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Forward Fridays


Welcome to my latest e-update! Here are highlights from the past week as your State Representative. 

As always, feel free to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns you have.

Forward together!      

Baby Yoda Tosa 1-26-20.jpgHappy Friday! I want to start off by recognizing some awesome Wauwatosa students who built this amazing Baby (Snow) Yoda. They were even featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel! Read more here

This Week

The People's Maps Press Conference 

Fair Maps Exec Order 1-27-20.jpg

On Monday morning, by Executive Order, Governor Evers launched The People’s Maps commission, a commission made up of zero politicians, and that will travel Wisconsin to draw non-partisan maps! The will of the people is the law of the land and the voice of the people is the heart of our state. Thank you, Governor Evers and Lt. Governor Barnes, for your commitment to a transparent, fair democracy. Lt. Gov Barnes and I hosted a press conference in Wauwatosa to announce the commission. My additional thanks to Mayor Ehley for joining us to emphasize the importance of non-partisan maps. Full video coverage of press conference available on our Facebook page.


Health Committee 1-29-20.jpgThe Assembly Health Committee met on Wednesday for one of our final hearings this year. Committees meet for either a public hearing on bills, an executive discussion/vote, or both. Today was both- exec on past hearings (5 bills), and public hearing for 4 bills. We meet again next Wednesday.

Once a bill passes exec vote, it’s up to the majority party to decide to put it on the floor for a full assembly vote. The current majority party will only put a bill on the floor if they have 50 votes from their own caucus, not counting our votes from the Democratic caucus (they have 63 members in their caucus, we have 36 in ours), and it must also meet other criteria determined by their leadership.

We are coming up on the final floor votes for the 2019-2020 session, we hear. It sounds like they’re wrapping up early in February instead of running session through a more normal April 15th. And that’s today’s school house rock. 

C&F 1-29-20.jpgOne of the things we juggle at the Capitol is parallel hearings. Wednesday during the Health hearing, my staff took notes while I left a couple hours in and zipped over to the Children & Families Committee hearing to hear two rules and a bill (the bill related to Family First rollout— the federal Family First legislation is something I’m very interested in working to help rollout in Wisconsin in October 2021, and we have work to do well, and do swiftly, in order to be ready!). I then dashed back to Health in time for the hearing on final two bills and the exec vote on several more. I always find it exciting when we have more activities in one day at the Capitol than I ever think possible to accomplish in one day. I do like to be busy!

Town Hall

Trafficking Town Hall 1-30-20.jpg

Thank you to all of you who came out to our Child Sex Trafficking Town Hall last night, and a special moment of gratitude to our elected officials/public servants/city council and school board/judges/ police captain who took an evening to join us. I hope this was helpful information, and thanks to Exploit No More and their Executive Director Jarrett Luckett for the presentation. Also present was LOTUS Legal Clinic. This crisis is solvable in our generation so let’s get it done.

Constituent Meetings 

Doctor Day 1-29-20.jpgWednesday was also Doctor Day at the Capitol. Doctors came to advocate for legislation they’re focused on as session closes for the year. One of the issues they focused on was vaping, so I was happy to report we just released our vaping package last week that pairs well with the clean air bill they were advocating for. I was also able to meet with close to 10 doctors from our district. Medical professionals: thank you for your hard work to keep people safe and well!

ACLU 1-29-20.jpg

Wednesday was BUSY. Constituents from ACLU Smart Justice visited today to discuss the bill to end shackling incarcerated women during child birth, expungement, and other legislation related to criminal justice reform. Thank you for talking with us and advocating on these crucial issues!

Community Events

Eagle Court of Honor 1-25-20.jpgOn Saturday, I was honored to deliver a citation on behalf of myself, Senator Kooyenga, and the state of Wisconsin. Nathanael, from Brookfield, has joined the 6% of Boy Scouts who achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Nathanael is known as a young man who is distinguished by strong moral character, leadership and service. His Eagle Scout project involved the Habitat Humanity ReStore in Wauwatosa. I am the daughter of an Eagle Scout, and it is always a special moment to watch the pinning. I thank you for the invitation! Congratulations! 

Cub Scouts 1-28-20.jpgYou know what’s fun? Cub scouts. Thanks to Wauwatosa Pack 155 for inviting me for elected official night on Tuesday night, and chatting with me about the meaning of public service, why there are odd numbers of people in the Senate and Assembly, and the importance of pickles and candy. it’s always fun to spend an hour with a lively group of children!

Tosa West Fab Lab Ribbon Cutting 1-29-20.jpgThursday morning, I attended the ribbon cutting at the Wauwatosa Center for Design and Innovation at Wauwatosa West High School (shared by Wauwatosa East students). I was excited to see how Cranky Al's has gotten involved (because 🍩), so make sure to ask them about the partnership. I was particularly interested to hear students talk about jobs in the trades post-high school, and how this lab can prepare for traditional university, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs— something we need to talk more about. The students were energized, and on-point showing ya how it all worked. (Props to the student journalist also covering the event— so much excitement in one building, one morning!)

MCW Pharmacy Students 1-30-20.jpg

I was invited to speak at the Medical College of Wisconsin Pharmacy School on Thursday to discuss how to talk to legislators when advocating for a bill at the Capitol. I decided to go casual to remind them that we are regular people and people shouldn’t be afraid to come talk to us. I asked them why they want to be pharmacists and for many of them, it’s personal. And for me, that’s why I’m a legislator these days— for me, it’s personal.

In advocacy, I think it’s important to remember: the legislators are regular people, many of whom are in office because they want to create the change they want to see in the world, just like advocates do. So— get out there and make yourself heard by those who represent you, find that common ground, find your voice on issues that matter to you, educate others on your area of expertise, be confident in what you have to say, and fight not against others, but to move forward together. Pharmacy student advocacy day at the Capitol is in a few weeks. 

Office Hours 1-31-20.jpg

Thanks to Miss Molly's Cafe for hosting our in-district office hours today. We hosted 4 hours of meetings with 7 back-to-back appointments, with topics ranging from health committee bills to needs of the disability community to school safety legislation I’m working on to Family First and foster care needs to the needs of our Muslim and Jewish communities to clean water to college costs and fair maps. I had the chance to connect with local police and a local alderwoman, medical professionals, parents, and general advocates in our communities. It was a good day, a good week, I’ve got my homework for the weekend, and I wish you all lots of fun with family and friends. Happy Friday! Happy birthday to my husband! And yes I had a cookie, thanks for asking. It was cherry chocolate oat.

 Next Week


Health Committee Public Hearing & Executive Session
Wednesday, February 5th, 11AM

Children & Families Executive Session

Wednesday, February 5th, 11AM

Watch live on Wisconsin Eye! wiseye.org/live 

 Looking Forward

In-District Office Hours 

We look forward to hosting more in-district office hours with constituents this year! Let us know if you want to schedule an appointment for our February office hours- date and location TBD. 


Feel free to email or call my office with any questions or concerns, or meet with me at one of my in-district office hours or listening sessions. 

Forward together,

Rep. Robyn Vining


Contact Us: 

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708 

PH: (608) 266-9180
TF: (888) 534-0014

Email: Rep.Vining@legis.wi.gov 
Web: www.vining.assembly.wi.gov 

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