From the Office of Representative Jonathan Brostoff

August 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 Also, you can keep up-to-date with ongoing information and developments by following me on Twitter and Facebook and by visiting my website.

Community members who are deaf or hard of hearing face challenges that the hearing community does not. By educating ourselves on the issues that may arise for these neighbors, we can make Milwaukee a better place to live for everyone. I will discuss this in more detail below.

Our featured Business, Nonprofit, and Neighbor this month are Bay View Fitness, the CORE/El Centro, and Elijah.

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.

Community Issues for our Neighbors who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing


Hearing loss affects approximately 48 million Americans, about 500,000 of which are Wisconsinites. And it was estimated in 2012 that over 70,000 Wisconsin residents between the ages of 18 and 64 were deaf.

American Sign Language (ASL) is one of the most commonly used non-English languages in the United States. It is completely distinct and separate from the English language - with its own rules for word order, grammar, and for pronunciation. Dialects also vary by region and with the age and ethnicity of the person using ASL. And, just as with spoken language, different sign languages are used in different countries.

Some people who experience deafness or hearing loss embrace a strong community identity while others regard the condition solely in medical terms. Another difference is that, while many individuals use ASL, others rely on spoken word communication and lip reading. Such choices are deeply personal; and in each case the selections are made that best suit the needs of each individual.

Members of the deaf community face many day-to-day challenges when interacting with the hearing community. Large lecture spaces, movies without closed captioning, and even monetary exchanges with cashiers present examples of challenges that the hearing community has never known. Yet, in most ways, the life of a person who is deaf or hard of hearing mirrors that of any other individual: we are all able to drive, obtain an education, seek employment, work at our jobs, participate in family life, and be active community members.

In fact, many people who are deaf or hard of hearing assert that their greatest challenges come not from their hearing loss itself, but from the hurtful “distancing" and effective isolation caused by ignorance and stereotyping — for example when hearing persons make no attempt to communicate but instead treat them as (effectively) "invisible."

I encourage everyone to learn how to become an ally to the deaf community. A good place to start is learning basic signs. Some digital resources are listed here. Also, look at the person you are communicating with even when an interpreter is present. If there is no interpreter, seek out alternative methods to communicate such as pen and paper, typing something on a phone, or using gestures. It also helps to avoid saying “never mind” or being otherwise dismissive; it takes just a moment to repeat yourself or to communicate another way — a small moment that can make a large difference.

As a community, we can take steps to better serve our neighbors who are deaf or hard of hearing. I am a proud participant on the Sign Language Task Force here in Milwaukee where I learn about some of the challenges the community faces, and how I may help legislatively. And my work with advocacy leaders in the deaf community will help me to draft effective legislation to facilitate better access to mental health care.

I’m also doing what I can to make my office accessible and user friendly to community members who are deaf and hard of hearing. Here’s a huge thank you to the students at UW-Milwaukee who are taking the time to interpret State Reppin'. I will post more videos as they are completed.  I also want to thank the Wisconsin Association for the Deaf for all of the work that they do for the community and for their advocacy on this important issue.

In the News

Nursing Home Staffers Want a Raise

Mexican Consulate Ribbon Cutting:

UW-Milwaukee Award:

Sherman Park Arrest:

To keep up with the latest news, click here.

Local Business of the Month:
 Bay View Fitness

Located on Kinnickinnic Avenue, Bay View Fitness offers a low pressure gym environment staffed with experienced fitness professionals. It is the only locally owned Wisconsin gym that is open 24 hours a day.

All trainers boast years of experience and are highly educated to ensure that all gym members have the best opportunity to reach their fitness goals. Bay View Fitness proudly serves a diverse clientele ranging from high school athletes to senior citizens.

For more information on Bay View Fitness, click here.

Nonprofit of the Month:
CORE/El Centro

CORE/El Centro is a non-profit organization that offers natural healing and wellness services. The organization operates on a sliding scale to allow all individuals access to the supportive services they need. Additionally, CORE/El Centro provides services in both English and Spanish.

Opened in 2002, their integrative healing services including acupuncture, massage therapy, and body work. Other programs, such as those focusing on gardening and nutrition, are also available. Through this healing environment, CORE/El Centro works to create a healthy and engaged community.

For more information on CORE/El Centro, click here.

Neighbor of the Month:

In some ways, Elijah is like any nine-year-old. He is going into the fourth grade, likes Pokemon, soccer, and history. He wants to be a teacher when he grows up.

In other ways, he is extraordinary. At the start of this month, as his birthday approached, he told his father that he had enough toys and asked if they could organize a donation drive for Pathfinders instead - so that's what they did.

Thank you, Elijah, for your thoughtful generosity!

Upcoming Events

Sept. 4 Veteran's Park Family Flicks Come with family to enjoy a free viewing of Galaxy Quest and Ferris Bueller's Day off. Movies begin at dusk
Click here for more information.
Sept. 7 Grilled Cheese and Beer Tasting Come taste four Wisconsin grilled cheese sandwiches alongside delicious local beers. Tickets are $20
For more information, click here.
Sept. 9 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Come enjoy a free screening of the latest Star Wars movie.
Click here for more information.
Sept. 10 & 11 Milwaukee Zoo Family Farm Weekend Come enjoy family friendly farm activities at the Milwaukee Zoo. Enter the milk chugging contest, visit the farmer’s market, enter a tractor pulling competition and more.
Click here for more information.
Sept. 11 Salute to Service 5K Commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with the Dryhootch 9/11 Salute to Service 5k. $30 registration fee
Click here for more information.
Sept. 17 Doors Open Milwaukee Explore Milwaukee's art, architecture, culture and history. This event will be free and will open the doors to over 150 of Milwaukee's wonderful theaters, museums, clubs and more. An advanced ticket may be required for some in depth tours.
Click here for more information.
Sept. 24 Bike Food Tour Explore Milwaukee's historic third ward on a seven seat bicycle and stop at eateries along the way.
Click here for more information.
Sept 30 Splash Studio Painting Follow along as a local Milwaukee artists guides you through a painting. $34 per person covers the cost of instruction and supplies.
Click here for more information.


Summer Weekly Events

Garden Walk: Wednesdays
Expert-led garden walks. $5
(Ends 9/14)
Click here for more information.
Jazz in the Park: Thursdays
Diverse, free music festival.
(Ends 9/1)
Click here for more information.

Ayre in the Square: Thursdays
Diverse, free music festival. (Ends 9/1)
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

Jerry is a 6-year-old Domestic Shorthair available for adoption at the Wisconsin Humane Society Milwaukee Campus.

He’s a very sweet, shy kitty who is still learning how to trust new people. Jerry is searching for a quiet home without kids under 5 years old and simply needs a guardian who can help him understand what true love means. 

For more information about Jerry, please click here.

Eva is a sweet, 11-month-old pup being fostered through MADACC. She does well with both dogs and cats, enjoys water and taking baths, as well as to snuggle on the couch. 

She is up-to-date on her shots, spayed, microchipped, housebroken, and will undergo a pre-adoption health exam.








For more information about Eva, please click here.

Contact Me

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


Visit my website




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