From the Office of Representative Jonathan Brostoff

September, 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.

It is well known to us all that tensions arising from Milwaukee's history of systematic racism have recently surfaced again. Educating ourselves and raising awareness of racial injustices, past and present, is our responsibility in order to progress together as a city, state, and nation. I will discuss this in more detail below.

Our featured Business, Nonprofit, and Neighbor this month are Ardent, Enerqi, and Jan.

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.

Race in Milwaukee

In late July, while working to reduce the tension in Sherman Park following the officer-involved shooting of a young black man, the Milwaukee Police Department detained me and a member of the ACLU. We had been present that evening to listen to the needs and concerns of our neighbors and friends. Policy makers at all levels must recognize that what happened in Sherman Park was not merely a reaction to the death of 23-year-old Syville Smith, but also a response to decades of racism and oppression in one of the most segregated cities in America.

Milwaukee and its surrounding metropolitan area experience some of the highest levels of residential segregation in the nation. Black individuals — 40% of Milwaukee’s population — densely populate less advantaged neighborhoods, schools, and other institutions, as institutional racism persists. The black community suffers from disparate rates of unemployment, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, school dropout, chronic diseases, poverty, evictions, and crime.

Milwaukee suffers from some of the worst:

-Unemployment rates for African American men.

About 20% working-age black men are unemployed across Milwaukee. This rate is around four times higher than for white men. On the north side, unemployment skyrockets to almost two-thirds.

While the median income for whites in Milwaukee is $61,675, for blacks it is $25, 646. This is one of the largest income disparities in the nation. Milwaukee has the second-highest black poverty rate in the nation.

-Educational disparities for African American students.
Milwaukee is the largest contributor to Wisconsin’s achievement gap - the most severe in the country. In a recent College Board report, it was shown that 85% of Wisconsin’s white high school graduates had taken an advanced placement course while only 3% black graduates had. Further, as the graduation rate for white students rose to 92.9% in 2014, the rate for black students remained stagnant at 66.1%.

Nearly 30% of white adults in Wisconsin have a bachelor's degree. A mere 12.8% of black adults have completed a bachelor's degree - far below the national average of 19.7%. As Milwaukee is home to around 70% of Wisconsin's African American population, state-wide statistics like these are, for all intents and purposes, Milwaukee's.

While these facts clearly show our students are in need of every educational opportunity, African-American children are suspended at nearly double the national average by Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). These facts represent a very disheartening lack of progress in MPS. In a state where four out of five black children live in poverty, it is essential that our schools make greater efforts to help.

-Rates of African American incarceration
Over half of the 30 to 40-year-old, African-American men living in Milwaukee County have served time and 1-in-8 of working age is currently incarcerated. Wisconsin locks up a higher percentage of its black community members than any other state; it has laws that disproportionately target them, including the war on drugs, rescinding the state's early release program, and sending people who are on probation back to prison if they are caught driving to the store or work without a license.

While many states shifted towards rehabilitation, Wisconsin increased funding for prisons over the last 20 years and now spends more on incarceration than education. In the 2015-17 state budget, there was a 7% increase in for corrections and decreases of 14% for public K-12 and 21% for the University of Wisconsin.

Many of these indicators of inequality tower above those across the nation and reflect our city's failure to serve our black community. We can no longer remain indifferent to, or complacent about, these facts. Systemic oppression of almost half of our city's residents is morally wrong and must come to an end.

So it is time to act. At the city level, I encourage you to review Mayor Barrett's Budget and to contact your common council member. Let them know how important it is to focus on health-based violence prevention approaches, as opposed to a strictly punitive approach. I have been and will continue to work with my colleagues in Madison to bring more money and opportunities to Milwaukee. I also encourage you to contact your federal representatives and let them know how important investment in Milwaukee is right now. We're all in this together.

In the News

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Care Givers Speakout Against the Looming Crisis in Caregiving

Rep. Brostoff Calls for Change after the Tragic Homicide of a Man with Mental Illness

Sherman Park Arrest:

To keep up with the latest news, click here.

Local Business

    of the Month: Ardent

Ardent, located at 1751 N. Farwell Ave, was recently named the #1 restaurant in Milwaukee by a review in the Journal Sentinel. The restaurant is consistently recognized for its delicious food, great service, and constantly changing menu.

Ardent serves mostly American cuisine and is known for its upscale yet humble atmosphere. The restaurant has become a Milwaukee hotspot and is a must-try for anyone in the area.

For more information on Ardent, click here.

Nonprofit of the Month:

The Enerqi Center for Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine has just opened in West Allis. Along with acupuncture care, the organization also offers services with herbal and nutraceutical supplements, qi gong prescriptions, and no-cost meditation instruction at the time of service.

·     Enerqi hopes that it will promote generosity in our region and allow financial accessibility to all potential patients. The selfless non-profit aims to help build a stronger, healthier community.

For more information on Enerqi, click here.

Neighbor of the Month:
Jan Wilberg

Jan Wilberg received her Ph.D. in urban social institutions from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has been striving to better the community ever since. In 1995, she established Wilberg Community Planning LLC, an independent consulting practice that specializes in providing services to non-profit organizations and local governments.

At Wilber Community Planning LLC, Jan tackles a diverse array of projects. These range from the development of a neighborhood strategic plan to the facilitation of a family treatment court planning process and the evaluation of youth development programs.

Jan’s work in the community extends far beyond her experience with Wilberg Community Planning LLC. She has also volunteered to advocate for children in foster care and served as the president of the Alma Center, a group that works with men involved with domestic violence to teach them how to live as non-violent fathers, partners, and community members. Furthermore, Jan has taught a variety of courses at colleges across the country while producing numerous publications.

To learn more about Wilberg Community Planning LLC, click here.

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


Bay View High School

Carvers Club

Bay View High School has recently started an initiative called the Carvers Club, which provides students with hands-on production and software experience. Throughout the course of the club, members develop their skills through "building, fabrication, finishing, and designing customized graphics." Each student finishes with a tangible accomplishment - a longboard!

The Carvers Club and similar programs are a great example of the proactive spirit of MPS and the innovative ways in which schools can get their students involved.


Meet our Interns!

We are lucky each semester to have some amazing interns helping out around the office and district. I am pleased to introduce you to each of them below!

Hi, I’m Allyson! I’m originally from Kenosha but moved to Milwaukee in 2009 to pursue my Bachelor's degree in Social Work at UW-Milwaukee, which I achieved in 2013. After graduation, I worked as a Wraparound Milwaukee Care Coordinator which involved engaging with youth struggling with mental health issues within the justice system.

I am currently pursuing my Masters in Social Work with a Certificate in Non-profit management at UW-Milwaukee. I’m excited to say I’ll be graduating in December, 2016!

My interest in politics began in 2010 in my SW policy class when the guest speaker and former State Representative Tamara Grigsby told her career story where she began as a Social Worker and became a representative for the community she loved. This was the day I knew I wanted to pursue a career in politics and can see myself running for office one day.

I’m excited for my internship with Representative Brostoff and know it will enhance my skills and knowledge toward reaching my career dreams.

Hello, my name is Jon and I am currently a law student at Marquette University. I am originally from Florida where I studied History and Economics at Florida State University.

I am also an intern at Legal Action of Wisconsin and volunteer at the Milwaukee Justice Center assisting pro se individuals with family law forms. I am interested in social issues such as education in disadvantaged communities, assisting veterans, sustaining the environment, and improving mental health assistance.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, engaging in outdoor activities, and attending sporting events in Milwaukee. I look forward to interning for Representative Brostoff and making Milwaukee an even better place to call home.

Hello, my name is Lucy! I’m a sophomore at UW–Madison studying Legal Studies and Political Science. Originally from Maplewood, New Jersey, I came to Madison to further my liberal arts education in the Letters & Science Honors Program.

I am very passionate about the many social issues that affect millions of Americans daily, including women’s rights and racial disparities in the criminal justice system and education. I hope to pursue a career in advocacy and community empowerment to help drive social change and combat these inequalities.

I also love playing soccer, skiing, and traveling, and am hoping to study abroad next year!

Returning Interns

Hi, my name is Megan and I am currently a student at Edgewood College where I study Political Science, Sociology, and Ethnic Studies.

I was born and raised in the Milwaukee area so my connection with the community is very meaningful. I have a passion for public service and look forward to being able to serve a community that is very near and dear to my heart.

Through my dedication to the students of Edgewood College as their student body President, I have experience with listening to constituent voices, establishing relationships with organizations and administration, and working to make meaningful change. I hope to use this experience and the experiences from interning in this office to pursue my goals of successfully completing law school and becoming a public servant in the form of an elected official.
Hello, I’m Aemilia. As a rising junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I am double majoring Legal Studies and History while obtaining certificates in Gender Women Studies and Leadership. 

I also have a passion for the sport of basketball and devote a large portion of my time to serving as a student manager for the Wisconsin Women’s basketball team. 

After studying the government and other legal systems these past few years, I am eager to apply what I have learned in the classroom in the political world. I am looking forward to interning for Representative Brostoff these next few months.


Upcoming Events

Oct. 2 Milwaukee National College Fair Learn about financial aid, college majors and admission requirements. Come decide which postsecondary option is right for you.
Click here for more information.
Oct. 2 Brady Street Pet Parade Come watch critters of all shapes and sizes take on Brady Street. $10-15 per pet, registration benefits the Wisconsin Humane Society.
For more information, click here.
Oct. 2 Walk to Fight Suicide Help raise awareness and funds that allow AFSP to invest in new research, education, advocacy and support for those affected by suicide.
For more information, click here.
Oct. 7th-9th LEGO KidsFest 2016 Bring the entire family for an incredible, interactive experience at "a massive LEGO explosion." $19-22
For more information, click here.
Oct. 8 TEDxUWMilwaukee Join TEDxUWMilwaukee at the Peck School of the Arts for the upcoming fall conference, "I Am. We Are." $20
For more information, click here.
Oct. 8 Panther Prowl 5k Run/Walk Join UW-Milwaukee’s premier race event. All proceeds support UWM student scholarships.
For more information, click here.
Oct. 8 Grand Tour Day Come enjoy a full access self-guided tour of the Pabst Mansion from basement to attic and all stops in between. $15
For more information, click here.
Oct. 12 Milwaukee at the Whiskey Bar Make connections in a fun and relaxed atmosphere while socializing with Milwaukee professionals. $15
Click here for more information.
Oct. 12 LGBT Film Festival (Opening Night) Come join us for the opening night of the 21st Annual Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival. All films shown are by, for, or about the LGBT community. $10-15
Click here for more information.
Oct. 13th-16th Milwaukee Oktoberfest Join an event full of fun, music, people, and beer! Free to the public.
Click here for more information.
Oct. 14th Kellog's Tour of Gymnastics Champion 2016 Come experience gymnastics like you never have before. Join the Final Five, Nastia Liukin as well as members of the 2012 Olympic Team during their stop in Milwaukee.
Click here for more information.
Oct. 14th-16th 12th Annual Hunting Moon Pow Wow Come celebrate Native American culture and tradition at this one-of-a-kind dance competition! Admission is free.
Click here for more information.
Oct. 14th-23rd LGBT Film Festival Come join us for the continuation of the 21st Annual Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival. All films shown are by, for, or about the LGBT community. $10-15
Click here for more information.
Oct. 15th-16th Autumn on the Farm at Old World Wisconsin Come enjoy harvest activities on ethnic farms at an 1880s village and preserve food for the upcoming winter.
Click here for more information.
Oct. 15th and 16th Boo at the Zoo Watch animals enjoy treat-filled pumpkins, trick or treat through the zoo, and march in a Halloween costume parade.
Click here for more information.
Oct. 21st- 22nd Bay View Pumpkin Pavillion Carve pumpkins and enjoy games, spooky music, costumes, and a black and white film.
Click here for more information.
Oct 26th Halloween Pajama Jamboree Watch the FCS orchestra celebrate Halloween through different musical performances. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes!
Click here for more information.
Oct 29th Dia de los Muertos Parade and 5K Come respectfully honor those that have passed away by remembering them with photos, ofrendas (or alters), and eating their favorite foods.
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-8
929 E. Wisconsin St.

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


Adoptable Pets

Harper is a 2-year-old Hound mix available for adoption at the Wisconsin Humane Society Milwaukee Campus.

Harper is looking for an active guardian to run, hike, or take long walks with. Despite her adorable looks and loveable personality, she hasn’t found her forever home – she’s become a benchwarmer. To get her back in the game and into a loving family, her adoption fee has been reduced to $25. Come meet Harper today!

For more information about Harper, please click here.

Mary is a sweet 3-year-old pup being fostered through MADACC.

She is fun-loving, adores people, and would rather get her belly rubbed than go on a walk. Mary is also good with other dogs. Come meet her today!

For more information about Mary, please click here.


Contact Me

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


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