From the Office of Representative Jonathan Brostoff

July 2016

 


Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for taking the time to come to my website and read this month's e-newsletter!

As I mentioned in recent e-newsletters, I am not currently permitted to distribute the e-newsletter to each of you directly. This several-months’ “time-out” period is required by a Wisconsin statute that prohibits legislators from using public resources, like those used to produce the e-news, during the election season.

However, I am still able to, and always will, respond to your inquiries and communications when you contact me in my office — at (608) 266-0650 or 
Rep.Brostoff@legis.wi.gov. Also, you can keep up-to-date with ongoing information and developments by following me on Twitter and Facebook and by visiting my website.

Lincoln Hills has become known nationwide for the terrible abuses being ignored there. My colleagues and I are fighting for reform to protect our children and communities. I will discuss the issue further below.

If you didn't receive this spring's legislative survey in the mail but would like to fill one out, or if you prefer to submit yours digitally, please click here.

Our featured Business, Nonprofit, and Neighbor this month are Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, the Planned Parenthood, and Andi Heath.

This e-newsletter also includes our regular In the News section; a brief list of upcoming community events; and this month’s highlighted adoptable pets available from the Wisconsin Humane Society-Milwaukee Campus and MADACC.
 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.
            


Lincoln Hills

Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls are youth corrections centers sharing the same campus in Irma, in far northern Wisconsin. The students are court-referred, and the majority are from Milwaukee County. The goal of the sentencing is to rehabilitate the youth while protecting the community.

Yet in the last year, we've learned of horrific abuses, including violence and great bodily harm, at these facilities. We’ve also learned that these inhumane conditions persisted over a long time — during which the Walker administration has “seen no evil, heard no evil, & spoken no evil." Indeed, by quietly ignoring this continuing crisis, the administration has effectively acknowledged a functional absence of any remotely meaningful oversight or accountability. As a result, the culture these centers — far removed from their young residents’ families — has become toxic.

We currently await the release of the federal investigators' conclusions. In the meantime, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported on many alleged cases of abuse of both prisoners and staff: racist attacks, suicide attempts, sexual assault, child neglect, and even one event that resulted in a pupil requiring multiple toes were amputated after a “run-in” with staff.

The cost for each Milwaukee County student housed at the campus is covered by Milwaukee County at the rate of $300 per day. This equates to almost $14 million each year from our community, paid to the Department of Corrections.

What is the Walker administration’s “return on (this) investment?” The three-year recidivism rate is about 62% for the youth following their release. Thus, leaving aside the centers’ harrowing conditions, their program is demonstrably ineffective.

Comprehensive reform at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake is imperative. A critical start, indeed the best way to initiate a change, would be to bring our youth back to Milwaukee to serve their sentences here, in their home community. We can then oversee and advocate for their programming, their well-being, and their success. Their families will be able to visit them and provide support as they make their journey to recovery. Milwaukee County can and should be responsible for its own troubled youth and ensure that these boys and girls receive proper guidance during this essential transformative time in their lives.

Last fall and winter, Governor Walker received many letters and complaints about the school — but failed to put forth meaningful reform. Walker's sudden band-aid “plan" seems to be the definition of foot-dragging: wait and see whether changes in some staff positions, a few more supervisors, and body cameras eradicate a deeply ingrained and deeply flawed culture. This is at best wishful thinking and is plainly insufficient. Thus my colleagues and I are fighting for real reform.

The state should provide the funding to remedy this situation; should build a facility in Milwaukee where proper oversight, and access to meaningful programming, are available; and should cooperate to create a safer and more effective system. We must also aggressively pursue meaningful anti-recidivism best practices, and evidence-based treatment.

Wisconsin’s responsibility is to help these children and our community. We accordingly demand that funding is provided for the necessary changes immediately. The appalling conditions we’ve learned about should not continue one more day.

Please encourage Governor Walker to take action on this by contacting him at:

Office of Governor Scott Walker
115 East Capitol
Madison, WI 53702

Phone: (608) 266-1212
Email: GovGeneral@wisconsin.gov

 


In the News

 

Community Demands Accountability, Action in Wake of Lincoln Hills Scandal
http://milwaukeenns.org/2016/06/21/community-demands-accountability-action-in-wake-of-lincoln-hills-scandal/ 

Waupun Inmates Begin Hunger Strike
http://naacpmke.org/index.php/2016/06/17/waupun-inmates-begin-hunger-strike/

Inmate Hunger Strike in Wisconsin Aims to End Long-Term Isolation
https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2016/06/inmate-hunger-strike-wisconsin-aims-end-long-term-isolation 

Strengthening Wisconsin's Mental Wealth System http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/strengthening-wisconsins-mental-wealth-system-b99737077z1-381711611.html

To keep up with the latest news, click here.
 



Local Business of the Month:

A family-scale enterprise located near the scenic Kickapoo River, Kickapoo Coffee offers high quality beverages made from fair trade ingredients. Dedicated to maintaining relationships with farmers, this business has partnerships with producers all over the world. Enjoy a unique atmosphere and flavorful coffee while studying, relaxing, or catching up with friends.

For more information on Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, click here.

 


Nonprofit of the Month:
Planned Parenthood
 


An essential piece to our Milwaukee community, Planned Parenthood has served countless neighbors in reproductive health care and sex education. Planned Parenthood has hundreds of health centers worldwide - 6 of them are located in the Milwaukee area.

These centers offer a range of safe and reliable care and information. Most of the care they provide is preventative, primary care. Through treatment, testing, screenings, and access to contraception, Planned Parenthood works to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections, prevent unintended pregnancies, and identify cervical and other cancers.

By providing access to this care and information, Planned Parenthood is key component in ensuring that Milwaukee, and all communities, are healthy and thriving. 

Milwaukee locations:
Wisconsin Avenue Health Center
2207 W Wisconsin Avenue, (414)-931-8181

Mitchell Street Health Center
1710 S 7th St Suite 300, (414)-645-8383

Capitol Drive Health Center
801 E Capitol Dr
(414)-967-4945

Northwest Health Center
5380 W Fond Du Lac Ave
(414)-536-6690

Lincoln Plaza Health Center
2239 S 108th St (414)-541-2772

For more information on the Planned Parenthood, click here.


 


Neighbors of the Month:
Andi Heath

Andi is a Milwaukee native that started playing guitar five years ago. Now she shares her music with members of the community by performing at local venues such as Potbelly and Summerfest.

Beginning her August, she will be using her talents to stand against racism by exclusively performing covers that were written or produced by black artists.
Outside of performing, Andi works at the Brass Bell Music Store, where she dedicates herself to music education and advocating for better music programs in schools.

This past summer, she volunteered for Summerfest’s Sing me a Story program. By partnering with hospitals and children’s homes, Andi created songs based off of stories written by terminally ill, underprivileged, or neglected children.

To listen to her music, visit her SoundCloud page, click here.

Thank you, June, for everything you do for our community!


Upcoming Events

Aug. 2 Tuesday Swing Dance Come alone or with a friend and enjoy a Jumpin’ Jive Swing dance lesson. Dress is casual.
Cost $7.
Click here for more information.
Aug. 4-7 Milwaukee Comedy Festival Come and enjoy a variety of comedy shows, ranging from stand up, improve, sketch and musical comedy acts. Prices and locations vary by day/act.
For more information, click here.
Aug. 4-14 Wisconsin State Fair Come and enjoy music, food, games, rides and crafts at the annual Wisconsin State fair.
$6 with pre-order, $12 for adults at the gate, youth are $6.
Click here for more information.
Aug. 6 1870s Baseball Game Experience the national pastime through a recreated game on an authentic 1870s field at Old World Wisconsin.
$19 for adults, $10 for children under 12.
Click here for more information.
Aug. 18 River Walking Tour Take a stroll on Milwaukee’s beautiful Riverwalk with a certified tour guide. Learn about the concepts used to create the Riverwalk’s unique path and enjoy the outdoor sculptures that dot the landscape.
$10 for adults, $2 for kids 7-17
Click here for more information.
Aug. 18-21 Milwaukee Irish fest Come and enjoy Milwaukee’s annual celebration of Irish heritage at Henry W. Maier festival park.  
$20 for adults, $15 for 60+, 12 and under are free.
Click here for more information.
Aug. 18-22 Milwaukee A La Carte Milwaukee’s popular annual food and music festival. Indulge your taste buds and dance to music at stages around the zoo grounds.
Free with regular zoo admission. 
Click here for more information.
August 27 Yoga in the Square Come enjoy a complimentary yoga session outdoors. A limited number of yoga mats will be available on hand for those that do not have one of their own.
Click here for more information.

 

Summer Weekly Events

Musical Mondays
Family friendly, free music festival.
Click here for more information.

Chill on the Hill: Tuesdays
Family friendly, free music festival.
Click here for more information.

Garden Walk: Wednesdays
Expert-led garden walks. $5
Click here for more information.
Wednesdays at the Shell
Family friendly, free music festival.
Click here for more information.

River Rhythms: Wednesdays
Diverse, free music festival.
Click here for more information.

Wonderful Wednesdays
Family friendly, free music festival.
Click here for more information.

Ayre in the Square: Thursdays
Diverse, free music festival.
Click here for more information.

Jazz in the Park: Thursdays
Diverse, free music festival.
Click here for more information.

 

Summer Monthly Events

Bay View Art in the Park
Second Saturday of each month.
Art festival.
Click here for more information.

Sunday Fundays
Second Sunday of each month.
Music festival.
Click here for more information.

 

Free Admission Days

Milwaukee Art Museum
1st Friday of each month
700 N. Art Museum Drive

Milwaukee Public Museum
1st Thursday of each month
800 W. Wells St.

Betty Brinn Children's Museum
3rd Thursday of each month 5pm-7
929 E. Wisconsin St.

Mitchell Park Domes
Mondays 9am-12pm
524 S. Layton Blvd.

Boerner Botanical Gardens
1st Tuesday of each month
May - September
9400 Boerner Dr.

 

 
 


Adoptable Pets

Butters is a fun and active, two-year-old guy. He loves to run in the yard
and he loves to go for walks with the volunteers. Butters
loves everyone! He is waiting to meet you.

 
 

For more information about Butters, please click here.



Bub Bub
is a fun-loving, energetic 2-year-old in search of an active family to love. Despite Bub Bub's handsome looks and loveable personality, he has not found his forever home - he's become a benchwarmer.

To get Bub Bub back in the game and into a home, we have reduced his adoption fee to just twenty-five dollars. We know he'll make a great addition to someone's family - so stop by the Wisconsin Humane Society Milwaukee Campus today!


For more information about Bub Bub, please click here.

 

Contact Me

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53703

(608)266-0650
(888)534-0019

Rep.Brostoff@legis.wi.gov

Visit my website

   

 

 

 
 
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