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Feature - Juneteenth

Feature - Pride Month

Feature - Trump's Transgender Military Ban

Working for You - AB 250

Nonprofit of the Month - Optimist Theatre

Business of the Month - BlackBear Children's Boutique

Featured Adoptable

What's Up Wednesday

Brostoff in the News

Event Calendar

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

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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Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of the last slaves in Texas at the end of the American Civil War and marks a moment for our communities to come together to celebrate the end of slavery. On June 19, 1865 Major General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston, Texas to deliver the news that the Civil War has ended and to issue an order to finally free the slaves in Texas, many of whom had not yet been freed. Although this was two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued, the executive order had little influence in Texas due to the minimal presence of Union troops there to enforce it. Major Granger’s arrival on June 19th marked the point that Union troops were finally strong enough to overcome lingering Confederate resistance and that emancipation could finally reach the deepest parts of the Confederacy. 

Immediate celebration broke out on that day in 1865, which came to be known as “Juneteenth.” Since that day, Juneteenth has come to be celebrated in communities across the country, and, as the oldest-known celebration of the end of slavery, Juneteenth presents a day for family, prayer, and gratitude. It not only celebrates African American freedom and achievement, but it also encourages personal development, education, and respect for all cultures. Renowned institutions such as the Smithsonian and the Henry Ford Museum have begun sponsoring annual Juneteenth celebrations, and the number of cities and states creating Juneteenth committees continues to grow - all with the common mission to encourage appreciation of African American culture and history and to reflect on the lives lost in the fight for civil rights.

This year marked the 48th Annual Milwaukee Juneteenth Day Parade and Festival on Wednesday, June 19, the largest Juneteenth celebration in the country. I was proud to attend and celebrate with my community, and look forward to attending for years to come!

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Pride Month

June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month! This recognition began as a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots that occurred over the course of June 28th and 29th in 1969. The riots were triggered when the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City known as a place of refuge for New York’s LGBTQIA+ community, was raided by the police. Infuriated with  consistent police harrassment and social discrimination, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn resisted the police and violence broke out after police started arresting patrons for the “crime” of living their lives as they chose at a time when society did not understand or approve of their sexual and/or gender identities. Following the riots, New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood (in which the Stonewall was located) united to encourage support for those affected. These riots became a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement, and ultimately for greater recognition and acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Today, June stands as a month filled with parades, symposiums, and concerts that highlight the joy of celebrating LGBTQIA+ pride among all communities. Despite this wider societal recognition and acceptance, there is still discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community. Luckily, organizations like GLAAD (founded in 1985) help counter stigmas and discrimination and provide a safe and inclusive space for those who are in need of their resources and assistance. According to a recent Pew Poll, over 90% of Americans know someone who is lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community have benefitted all levels of society, and strengthen our communities with their contributions, creativity, talents, and insights. Even in this time of greater acceptance and recognition, we must recognize the urgency of spreading awareness to ultimately eliminate and dismantle the harmful stigmas and oppression facing the LGBTQIA+ community.

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President Trump's Transgender Military Ban

Three years ago, the Obama administration announced that openly transgender individuals would be allowed to serve in the military, overturning years of harmful precedent. However, on April 12th of this year President Trump directly reversed this decision by issuing a ban to not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any part of the U.S. military. Under the terms of this ban, transgender people attempting to enlist in the military are subject to exclusion unless they hide their gender identity.

 Trump stated that the military needs to focus on “overwhelming victory” instead of being burdened by the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender personnel. However, this attempt at a justification does not line up with the experiences of the nineteen other countries--including close allies Canada and the United Kingdom--that welcome transgender people in the military to serve without issue. Furthermore, Trump recently appeared in a televised interview where he aimed to rationalize this ban by claiming that transgender troops are not allowed to serve because the U.S. military bans service members from taking any sort of prescribed drugs. Conversely, the Defense Department contradicted Trump’s reasoning, stating that troops are permitted to take all kinds of prescription drugs, specifically including hormone drugs used for the purposes of gender transition. 

Military chiefs agree that in the three years that President Obama opened the door to transgender people, there was no known harm to any units from their service. On the other hand, President Trump’s ban is creating anxiety and fear that touches over 15,000 service members. Those who volunteer to serve our country deserve deep appreciation and honor for their bravery and selflessness, and specifically deserve the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. In this day and age, it is crucial to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ communities. This ban not only lacks any real reasoning other than blatant bigotry, but it is also harmful, unethical, and dishonorable. It perpetuates discrimination and hate, proving to be a step backwards when we should be striving to fulfill the promise of equality. Instead, our country needs to move forward, and work on improving inclusion and support for Americans of all identities.

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Nonprofit of the Month - Optimist Theatre

This month’s non-profit is Optimist Theatre! Optimist Theatre is a non-profit theatre that taps into local professional talent to put on a variety of programs, most notably Shakespeare In The Park. The goal of Shakespeare In The Park is to provide free performances of Shakespeare’s most well-known works, as well as to educate through its free outreach program, To Be! Shakespeare Here and Now. Through these programs, Optimist Theatre also aims to serve as a venue to showcase local talent and to serve as an incubator for up-and-coming artists in the community, so as to give them a place to develop their talent and hone their skills as stage actors. To learn more, check them out at their website here!

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Business of the Month - BlackBear Children's Boutique

This month’s business of the month is BlackBear Children’s Boutique! BlackBear offers a diverse collection of children’s clothes and accessories catered to children 0-6 years old at their pop-up location, and their website also includes a collection for children 7-12 years old. The founder, Emma Carollo, debuted BlackBear’s first long-term pop-up store in Milwaukee on Downer Avenue on June 14th. The e-store now has a 895-square-foot storefront situated between Café Hollander and Robet Laurence Hair Studio, extending through August. BlackBear’s collection features a selection of brands that focus on sustainability and ethically produced goods. For more information or for store hours, check out their website here or pay them a visit at 2622 N. Downer Avenue, Milwaukee!

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Working for You - AB 250

This month, I was incredibly proud to deliver a floor speech in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English on the Assembly floor in support of Assembly Bill 250, my signature legislation to protect the Deaf and sign language interpreter communities in Wisconsin. I am also very proud to say that my speech in ASL was the first time in Wisconsin history that a floor speech had been delivered in Sign Language! You can watch my historic speech here.

Following my speech, AB 250 received unanimous approval in the Assembly and the following week also passed unanimously in the Senate. The bill is now on its way to be signed into law by Governor Tony Evers!

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MADACC - Peaches

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Peaches is a seven-year-old calico domestic short hair adult female with orange and white coloring. She is house-trained, spayed, and her vaccinations are up to date. Peaches is very sweet and loving! The adoption fee is waived as part of Meowaukee, sponsored by Friends of MADACC. 

For more information about Peaches click here.

Humane Society - Ali

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Ali is a 56 pound, three-year-old male known for his affectionate personality. He has already been neutered and his vaccinations are up to date. Ali is very spirited, and loves to play outside and exercise. He is looking for a loving home and is ready to meet you today!

For more information about Ali click here.

 Community Events

Build with LEGO Bricks at Martin Luther King (MPL)

Date: July 1st 

Description: Get the creativity flowing using LEGO Bricks. Join your friends and family and see what you can create together. This activity is especially good for kids because it helps develop problem-solving and collaboration skills!

Cost: Free

Lawn Bowling Lesson

Dates: July 2nd, 6th, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

Description: Learn lawn bowling and have a game! The Milwaukee Lake Park Lawn Bowling Association will offer lessons to the public for $10 per person on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 PM, June through August. The lessons are 45 minutes in length and taught by a club member. Guests are then welcome to play in an organized game immediately following. You should wear comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes (no heel) or go barefoot. The club will supply all other game equipment. Please register and pay in advance for your lesson. Each lesson is limited to 6 guests. 

Cost: $10

Milwaukee 4th of July Fireworks

Date: July 3rd

Description: In early April, this holiday tradition was saved by the Milwaukee Brewers, American Family Insurance, and Ted Kellner, who jumped in as sponsors in the final hour. After such a close call, the fireworks are sure to feel extra-special this year. Great views from South Shore, Juneau, and Veteran’s Parks.

Cost: Free

Free Movie Night in Veteran’s Park

Date: July 6th 

Description: Join Gift of Wings for Veteran’s Park’s third movie of the season - How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World! Food and beverages will be available for only $1. The movie will begin when the sun goes down, so exact times will vary. Bring your favorite blanket or chair, and have a relaxing night outdoors with your friends and family.
Cost: Free

Game Jam Days at Atkinson (MPL)

Date: July 9th

Description: Professional game developers will be on hand to coach you through the process of making your own video game. We'll have equipment and software on hand for you to use. Plus, we'll have tons of food and there will be the chance to hang out with other video game enthusiasts. Whether or not you have any experience with coding or game design, you will find the tools and resources you need to get started on your game at a Game Jam Day. Hosted in partnership with Cream City Coders and i.c.stars.

Cost: Free

Dominic Days Festival

Dates: July 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th

Description: Join us for Dominic Days Festival! Awesome entertainment all weekend and midway rides and games for kids of all ages! Enjoy grilled foods and nightly dinner specials. Enter our Grand Raffle for a chance to win a 2019 Ford or $25,000 Cash, plus other great prizes.

Cost: Free

Illusionist Ardan James at Central (MPL)

Date: July 18th

Description: Whoa, did you see that? Award winning illusionist Ardan James will be performing at MPL’s Washington Park location! Come enjoy a kid-friendly hour of fun, illusions and magic as he leaves you wondering what just happened and how he did it!

Cost: Free

Shakespeare in the State Parks- Romeo and Juliet 

Date: July 19th

Description: It's the greatest love story ever told... with six actors, some sneakers, and a trunk full of props. Shakespeare's classic tale gets a fresh, fun, family-friendly adaptation in the great outdoors! Romeo and Juliet come from rival families, but quickly find that their love runs deeper than what keeps them apart. With the help of loyal friends, these star-crossed lovers seek their own happy ending, but (spoiler alert!) fate has its own plans for them. Each performance is an accessible 75-minute show preceded by a 45-minute educational workshop, entitled "Playing with Shakespeare: Get Outside with Will," offered to kids and "fun adults." 

Cost: Free

Festa Italiana

Dates: July 19th, 20th, 21st

Description: Celebrate the best of Italy with three days packed full of food, music, and cultural activities. Then round out your festivities with their fireworks display, Abbondanza in the Sky. The fireworks are on the nights of the 20th and 21st, at 10:30PM and 10PM respectively.

Cost: $10

German Fest

Dates: July 26th, 27th, 28th

Description: Kick off one of Milwaukee’s most beloved festivals with fireworks and frankfurters. Prost! Fireworks is on the night of the 26th at 10:30PM.

Cost: $9 for groups over 25, $12 for groups under 25, $7 for seniors and students

Wingardium Craft-Viosa! at East (MPL)

Date: July 27th 

Description: All good witches and wizards need a wand to cast spells. Use STEAM skills to build your own Harry Potter-inspired illuminating wand and put your casting abilities to the test!

Cost: Free

Milwaukee Air and Water Show

Dates: July 27th, 28th
Description: Join us to honor the contributions of every man and woman who has served in the United States Air Force. This year’s show will present a variety of performers, such as the U.S. Air Force F-35A “Lightning II” Dem team, as well as a special USAF F-35, F-16, F-22 and P-51 Mustang Heritage Flight Formation. In addition, the water acts scheduled for this year’s show ranges from Badgerland Water Ski Team, the Milwaukee Fireboat, the Fox Lake Harbor Powerboat Formation Squadron, to many more talented performers. The water show starts around 10:00 am, while the air show starts around noon.

Cost: Free


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
"Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation."- Coretta Scott King