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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

Join me this Saturday!

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/102315/UN%20Day%202.JPGI would like to personally invite you to three events that I will be a part of this Saturday, October 24th. In the morning, I am delighted to be speaking as a panelist at the Community Brainstorming Conference Breakfast Forum. The forum will be held at Saint Matthews C.M.E. Church, 2944 North 9th St. Breakfast is from 8am-9am and the program runs from 9am-11am, we will address reentry for ex-offenders in Wisconsin.

In the afternoon, I am excited to present, in partnership with Rob and Julie Brox, the Get Fit MKE Health Summit at Havenwoods State Forest (6141 N. Hopkins.) The Summit is from 12pm-5pm: five hours of fun, food, giveaways and exercise demonstrations! Stop by when you can!

From 3-4pm, also at Havenwoods State Forest, I am sponsoring a United Nations Day Recognition event in conjunction with Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND.) Please join me in supporting women who fight for the peace and security of fellow women worldwide and learning about the importance of the WAND organization. As a black female leader, the defense and support of women hits very close to home for me. I am honored to be sponsoring this event and looking forward to seeing you there.

Racial profiling of Milwaukee Bucks player

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/102315/john%20henson%204.jpgEarly this week, Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson released on his Instagram that he was racially profiled in a jewelry store in Whitefish Bay. He arrived at Shwanke-Kasten Jewelers to find that employees had locked the doors, moved to the back of the store and called the police. Mr. Henson was intending to shop for a new wristwatch.

Many of my legislative colleagues voted to support funding of the Bucks arena because they know that the Milwaukee Bucks mean big bucks for our entire state. It’s time that those same opinion leaders speak out with their voices and their votes in a meaningful way that will alter our state’s racial climate. It is not okay to say you appreciate Milwaukee Bucks players when they are on the court but not when they are on the streets.

Even now, in 2015, racial profiling is prevalent. Policymakers have a responsibility to address these systemic injustices. This is why I fought for data collection for traffic stops and why I’m fighting to Ban the Box on job applications. It’s just as bad to stand silent and while racism flourishes as it is to be a racist. I refuse to be silent and I hope you and my legislative colleagues will join me in action.

Troubling strip search bill set before Legislature

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/102315/black-latex-putting-on.jpgThe Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing this week on Senate Bill 248, which would eliminate the 12-hour hold on law enforcement strip searches of detainees who are suspected of having committed nonviolent crimes. As the only person of color on the committee, I reminded my colleagues to consider this legislation through a lens of diversity. Given the current state of race relations in Wisconsin, and especially Milwaukee—we lead the nation in the incarceration of black men and have been rated the worst state to raise a black child —Senate Bill 248 would allow humiliating strip searches without delay or further investigation. In a community with such racial disparity, I am concerned this bill opens the door to stripping potentially innocent people of both their clothes and their dignity. Rather than taking up bills that dehumanize people, I urged my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee to look at the underlying racial disparities that plague our community and what we, as legislators, can do to address them rather than aggravate them.

For more of my thoughts on this issue see the guest column on this topic.

Amendments to John Doe proceedings leave room for corruption

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/eupdates/sen04/102315/Johndoe.jpgOn Tuesday, the Assembly passed legislation that puts limits on John Doe investigations. The fact of the matter is that some politicians are cheats, people do bribe, and people have extorted. John Doe investigations allow for transparency and accountability among elected officials—bringing them under scrutiny by taking them off of “elite” pedestals. We’ve all heard the saying “with great power comes great responsibility.” John Doe investigations ensure that those with great power who are violating their responsibilities can be identified and charged. For over 165 years these proceedings have held Wisconsin officials to a necessarily high standard. But this week, the majority party forced us to take a step backwards in this regard. We move now toward less efficient, more expensive investigation procedures that shield those in power rather than exposing them.

 

 

 

 

Stay in touch:

     Email: Sen.Taylor@legis.wi.gov

    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810

 

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Community Events:

Milwaukee County Salvation Army Hiring 300 Bell Ringers for the 2015 holiday season. Many locations! More details here. 

Early enrollment for MPS high schools is still underway! 8th grade students can take advantage of early enrollment until November 2. Start the process here.

Free college education for area high school seniors who meet criteria through the MATC Promise initiative. Deadline: December 1. Further information here.

Financial Planning Day offers free financial counseling and workshops! Saturday October 24 10am-5pm Destiny Youth Plaza 7210 N. 76th St.

 

 Quote of the Week:

"I've never seen, as I see this week, a package of legislation that does so much damage to the underpinnings of democracy."

- Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin,  

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.