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Dear Neighbor, 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this month's newsletter. As we continue 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 Rep.Brostoff@legis.wi.gov.

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
State 
Representative
19th Assembly District

 

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Year End Wrap Up

What a year 2019 has been! Despite a new era of divided government in Wisconsin and Republican leadership purposely slow-playing this legislative Session to deny wins to Democrats, my fifth year serving the residents of the 19th Assembly District has been an extremely productive one. While we’ve had a number of victories this year, there are a few in particular I’d like to note. 

  • AB 250/Act 17: This year, we finally did it! AB 250, my signature piece of Deaf access legislation, passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously and was signed into law by Governor Evers as 2019 Act 17. This new law ensures that the Deaf and sign language interpreter communities in Wisconsin are protected, well-served, and in a position to succeed. This bill had been in the works since I was first elected to the Assembly, and would not have been possible without all of the hard work and collaboration of the Wisconsin Association of the Deaf, the Wisconsin Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Rep. Ken Skowronski, former Rep. Joel Kleefisch, Sen. Patrick Testin, and Sen. LaTonya Johnson.
  • AB 168/Act 48: This important bill represented another win for bipartisanship and for disability access. Back in April, Rep. Zimmerman and I introduced AB 168, which removes the requirement that certain voters with disabilities physically state their name and address before voting. While stating one’s name seems like a minor part of the voting process, it can be extremely difficult or traumatic for certain voters with disabilities, and this bill guarantees that all Wisconsinites have the same right to vote, regardless of their ability to speak. I am proud to say that this bill was signed into law as 2019 Act 48 by Gov. Evers last month! 
  • Suicide Prevention Task Force: Over the course of much of this past year, I had the honor of serving on the Task Force on Suicide Prevention. As someone with personal experiences related to this difficult - but critical - topic, participating in this Task Force and hearing the stories of people from across our state was deeply affecting. While the bills that came out of the Task Force did not ultimately do enough to earn my support, I am glad that we were able to have important conversations around suicide prevention in Wisconsin, and I hope that these early conversations can lead to more action on suicide prevention in the future. 
  • Immigration Bills: Back in September, I along with Rep. Marisabel Cabrera and Sen. Chris Larson introduced two new bills, AB 484 and AB 485, which would make Wisconsin a “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants and ban immigration detention in Wisconsin. These bills send a clear message that Wisconsin should be a welcoming state for all, and should not be complicit in continued human rights abuses!
  • Hearing Loop Bills: At the end of last month, I introduced two bills, AB 615 and AB 616, which would expand access to hearing loop technology in state buildings and enhance education around this technology. Hearing loop technology is a specialized feature of many hearing aids that allows users with hearing loss a better hearing experience in venues with amplified sound.
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Bills: Last month, I also introduced two new bills relating to Alzheimer’s and dementia issues - AB 613 and AB 614. These bills, respectively, would institute an Alzheimer’s and Dementia Coordinator position at the Department of Health Services and institute training requirements about Alzheimer’s and dementia issues for care workers. These bills would not only streamline care for Wisconsinites with Alzheimer’s and dementia, they would also ensure the best possible care for those facing Alzheimer’s or dementia. 
  • Baby Changing Tables Bill: Alongside Rep. David Crowley and Sen. Larson, I introduced SB 625, which would require new and substantially-renovated public buildings to install baby diaper changing tables in their restrooms and to ensure gender-equal access to those changing tables either by installing them in either a unisex restroom or in both women’s and men’s restrooms. This legislation would make it easier for parents of young kids, regardless of gender, to take their kids with them outside of the home and protect their health and safety when changing diapers!
  • The Fight to Preserve Occupational Licensing: Yet again, opponents of occupational licensing have tried to bring their fight to Wisconsin, most recently with SB 541, which would require “sunrise reports” on new occupational licenses. Proponents of this legislation like to make it seem like these reports would simply be for added information and greater legislative oversight, but we know full well that this is yet another front in the ongoing battle against consumer protections and in favor of widespread deregulation. We’ve beaten these deregulators and their shadowy, well-funded backers before, and we’ll beat them again!
 
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Neighbor of the Month - Kristi Luzar

December’s neighbor of the month is Kristi Luzar! Kristi is the executive director of the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin (UEDA), where she works to connect non-profits with financial institutions in order to support projects and initiatives on such important issues as sustainable housing, job creation, and economic development. Kristi has been executive director at UEDA since 2015, but her history with UEDA started back in 2006 as a program manager shortly after graduating from UW-Milwaukee with a Master’s degree in Urban Studies and a certificate in nonprofit management. The programs that Kristi oversees at UEDA include Take Root Milwaukee, Bank On Greater Milwaukee, Capacity Building & Technical Assistance, Small Business Affinity Group, Food Enterprise Development Network, Money Smart Week Milwaukee, and many others. Thank you, Kristi, for all that you do!

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Nonprofit of the Month - Wisconsin Conservation Voters 

This month’s nonprofit is Wisconsin Conservation Voters! Wisconsin Conservation Voters is committed to engaging voters through advocacy, holding legislators accountable for their environmental records, and supporting candidates who will fight for the environment, all in an effort to protect Wisconsin’s environment for current and future generations. Wisconsin Conservation Voters maintains a presence across the state and is dedicated to taking an active role in protecting Wisconsin’s natural heritage. You can learn more at their website, linked here!

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Business of the Month - Sherman Phoenix

December’s business of the month is Sherman Phoenix! Sherman Phoenix is a business venue that “rose from the ashes” of the unrest in Sherman Park in 2016. Today, in the spirit of collective healing and increased opportunity for communities of color in Milwaukee, Sherman Phoenix hosts 27 different small businesses running the gamut from wellness, to culture, to food experiences, and more tenants are coming soon! Check out their website to learn more about their inspiring story and find out more about the businesses, or, better yet, stop by and take it all in for yourself!

Working for You 

December has been a month full of productive meetings and visits! Just a few highlights from the month include a great meeting with Karen Krchma from the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, enjoying a great Milwaukee cultural event at Milwaukee's Hmong New Year celebration, touring the Friendship Circle of Wisconsin with fellow members of the Milwaukee Delegation, a very productive meeting with Sarah Koehn and Valerie Vidal from Meta House, and an excellent discussion with Secretary Crim to talk about the importance of DSPS and occupational licensing!
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MADACC

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Meet Violet! Violet is a ten year old domestic shorthair who has been spayed and is up to date on all of her vaccinations. Violet is a sweet senior cat looking for her forever home, and she is ready to meet you today!

Humane Society

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Say hello to Princess Penny! Princess Penny is a five year old black and white terrier mix who is looking to come home to a loving family for the holidays. Princess Penny is a little shy at first, but with patience and love, she will make a great addition to your home!

 

 Community Events

Hidden MPM: Holidays in History

Dates: December 21st and 28th

Description: Learn how holiday traditions brought by European immigrants to Milwaukee blended together to create our modern celebrations through this special exhibit

Costs: $4 for non members, $2 for members

Location: Milwaukee Public Museum, 800 West Wells St

 

Milwaukee Christkindl Market 

Dates: Until 12/24

Description: “The Christkindlmarket Milwaukee is coming back to the Deer District! Don’t miss out on 40 days of holiday fun from November 15th to December 24th! Visit to experience a traditional German holiday market in the heart of the city, complete with delicious food, drinks, collectibles, and gifts”

Costs: Free admission 

Location: In front of the Fiserv Forum, 1111 Vel R. Phillips Ave

 

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival and Jingle Bus Tour

Dates: Until 12/29

Description: “MKE your holiday season sparkle! MKE plans to visit downtown, day or night, where more than 500,000 holiday lights will dazzle your eyes and delight your spirit. Catch the Jingle Bus presented by Meijer for a 40-minute narrated tour of all the lighted scenes throughout downtown. Rides are just $2 a person, from 6 to 8:30 pm, Thursdays through Sundays. 

Costs: $2 per person, $3 for parking (if needed)

Location: 161 W. Wisconsin Avenue

 

Classic Holiday Garden Show at the Mitchell Park Domes

Date: Until January 5th

Description: “This year's holiday garden show captures the look and feel of all the classic lights, ornaments and decorations of the holiday season. There will be several varieties of poinsettias including 'Classic Red' and 'Polar Bear White' leading up to a classically-decorated tree, decorative garlands and a newly refurbished sleigh for holiday photo ops. Beautiful single stemmed white mums that look like snowballs will make an appearance along with other holiday staples such as cyclamen and amaryllis plants”

Costs: General Admission

Location: Mitchell Park Domes, 524 S Layton Blvd

 

Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee

Dates: Now through January 26th, 2020

Description: Have you ever used a QWERTY keyboard? Ridden a motorcycle? Adjusted the thermostat? Been a passenger on a boat with an outboard motor? If answering ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you have a Milwaukee engineer/inventor to thank. See, all of these marvels, and many more, originated in Milwaukee.This exhibition features some of the most significant engineering marvels in Milwaukee’s history and will include photographs, documents, ephemera and a number of the actual machines highlighted in the book of the same name by engineer Thomas Fehring, who also serves as guest curator. Nash automobiles, Merkel motorcycles, Evinrude outboards, Johnson Controls environmental systems, Master Lock locks, and Stereo-Realist cameras—these are but a few of the Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee; a one-of-a-kind exhibit filled with one-of-a-kind inventions.

Costs: General Admission - $5 Students/Seniors - $3

Location: The Grohmann Museum at MSOE, 1000 N Broadway

 

Milwaukee County Winter Farmers Market

Dates: Every Saturday from November 2nd to March 28th

Description: “The Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market brings together about 50 weekly vendors in the Greenhouse Annex at the Mitchell Park Domes. There, agricultural vendors offer high quality fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, poultry and dairy products. Local food vendors also bring a wide variety of freshly baked goods, jams, cider, honey, maple syrup, sauces and soups, as well as delicious global cuisine’”

Costs: Free Admission

Location: Mitchell Park Domes’ Greenhouse Annex, 524 S Layton Blvd

 

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
Happy Holidays!