Police District to discuss community policing with local law
enforcement. Community policing emphasizes proactive crime prevention and
problem solving over reactive measures. In practice, the system usually
allocates police officers to particular neighborhoods so that they become
familiar with residents and vice versa. Officers and citizens get to know
one another through learning one another's names, participating in
community events together, and increased foot patrols.
A leaked U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) draft report found that
although MPD has said it has engaged in community policing for years,
there was not a department-wide strategy, many officers didn't understand
what the concept was, and MPD didn't evaluate officers on problem-solving
or interactions with residents. In addition, around the country the
positive effects of a well-defined community policing initiative have
been credited with curbing crime, increasing collaboration and improving
Center for School Change
This week, my office joined a call
with representatives from the Center for School Change, education
professionals, and elected officials from around the country, to discuss
how to build support for chartering public schools. A number of education
reform groups are looking at what can be done to increase student
achievement and graduation rates. This call was an opportunity to learn
what others are doing to address these challenges. It was also an
opportunity to understand the concerns often associated with charter
public schools such as accountability, transparency, and inequitable
In Wisconsin, charter schools are given freedom from many state rules
in exchange for greater accountability for results. Their main principles
are innovation and parental choice. They sometimes function as
experiments where trial-and-error methods are used to determine what
style of education is most successful. Based on positive results, those
methods can influence public schools. I look forward to continued
opportunities to engage on this topic so we do all that we can do to
improve our education system.
Tuesday morning, I had the pleasure
of talking to Jermaine Reed on "The Rise and Shine Morning
Show" on WNOV radio. WNOV has been a part of Milwaukee for more than
40 years. They give a voice to the urban community and often focus on
issues that are ignored by the mainstream media. I always love talking
with station's talk show hosts because they are so engaging and
passionate, like my Chief of Staff, Michelle Bryant!
I spoke with Jermaine Reed about voting efforts and how important it
is for people to head to the polls for the upcoming mid-term elections.
We discussed voting demographics and especially the importance of
millennials in our electorate. Millennials cast over twice as many votes
in 2016 than they did in 2008 and the population of voting-age
millennials continues to grow. I can't emphasize the importance of young
people using their voices enough! I encourage you to cast your vote in
every election, but especially this November!
Housing Authority Annual Meeting
On Wednesday, my office attended the
2018 annual meeting of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee
(HACM). Since its founding in 1944, HACM has positively impacted the
Milwaukee community through their affordable housing and initiatives
aimed at increasing their residents' self-sufficiency. The company has
long centered themselves on a mission to foster strong, resilient, and
inclusive communities by providing a continuum of high-quality housing
options, and through striving to accomplish this goal, HACM has changed a
countless number of lives.
It is so comforting to know that my low-income constituents have the
HACM as a resource to rely on for housing help. The assurance of having
stable housing is key in creating a foundation for a person to build
their success upon, and the HACM's work is helping to ensure that more
Milwaukee residents have enough stability
to lead successful lives. I'm so grateful for the work that they do and
I'm appreciative of the conversations had at the 2018 annual meeting.
On Thursday, I attended a press
conference held by The Freshwater for Life Action Coalition (FLAC). The
organization released documents that it says prove city leaders have
known about the dangers posed to residents by lead service lines longer
than they are admitting. FLAC has been out front in the push to develop a
real plan to address the number of Wisconsin homes that have lead lateral
pipes carrying water into their faucets. Older housing stock around the
state, houses built before 1950, need these laterals replaced. Milwaukee
stopped using lead on their portion of the laterals in 1951. However,
private contractors continued to use them through the early 1960s.
As a result of the newly acquired documents, FLAC has called for
a review of the matter. City leaders have talked about subpoenas to
compel the testimony of everyone from the Mayor and his administrative
team, to former employees possibly connected to the lead lateral
problems. I will continue to follow these developments and work to find a
solution to ensure safe drinking water for the nearly 77,000 homes
impacted no only in Milwaukee, but around the
Prairie Du Chien Correctional Institution
Today, I am visiting the Wisconsin
Secure Program Facility (WSPF) and Prairie Du Chien
Correctional Institution (PDCI). I make a point to tour our state's
correctional institutions continually, and I believe it is my duty as a
legislator to know exactly what conditions are like in our facilities,
for both employees and those incarcerated. Our corrections system relies
on outdated sentencing practices while being underfunded, leading to
overcrowding and unfair stress on everyone involved.
My office receives, on average, 30 letters a week from incarcerated
residents expressing serious concerns about treatment and the lack of
court-ordered or required programming needed for their release. All the
while, many facilities are understaffed and overworked. I want to build
off of the work we've started in the juvenile corrections system to show
the positive effect we can have on our communities when we actually use
best-practices. Visiting our corrections institutions is a humbling
reminder of the work we still have to do.
On Tuesday, President Trump made his
Supreme Court nomination following Justice Kennedy's surprising
retirement. As the long standing swing vote, Justice Kennedy's departure
brings many questions about which direction the country's top court will
go in the coming years. Mr. Kavanaugh's record
on the bench shows a history of ruling in favor of big business and
expansion of presidential authority, as well as voting against
environmental regulations and net neutrality.
Perhaps most troubling about Mr. Kavanaugh's
past are his statements that a sitting president should not have to
answer questions in a criminal case or face the possibility of
indictment. In such trying times, it is important to remember the
principles this country was founded on. In America, no man is above the
law and those in the highest levels of power should be held to the
Night Out Planning is Underway
I am excited to announce that
planning for the 2018 National Night Out is underway! National Night Out
is a nationwide community-building campaign that fosters relationships
amongst neighbors and promotes police-community partnerships. Since its
founding over 30 years ago, the event has grown to become a meaningful
evening that thousands of communities from across the world take part in.
It is about coming out of our home to have fun and build relationships
with each other. It is one of my favorite nights of the year.
This year, the event will take place on August 7th from 4pm-9pm in
Lincoln Park. Free swimming, games, face painting, awards, and a raffle
are just a few of the activities we have planned so far. Join me, other
district elected officials, police officers, firefighters, and community
organizations for a night filled with fun and community
relation-building. This is a huge event and we always have a great group
of people request volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in
volunteering, please contact my office at (608) 266-5810. In the
meantime, we will keep you posted on event updates and we hope to see you
Spotlight: Kelsey Mjaanes
is a communications intern working in Senator Taylor’s Madison office.
Kelsey is a rising senior graduating in May 2019 with a double major in
journalism and Spanish. Kelsey’s experience as a journalism major is what
made her want to pursue a communications internship with Senator Taylor.
Though Kelsey doesn’t necessarily plan on having a career in politics,
she felt working for Senator Taylor would give her a unique insight into
the operations of a public office.
Outside of the office Kelsey is a member of Alpha Phi sorority and
works for a local Madison law firm. This year Kelsey plans on taking the
LSAT and preparing for post-graduate life. After graduation she plans on
taking a gap year to work at a law firm in Chicago and gain experience in
the field before attending law school. Eventually Kelsey would like to
practice immigration law, an issue which she has had the opportunity to
learn more about in this office.
We appreciate all the hard work Kelsey has brought to the Madison
office and cannot wait to see what new ideas she’ll bring going forward!
Friday Night Concerts
I encourage you all to take advantage of the
free Friday night concert series hosted by Arts @ Large. All concerts
will be located at the corner of 3rd and Walker Streets in the Walker’s
Point neighborhood of Milwaukee.
Below are the dates and performers of each show:
13 Carlos Adames – Jazz
20 Abraxis – Santana Tribute Band
27 Pangea – World Music
3 Mitch Shiner – Latin Vibes
10 Tritonics – Rock Steady Reggae
17 LaChazz – Latin Jazz
24 Sindoola – African Dance Music
7 Listening Party – Bluegrass/Americana
14 Command Performance – Big Band
For more information check out Art @ Large's website. Enjoy!
& Blooms Free Summer Concerts
Don't miss out on another free summer concert
series hosted by the Havenwood Economic
When: Every Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:30
pm (July 19th, July 26th, August 2nd)
Where: Green Tree Community Garden- 6767
N. 60th St, Milwaukee.
Visit their Eventbrite
for an updated list of performers.
Visit the Milwaukee Job Fair for many new career
opportunities! Visit their site
to learn more.
Friday, July 27th
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Green Tree Community Garden
6767 N. 60th St. Milwaukee, WI 53223
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-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.