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Contents

Feature - National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Feature - National Hispanic Heritage Month

Feature - Preparedness Month

Working for You

Neighbor of the Month

Nonprofit of the Month

Business of the Month

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 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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National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September has been designated as Suicide Awareness Month nationally, which helps draw attention to an extremely important topic that, unfortunately, often times goes ignored and not properly discussed. As of 2017, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 34, and the rate of suicide has increased nearly 33% from 1999 to 2017 -- reaching the highest level since World War II. Suicide can be a sensitive topic to discuss with friends, family members, and loved ones, but even a simple talk can save lives. Not everyone knows how to approach someone who is feeling depressed or suicidal, but the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is sharing five steps through their #BeThe1To campaign that can help when communicating with someone who is suicidal. 

Step One is to just simply ask a person “how are you hurting?” or “how are you feeling?” These questions open the door to dialogue and let the person know that they are not alone and you are willing to help them and listen to their feelings. Step Two is ensuring the safety of anyone who is thinking of harming themselves by asking “how much have you thought about suicide?” and askling about specific plans. Knowing those details can ensure that you are in a position to create a response plan and have the necessary time to contact authorities and groups that can intervene before an attempt. A third important step is simply being there for the person. People who are dealing with depression and have suicidal thoughts often times feel as though they are alone and have no one to turn to. Reassuring them and giving them contact information for professionals who can help is an important step in ensuring that the person knows they are not alone and that they have people to turn to when they are struggling. Step Four is connecting the person with help and support systems including mental health professionals, community resources, and national organizations such as the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. These community and national centers and mental health professionals are equipped with the training needed to discuss, listen, and help anyone with suicidal thoughts or depression. Finally, following up is vital. Check in with the person via text, email, or a phone call to ensure that they are doing well and to let them know that you are still there for them if needed.

 Suicidal thoughts and depression can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex, or gender. Letting a loved one or friend know you are there for them and willing to help them is important regardless of their current mental health stability. Everyone needs a friend, a person to talk to, or someone to just sit with them. Be that person to someone in your life, you never know what a conversation will do. If you or anyone you know has suicidal thoughts or is threatening to harm themselves, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or other resources such as local community centers or mental health professionals.

National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month! What started as a week-long event in 1968 under President Johnson has evolved into a month-long commemoration and celebration of the cultures, histories, and contributions of Americans whose families come from Hispanic countries. The mid-month to mid-month timing of the heritage month has a deep meaning and connection to Hispanic cultures, countries, and peoples as September 15th marks the day that Latin American countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras gained their independence with Mexico and Chile gaining independence in the following days, September 16th and 18th, respectively. October 12th also marks Día de la Raza, a large community gathering that celebrates Hispanic heritage and peoples. 

 

Hispanic Heritage Month has taken on a new meaning with the Trump Administration’s demonization of Hispanic-American culture and Hispanic culture at large and its outrageous claims against immigrants. Actions including ramped-up ICE raids, derogatory and inflammatory speeches, and rejection of asylum seekers have wrongly alienated many Hispanic-Americans across the country. Hispanic-Americans make up 16.7% of the population in this country and are key contributors to what helps make our nation strong - its diversity. A rejection of Hispanic culture and peoples is a rejection of American culture and peoples. Hispanic-Americans have the same value systems, work ethics, and goals as other Americans and to single out a specific segment of our population and reject immigrants from Latin American countries goes against everything we as Americans stand for and our nation’s identity. Etched under the Statue of Liberty are the words, 

 

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door”. 

 

We need not to forget these powerful words, but to honor and recognize them. 

 

Wherever you are this month, take the time to recognize the history and the accomplishments of Hispanic-Americans. There are many. From the obvious answers of labor leader Cesar Chavez and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, to the lesser-known accomplishments of Sylvia Mendez, whose instrumental role in the Supreme Court case Mendez v. Westminster paved the way for integration and the American Civil Rights Movement, or Elena Ochoa, who was the first Hispanic woman to go into space and later became the Director of the Johnson Space Center.

September into October is a month of celebration for our Hispanic American neighbors and with that, prominent Hispanic-Americans and Hispanic-American achievements in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin and the rest of the country should be celebrated. Here are just a few of many:

 

Maria Watts, Senior Business and Community Engagement Officer for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority has served Milwaukee and Wisconsin citizens for 24 years, including  as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for UMOS. Watts has worked hard on the Transform Milwaukee initiative which is a comprehensive, public-private initiative that seeks to expand community investments, increase business development, boost job creation and strengthen neighborhoods.

 

Luz Sosa, a Milwaukee native originally from Paraguay, has organized gatherings to demand an end to family separation and inhumane practices of organizations. Sosa is also currently the Latino Outreach Organizer for Citizen Action of Wisconsin. 

 

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (of Puerto Rican descent) became the youngest woman to ever serve in United States Congress. 

 

Voces de la Frontera, a Milwaukee-based immigrants’ rights organization works hard year-round to provide services to and advocacy for Wisconsin’s immigrant populations, including spearheaded the “Día Sin Latinxs” rally and strike at the Capitol in which thousands of Wisconsin residents from 17 cities demanded that the state grant drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. 

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Preparedness Month

This year, Governor Evers has declared September as Preparedness Month in Wisconsin which coincides with National Preparedness Month. Disasters happen, and Wisconsin is no stranger to natural disasters. Once-in-a-generation storms, such as last year’s unprecedented polar vortex which pushed wind chills to -40 or -50 degrees, and winter storms such as the one that dumped 15 inches of snow on Sheboygan are happening more and more frequently. By designating a month to preparedness in Wisconsin, Gov. Evers has taken a great step in order to ensure the safety and well-being of all Wisconsinites. 

 

ReadyWisconsin has published a list of steps and four key areas that Wisconsinites should follow and update to be more prepared for strong storms, floods, or other natural disasters. Natural disasters and storms are very costly to the state, especially for individuals and families. ReadyWisconsin states that each person should review their insurance plans to ensure that they have adequate coverage for their homes and other properties while also building up a savings account and having copies of important financial documents. A savings account can help ensure that families have the necessary money to survive while they are out of work due to the storms or help pay for repairs once the event passes. Having copies of important financial documents can save the hassle of re-ordering or having to send for copies of important information while also making certain that families have access in general to these important documents. ReadyWisconsin also identifies creating and updating disaster plans as a key area that many families often times forget. Having family emergency and communications plans can help families recognize who they should contact in times of emergency and can make certain that families know where to go or meet in times of disaster. If a disaster hits, having a disaster kit with non-perishable food, water, and medicines can save your life or support you until help arrives. Additionally, children are often a forgotten piece in the preparedness puzzle, and by teaching your children about your disaster plan, they will know who to contact and where to go in case of disaster. On the flipside, updating your child's emergency contacts and pickups with your school will allow for the school and your community to help your child should you be stuck due to the disaster or otherwise unavailable to pick your child up. Communities need to come together in times of disaster. Preparing together as a community can aid and better prepare your community for any disaster should one hit. Local community centers typically identify and have a list of community members who might need help the most, and volunteer organizations can target and help the areas of the community most in need following disasters. 


ReadyWisconsin is one of many sources available to help teach you how to prepare and respond to disasters, and can help ensure that you and your family know what to do in case of a natural emergency. By following their key steps and exploring their website, Wisconsinites can take solace and pride in their preparedness. Natural disasters happen frequently in our state and are costly both in terms of economic impact and community destruction - September Preparedness Month helps ensure that our local communities and state are better equipped to handle disaster.

 
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Neighbor of the Month - Carmen Pitre

This month’s neighbor of the month is Carmen Pitre! Carmen is the President and CEO of Milwaukee’s Sojourner Family Peace Center which was established in 1975. The Sojourner Family Peace Center’s mission is to ensure the safety of victims of family violence while also providing pathways out of violence by aiming to help affected families achieve safety, justice, and well being. Currently, Sojourner is the largest non-profit provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services in the state, serving 9,500 clients a year on average. Carmen has been a frequent guest on local radio shows and television programs in order to promote the mission of Sojourner. In addition to her work with Sojourner, Carmen is a past chair of the City of Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault and was also an appointed member of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Victim Rights Board. Additionally, she is the current chair of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Violence Against Women Advisory Committee and is also a founding member of the VAWA Human Trafficking Sub-Committee. Thank you Carmen for all that you have done and continue to do!

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Nonprofit of the Month - Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee

This month’s non-profit is Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee (PSGM)! PSGM is a non-profit coalition of volunteers that represent local agencies and organizations and the Milwaukee community at large. PSGM seeks to reduce the number of completed and attempted suicides through community awareness, training, and education. PSGM is actively seeking community volunteers and new members to their coalition and is a ‘no pressure’ coalition, allowing members to attend meetings or workshops that best fit into their schedule. To learn more, check them out at their website here!

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Business of the Month - MOR Bakery & Cafe

This month’s business of the month is MOR Bakery and Cafe! MOR is a local Milwaukee bakery established in 2016 that serves a range of organic and gluten free goods including cookies, brownies, and quick breads. MOR commits itself to creating small batches of goods made from the highest quality ingredients found locally. Grab-and-go items such as parfaits, salads, and puddings have recently become available and breakfast and lunch offerings will be available soon! MOR is located at 2018 S 1st St, Unit 102 in Bayview. For more information, check out their website here!

Working for You - Suicide Prevention Task Force

Earlier this year, I was selected to serve as a member of the Task Force on Suicide Prevention. Over the past few months, the Task Force and I traveled to communities throughout Wisconsin, including here in the Milwaukee area, to hear from local advocates, organizations, and community members whose sole goal is to lower the suicide rate in Wisconsin and save the lives of Wisconsinites in crisis. Over the course of the hearings, we heard feedback and testimony from the Departments of of Justice, Corrections, and Military Affairs as well as groups such as Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee and various health experts throughout the state. Suicide is one of the most pressing issues our state and country faces. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but rather a common cause we need to unite behind. I am proud to support organizations such as PSGM and HOPELINE whose goals are to provide a lifeline and experienced crisis counselors to those in need. Saving lives cannot become a partisan or political issue, which is why funding and supporting organizations such as HOPELINE and others is critical to our state and local communities.

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MADACC

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Alice Alice is a 7 year old female Pittie mix. Her adoption fee is $75 and she is ready to meet you today!

For more information about Alice click here.

Humane Society

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Emma Emma is a nearly 6 year old domestic shorthair mix who may be super shy when you first meet her, but she’s worth all the coaxing and sweet talk. And after you adopt her, don't be surprised if the first thing she does is investigate all the great places to hide! 

For more information about Emma click here.

 

 Community Events

Milwaukee Brewing Oktoberfest

Dates: 9/20-9/22

Description: “Located at Milwaukee Brewing Company – 9th Street, the big beer tent and outdoor beer garden will offer the perfect mix of tradition and party featuring fresh beer and live music! The event is completely free to enter. Beverages and food can be purchased at the bar or restaurant with cash/credit.  Serving several Milwaukee Brewing Company German beers, guests are welcome to buy a drink package or beer by the glass.”

Costs: Event is free to the public with drink packages sold separately.  

Location: Milwaukee Brewing Company - 9th Street, 1128 N 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233

 

Milwaukee Public Library: Community Healthcare Access Program (CHAP) at Central

Dates: 9/26, 10AM-12PM

Description: “Assists community members in determining their options under the Affordable Care Act by evaluating whether they qualify for free or low-cost health insurance, or helping them find a health insurance plan that fits their needs and their budget. CHAP can also assist in enrollment or provide referrals for enrollment in FoodShare, WIC, energy assistance, tax preparation, dental services, and free and sliding-fee clinics.”

Costs: Free 

Location: Milwaukee Public Library, Center Street Library Conference Room, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53232

 

The Great American Read’s "Blind Date With a Book"

Date: 9/27, 11AM

Descriptions: “Join us in September for Blind Date With A Book events at the Milwaukee Public Market. Get a free, gently-used book, compliments of Literacy Services of Wisconsin's donors. Choose from a selection of mysteriously wrapped books with vague descriptions on them. Enjoy your meal while getting to know your new novel a little better. You may stumble upon a genre you never thought you'd like, or an author you've never heard of before. You might even get paired up with one of the 100 novels selected for PBS's Great American Read.”

Costs: Free

Location: Milwaukee Public Market, 400 N. Water Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

Bayview Park(ing) Day

Date: 9/28, 9am-3pm

Description: Nine Bay View businesses will transform their parking spaces into people places on Saturday, September 28th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Join us in Bay View as we transform select parking spaces into vibrant ‘third spaces’ where people can informally gather, socialize, hang out and play. PARK(ing) Day was founded by the Rebar Group, Inc, a San Francisco art and design studio, in 2005 to raise awareness of the need for public spaces for pedestrians to enhance the quality of urban life. This annual world wide event is an experiment in reclaiming public space for people.

Costs: Free

Location: Various locations along Kinnickinnic Ave, Howell Ave, and Ward St

 

Under the Mesoamerican Sky 

Date: 10/3, 6-8PM

Description: “Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month at the UWM Planetarium’s ‘Under the Mesoamerican Sky’. Cosponsored by the Roberto Hernandez Center and UWM Union Sociocultural Programming, this star party will take a look at the sky through the cultural perspectives of various Latin American countries. The live program includes a musical performance by Browns Crew, free food, and a simulated stargazing show in the planetarium’s dome free of light pollution.”

Costs: Free Admission, donations encouraged and appreciated 

Location: Klotsche Center at UWM, 3409 N. Downer Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53211

 

AIDS Walk Wisconsin

Date: 10/5, 9:30AM

Description: “Taking place along Milwaukee’s lakefront, the event has brought together more than 112,000 walkers and volunteers since 1990, who raise pledges to help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. The event starts and finishes at the Summerfest Grounds. Highlights include morning entertainment and activities, continental breakfast and an opening program with special guests. The route is fully supported with themed rest stops, medical support, and food/water.”

Costs:$30 registration fee for 5K run($35 for day-of registration)

Location: 200 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

Milwaukee National College Fair

Date: 10/6, 12-3PM

Description: “Free and open to the public, National College Fairs allow students to interact with admission representatives from a wide range of postsecondary institutions. Is it time to decide which post secondary option is right for you? Plan to attend the Milwaukee National College Fair for information”

Costs: Free

Location: Wisconsin Center, 400 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203

 

Kohl’s Art Generation - Family Sundays, Dia De Los Muertos 

Date: 10/13, 10am-4pm

Description: “Celebrate loved ones through art making, music, and more during this annual cultural event. Explore the colors and symbols of Day of the Dead in hands-on art activities, and enjoy folkloric dance by Dance Academy of Mexico. Bring a picture or write the name of someone special who has passed away to add to the community ofrenda (altar).”

Costs: Contact artgeneration@mam.org or 414-224-3200 for admissions information and pricing.

Location: Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202

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
Inspirational quote