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Feature - Mental Health Awareness Month

Feature - Guest Op-Ed from Treasurer Godlewski

Working for You - Visit to the Milwaukee Sign Language School

Neighbor of the Month - Patti Keating Kahn

Nonprofit of the Month - African American Breastfeeding Network

Business of the Month - Crossroads Collective

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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Mental Health Awareness Month


May is National Mental Health Awareness Month! It is important to acknowledge the crucial need to increase our resources and assistance available to help support those among the millions of Americans who struggle from a variety of mental health illnesses. Declaring May as Mental Health Awareness Month is just one of the many efforts that organizations like Mental Health America (MHA) and the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) have committed themselves to achieving. Every May and beyond, these organizations unite with fellow Americans to encourage positivity and to dismantle the stigma around mental health.


Tackling this stigma surrounding mental health must first start with improving education about mental health and illness while advocating for policies that prioritize the needs of our fellow Americans. There are some alarming statistics that bear out the need for this destigmatization and education - 1 out of every 5 Americans will experience mental illness in a given year, and a heartbreaking 18-22 veterans die by suicide every day.


This year, NAMI has made their #WhyCare campaign a primary focus. The goal of the campaign is to create opportunities for individuals to share support and care for those grappling with mental illness throughout May and beyond, so that those affected can be reminded of the loving community that surrounds them. The shame and fear felt by many with mental health conditions only worsens symptoms by introducing unnecessary stress and alienation. The #WhyCare campaign and others like it strive to break this cycle of stigmatization and alienation, and to demonstrate to people coping with mental illness that they are supported.


This Mental Health Awareness Month and every month, I encourage you to help spread awareness and to support organizations like NAMI and MHA. These organizations offer a range of supportive care resources for anyone dealing with mental illness, including veterans and the LGBTQ+ community. You can find more information on the resources provided by NAMI and MHA here and here. In addition, we have great local organizations like the Grand Avenue Club doing amazing work around mental illness right here in Milwaukee! Finally, I invite you to stand with me against the societal taboos and stigmas surrounding mental illnesses and sign NAMI’s pledge in curing the 100% curable stigma at this link!



National Suicide Prevention LifelineCall 800-273-TALK (8255) If you or someone you know is in crisis—whether they are considering suicide or not—please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline connects you with a crisis center in the Lifeline network closest to your location. Your call will be answered by a trained crisis worker who will listen empathetically and without judgment. The crisis worker will work to ensure that you feel safe and help identify options and information about mental health services in your area. Your call is confidential and free.

Crisis Text LineText NAMI to 741-741

Connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

Guest Op-ed - State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski

One hundred and seventy-one. That’s not only the age of Wisconsin but also the age of the State Treasurer’s Office. This historical constitutional office has been serving Wisconsinites since the very beginning. As I reflect on my first hundred days as treasurer, I am proud of the resilience this office has shown in rising above the political fray to serve our great state. Let me explain.

Over the past decade, there have been numerous attempts to diminish the role of the state treasurer, eroding important checks and balances. The final straw came last year, when voters were presented with the option to permanently remove this office from our Constitution. Wisconsinites responded clearly by voting overwhelmingly to protect our state’s fiscal watchdog. After I worked with a bipartisan coalition to save the office, I ran knowing I would have to roll up my sleeves and rebuild it from the ground up.

I walked into my office for the first time on January 6 of this year. The office did not have internet, the phones were disconnected and cords were hanging from the ceiling. I was, and still am, the only employee in this statewide office with a total budget of $113,500. There is no excuse for this wanton neglect of our state’s chief fiscal watchdog. The Office of the State Treasurer is self-funded, operating on revenue generated by programs supported or administered by the office. And while today there are millions of dollars of program revenue for the office, we cannot access this money to rebuild and carry out our responsibilities. Why? Because access to even a dollar of these funds requires legislative approval.

So, why does this office deserve access to these funds? There are 17 statutory responsibilities this office is required to fulfill. These include investing public money, pursuing economic security for Wisconsin taxpayers and serving as your fiscal watchdog. In our first hundred days, we have reversed policies preventing us from making sound investments. For example, through my work as chair of the school trust funds, which amount to $1.2 billion, we have overturned a climate change gag order on our investments and lifted the ban on renewable energy funding. And earlier this month, these trusts returned $36 million to fund schools and libraries.

Since taking office, we have fielded hundreds of calls, emails and visits from Wisconsinites seeking our support — and we don’t plan to stop here. Treasurers across the country are the leading voices on financial matters. Retirement is just one example of this. Over half of Americans have no retirement savings. It’s financially irresponsible to ignore this because absent a solution, it will come at a significant cost to taxpayers as well as our communities. Eighty eight percent of Wisconsinites support a state-run retirement option. I was recently appointed to a leadership role on the Retirement Task Force created by Governor Tony Evers. It’s important we consider all options to address retirement. In addition, Wisconsin has the sixth-largest percentage of graduates with outstanding student loan debt, for which annual interest rates can reach 15 percent. This inflicts an incredible burden on young people that negatively impacts our economy. And, unlike your home or car loan, there is no way to refinance student debt. The governor has proposed a student loan refinancing authority where I am part of a three-person leadership group working to reduce this liability for hard-working Wisconsinites.

What can you do to help? Please support Gov. Evers’ budget. The governor has proposed essential funding for the Treasurer’s Office that will help protect your tax dollars and build a stronger economy for everyone. Despite our skeleton organization, I will continue to serve Wisconsinites with the grit and resilience they deserve. I hope the prevailing politics holding up this office’s budget will soon be put aside. Wisconsin did vote overwhelmingly to keep its state treasurer, and, after all, money is not blue or red — it’s green!


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Neighbor of the Month - Patti Keating Kahn

This month’s neighbor of the month is Patti Keating Kahn! Patti is a Milwaukee real estate developer and philanthropist who serves as CEO of the PK2group. With the PK2group, Patti is the owner and lead developer of the Railway Exchange and Colby Abbot Buildings on Milwaukee’s East Side, and is truly committed the development and beautification of Milwaukee. In line with her development background, Patti’s philanthropy work focuses on reviving Milwaukee’s past to cultivate a better future for our wonderful city, and she was recently honored by the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee for her commitment to philanthropy in the region. Thank you Patti, for all that you do!


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Nonprofit of the Month - African American Breastfeeding Network

This month’s non-profit is African American Breastfeeding Network, Inc.! As an organization, AABN is committed to providing a comfortable and encouraging environment for African American mothers. Established in 2008 by Dalvery Blackwell and Angelia Wilks-Tate, AABN is dedicated to addressing “breastfeeding disparities by increasing awareness of the benefits and value of mother’s milk, building community allies, and de-normalizing formula use.” Their continuous support and emphasis on resources with newcomers and repeated families alike have a proven track record of success!

To learn more about the African American Breastfeeding Network and the resources they provide, check out their website here!

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Business of the Month - Crossroads Collective

This month’s business of the month is Crossroads Collective! Crossroads Collective offers a number of new and exciting restaurants (and even a speakeasy), all in a beautiful and eccentric design setting. From ribs, to vegan offerings, to hand-crafted pasta made daily, to ice cream, Crossroads Collective caters to all. To learn more, check out their website here or pay them a visit at 2238 N Farwell Ave!


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Working for You -
Visit to the Milwaukee Sign Language School

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting with the students and staff of the Milwaukee Sign Language School. I got to see a preview of the hip-hop dance crew for their May 30th performance and see all the festive decorations for “Hawaiian Day”. The public educators in our community are nothing less than amazing, and we need to treat them as such with appropriate staffing and compensation. A huge thank you to the educators and staff at MSLS for so graciously hosting me!

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Poppy is a 10 month old pitbull mix. Poppy has already been spayed, and her vaccinations are up to date. She is young, energetic, friendly and looking for a permanent home.  Her adoption fee is $100, and you can meet her today!
For more information on Poppy, click here!

Humane Society


Peabody is an almost five-year-old domestic shorthair mix ready to meet you today! He is 8 pounds, neutered, and you can name your own adoption fee.

You can learn more about Peabody here!


 Community Events

Citizenship Classes at the Milwaukee Public Library Mitchell Street Branch

Dates: June 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th

Description: Free citizenship classes presented by Voces de la Frontera every Saturday. Registration required. To be added to the waitlist call Voces de la Frontera: 414-643-1620. En la sucursal Mitchell Street se ofrecen clases gratuitas para prepararse para el examen de ciudadanía. Para registrarse, llame a Voces de la Frontera: 414-643-1620.

Cost: Free


Wisconsin Bike Week

Dates: May 31st - June 8th 

Description: Join events around Milwaukee celebrating biking.

Cost: Many are free


Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis at South Shore Park

Date: June 2nd

Description: Join Take Steps to support research of better treatments and ultimately a cure to Crohn’s Disease, Colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases. The event begins with a festival at 1:00PM, and the walk starts at 3:00PM.

Cost: Free, donations strongly encouraged


Blues & Jazz Jam with Jeff Stoll and David “Harmonica” Miller

Dates: June 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

Description: Join well known jazz musicians Jeff Stoll and David Miller at the Brewtown Eatery in Milwaukee. Jeff will be on the keyboard and vocals and will be multitasking with the bass and kit as needed, and David will be on the guitar, harmonica and vocals. Jazz and blues musicians of all sorts are welcome, so bring down your bass, guitar, kit (or snare drum & sticks), or whatever you play, and have some fun and jam on some good old standards! An amp and microphones will be provided, and personal amps are allowed as long as there’s room on the bandstand.

Cost: Free


3rd Annual MPL Job Expo at Central

Date: June 6th

Description: Need a job or are currently underemployed? Connect with high-quality employment opportunities and employers at this special job expo for unemployed and underemployed Milwaukeeans. Special employment opportunities available for ex-offenders, limited English-speakers, and teens.

Cost: Free


Innovation Day 2019 - Think Differently and Innovate Uniquely

Date: June 6th

Description: A new look at mental health with a variety of speakers and presentations. RSVP required.


Father’s Day at Milwaukee County Zoo

Date: June 16th

Description: Come to the Milwaukee County Zoo for a special treat for Father’s Day: free admission!

Cost: Free


IMPACT, Inc. at Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch  

Date: June 20th

Description: Mobile Community Resource Specialist will be available to connect individuals needing access to housing and other resources through one-on-one consultation. Drop-in only. For questions, please call the Library's Ready Reference department at (414) 286-3011.

Cost: Free

Lakefront Festival of Art

Dates: June 21st-23rd

Description: The popular, annual event brings more than 180 jury-selected artists from across the country to the Milwaukee Art Museum grounds to sell their works. Live music and entertainment, a range of food and drink options, and activities for children and adults make for three not-to-be-missed days along the lakefront.

Cost: $19 at the gate ($12 in advance) for adults, $10 for museum members, kids 12 and under free


Fun with Bubbles Story Time at Milwaukee Public Library Bay View Branch

Date: June 22nd

Description: Join us for a fun bubbly story time that combines stories, songs and rhymes with sensory play to help develop fine motor skills and problem solving skills. Depending on weather, a portion of the program may be held outside.

Cost: Free


Illusionist Ardan James at Milwaukee Public Library Washington Park Branch

Date: June 26th

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


Exhibit: "Rashes to Research: Scientists and Parents Confront the 1964 Rubella Epidemic" at Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch

Date: June 26th

Description: The “Rashes to Research” exhibition highlights the work of researchers and parents to limit the impact of rubella in the years before an effective vaccine nearly eliminated the disease from the United States. This exhibition was produced by The U.S. National Library of Medicine. More information on the research highlighted in this exhibition can be found here.

Cost: Free


Saturday Afternoons at Central for 'Tweens: Flight School at Central (MPL)

Date: June 29th

Description: Ready, steady, lift off! Try your hand at a variety of aviation experiments to make objects take flight.

Cost: Free


Military & Veterans Family Day at the Milwaukee County Zoo

Date: June 30th

Description: Join Milwaukee County Zoo for the our salute to our armed forces! To honor and thank those who serve our country, admission and parking are free for military service members, veterans and their families. Tickets are required for entry, and are available May 28 to June 28 at your local County Veterans Service Office (CVSO). Limit: 10 tickets per family.

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
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." - Rabindranath Tagore