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Dear Neighbor, 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this month's newsletter. As we begin the 2019-20 Legislative Session, I would like to hear what your legislative priorities are. Please reach out to me anytime with your ideas by calling (608) 266-0650 or emailing me at

If you have a suggestion for next month's event calendar, featured neighbor, nonprofit, or business, please visit my submission page here.

Keep up-to-date with ongoing information and developments by following me on Twitter and Facebook and by visiting my website.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

In service,
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Jonathan Brostoff
19th Assembly District


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Autism Awareness Month


April is Autism Awareness Month! Autism is a complex neurodiversity condition which is considered a “spectrum condition.” This means that autism affects every single person differently, leading to different strengths and challenges for each person with autism. There is no one single cause for autism, but an increased knowledge of autism and early diagnoses can guarantee more positive outcomes for individuals. Celebrating April as Autism Awareness Month is a small, but important piece of this larger puzzle: bringing more attention to autism not only helps educate our communities, but also increases knowledge of existing resources for those who might benefit from them. There are many ways you can help support and bring awareness to autism - lend your support to organizations like the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network as well as hard working activists in your community!

While there are many within the autistic community who deserve to be celebrated, here are two in particular whose inclusive activism helps them stand out:

Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu: Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu is an educator and an activist for autism and HIV. She is the daughter of immigrants, and when she was a child her autism symptoms were wrongly and racistly dismissed as “black stereotypical behavior.” In 2009 she started becoming an active advocate for HIV research and outreach. In 2014 she started an organization called Positive Playdates that soon merged with Advocacy without Borders, with the goal of supporting community activists. Since 2016 she has been a board member of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

Kris Guin: Kris Guin is a member of Autism Society’s Panel of People on the Spectrum of Autism and is the founder and president of Queerability. Kris fights for the inclusion of those with disabilities within the LGTBQ community. Kris’ main goal in their involvement in the Autism Society’s Panel of People on the Spectrum of Autism is to make sure all people on the spectrum including people of color and those in the LGBTQ community are included and are able to become independent and involved in their communities. Kris works to provide aid to the affiliates of the Panel on how to be inclusive of diverse autistic people so that everyone is engaged and has a supportive environment.

Speaker Vos' Insensitive Comments

On April 9th, Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill delivered the 15th annual "State of the Tribes" Address to members of the Wisconsin State Legislature. Hill spoke on a variety of topics including climate change, the increased threat of chronic wasting disease in our state, and growing economic relations between Wisconsin and state Tribes, which accounts for nearly $53 million annually. Most importantly, however, Hill stressed the importance of strengthening the relationship and ties between tribal and state governments. Immediately following the speech, Speaker Vos invited Wisconsin National Guard members to the Chamber to be recognized as Hometown Heroes in Wisconsin. While Hill and other tribal members were still leaving the chamber, and Native Americans and citizens who came to hear Tehassi Hill’s speech were still in the gallery, Speaker Vos steered his commendation for the National Guard into into a political ploy and began to talk about the crisis at the southern border. Vos stated that the National Guard members “volunteered to answer the call to protect our nation’s border” and “their mission was to stop deadly drugs and criminals from entering the United States.” Speaker Vos’ comments were deliberate, offensive, and tone deaf following the State of the Tribes Address. Military members and those who volunteer to serve our country deserve the utmost respect, recognition, and thanks for their sacrifices; my dispute with the Speaker over his statements is in no way, shape, or form meant to take away from their sacrifices or service to our country. My main contention with the Speaker’s comments rest on the fact that he and other Republicans chose to make these comments after an impassioned speech by Tehassi Hill, which called for unity between the governments, and while Hill and other tribal elders and leaders were still leaving the chamber, with friends and family remaining in the gallery. Hill wanted to reach out to our State Legislature and work on bettering relations. Rather than commenting on Hill’s speech and committing to better relations, Speaker Vos turned to once again politicizing the issue at the border, creating not only a larger divide between Democrats and Republicans, but also between Wisconsin leaders and Tribal leaders.

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Neighbor of the Month - Celeste Contreras

April’s neighbor of the month is Celeste Contreras! Celeste is an activist, artist, student, and teacher who also founded the Día De Los Muertos Parade Project which celebrates the lives of loved ones who have passed. Her mission with this parade is to celebrate the traditions and the significance of the Day of the Dead by having the community come together to participate in cultural awareness.  She is also currently the Artist-in-Residence at the Mitchell Street Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library. Thank you Celeste, for all that you do!

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Business of the Month - Gothic Milwaukee/Walking Milwaukee


April’s business of the month is Gothic Milwaukee/Walking Milwaukee, whose mission is to provide a fun and interactive experience to explore the lesser-known inner workings of the city. With Gothic Milwaukee, visitors are welcomed to venture into the depths of downtown’s dark secrets and its history of ghosts and ghouls... but for the more faint of heart, they also offer stimulating architecture tours as well! Interested in an exciting haunted or architecture tour, a book about Milwaukee’s Ghosts and Legends, or a book full of self-guided tours through Milwaukee? Learn more at

Working for You

Earlier this month Senator Larson and I were thrilled to join the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in celebrating their R1 status. We had the pleasure of attending the 11th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium where we met Naomi and learned about her project on the educational disparities faced by the Deaf community in Milwaukee.

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Zeke is a four year old medium grey domestic cat. He is up to date on all vaccinations and is house trained!

For more information about Zeke click here.

Humane Society

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Kazoo is a 60 pounds 1 year old male pitbull mix. Around the shelter, he is known for his goofy personality! Kazoo enjoys playing outside and snuggling.

For more information about Kazoo click here.


 Community Events

Plant a Tree, Protect Our Waters

Date: April 30th

Description: Come learn why planting trees protects rivers and improves community health. Also learn how trees provide an important habitat for wildlife and vital ecological services.

Cost: Free


Arabian Nights

Date: May 3rd

Description: Join the UWM Planetarium in learning about all different aspects of Arab culture from food to astronomy. Come gaze at the starry night sky as astronomer Jean Creighton shares her favorite story from One Thousand and One Nights.

Cost: $5

Movie Screening: Decoding the Driftless

Date: May 9th

Description: Join the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center for a screening of the movie Decoding the Driftless. Experience Wisconsin’s Driftless Region. The film showcases the unique ecosystems of the region and talks of the conservation efforts.

Cost: Free for all but registration is required.


Play Date with Art: Mirror Play

Date: May 10th

Description: Drop in and create art together! An event made for the youngest visitors to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Cost: Free with museum admission  


4th annual Tosa Pop-Up Shop

Date: May 11th

Description: Come join the 18 independent artists and makers that are hosting the 4th annual Tosa Pop-Up Shop! Just in time for Mother’s Day, pick up treats, gifts, décor, pottery, handmade soaps, body care, etc.

Cost: Free


Havenwoods Adult Hike - Birding Hike

Date: May 14th

Description: Migrant songbirds are beginning to arrive at the Havenwoods State Forest. Whether you are an avid birder, or have never done anything like this before, you are welcome to join! Binoculars will be provided!

Cost: Free


Snack Hack at Mitchell Street

Date: May 16th

Description: Enjoy a free healthy snack in Mitchell Street’s Cargill Community Kitchen. All school aged children 18 & under are welcome to make and eat a healthy snack and learn about the importance of eating healthy in their everyday lives.

Cost: Free


Party for the Planet

Dates: May 18th & 19th

Description: Join the Milwaukee Zoo for fun interactive and eco-friendly activities focusing on conservation.

Cost: Zoo Admission


Curds and Kegs

Date: May 22nd

Description: Celebrate Wisconsin cheese, sausage makers, craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries at the third annual Curds and Kegs event. Come enjoy live music and samples of cheese, beer, wine, and artisanal sausage and cured meats. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Holy Assumption food pantry and will support the creation of a dog park in West Allis.

Cost: $20 in advance, $30 at the gate.


Free Admission Days

Milwaukee Art Museum

1st Thursday 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 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

929 E. Wisconsin St.

Milwaukee County Zoo

January 5, February 2, March 2, October 5, November 2, and December 7

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day free with Milwaukee Co. ID

10001 W Bluemound Rd

Mitchell Park Domes

First Thursday of each month with proof of county residence.

524 S. Layton Blvd.

Creative Studios at the Marshall Building

Third Friday of each month.

5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Click here for more information.


What's Up Wednesday
Brostoff in the News
Legislative Work