November 5, 2021


Redistricting Update

Last week, the Assembly State Affairs Committee and the Senate Government Operations Committee heard over eight hours of testimony on Assembly Bills 624 and 625, which establish the new legislative and congressional maps for the upcoming decade. You can view interactive maps of the proposed districts here.

On Monday, the State Affairs Committee, on which I sit, will take a vote on whether or not to recommend these maps for passage. This comes after the Senate Government Operations, Legal Review, and Consumer Protection Committee voted this week to recommend the maps for passage.

This past Wednesday also featured the release of the final proposed maps from the governor's hand-selected "People's Maps Commission" (Assembly, State Senate, and Congressional).

Upon further analysis, the governor's maps fail on several levels.

  • Population Deviation: The difference in population between the largest and smallest districts, which should be as close to zero as possible to preserve the principle of "one person, one vote" is 1.87% in the governor's map. Under the legislative maps, this number is 0.76%--more than a percentage point lower!
  • Municipal Splits: While some splitting is unavoidable, a good map should aim to split as few municipalities and counties as possible. The governor's map splits 142, compared to 101 in the legislature's maps.
  • Minority-Majority Seats: There are currently six districts with a majority of minority voters. The governor's maps reduce this to just two, compared to the legislature's maps, which increase them to seven.

The governor's commission failed to follow most of its own guidance. For example, its website claims that "when comparing potential redistricting plans, the PMC will favor the plans that split municipalities and counties into as few pieces as possible." This obviously did not happen. Municipal splits typically occur as a consequence of equalizing district populations, yet as previously mentioned, the governor's maps end up underperforming on both metrics.

As a member of the committee responsible for vetting the proposed maps, rest assured that I will continue examining this important legislation as we prepare to take a vote.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is next Thursday, which honors all 41 million Americans, both living and dead, who have served and fought for our country since its founding. There are estimated to be over 371,000 veterans living in Wisconsin. We all owe them our heartfelt gratitude for their service to our nation.

Drug Take Back Day Recap

I'm happy to report that Wisconsin's Drug Take Back Day collection was the largest in the country. Thank you to all who participated--over 260 law enforcement agencies collected 57,377 lbs. of unwanted medications on October 23rd. This program helps protect patients, addicts, and the environment.

If you were unable to participate and have expired or unneeded medications, you can find your nearest permanent drug drop box here.

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday. Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday night, and enjoy your extra hour of sleep!

Community Events


Event: Germantown Christmas Festival and Parade
Date and Time: November 13th from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (parade); 2:30 PM to 4:45 PM (festival)
Location: Firemen's Park (festival); Parade starts at Pilgrim Rd and Sylvan Circle, follows Fond du Lac Ave/Main St/Park Ave and ends at Firemen's Park
Description: Activities, cookies/hot chocolate, and live music, with Official Firemen's Park Christmas Tree lighting at 4:30 PM. The festival is sponsored by Gehl Food & Beverage and the parade by Enviro-Safe Resource Recovery. Read more info about the festival (here) and parade (here).

Menomonee Falls

Event: Holiday Market and Vendor Fair
Date and Time: November 7th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Location: The Schwabenhof - N56 W14750 Silver Spring Dr
Description: Free admission. Food and handmade products from local vendors. Schnitzel or goulash dinners will be served from 12:00 to 2:30pm. More here.

River Hills

Event: American Red Cross Blood Drive
Date and Time
: November 10th from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
: St. Christopher's Episcopal Church - 7845 N River Rd
: Schedule an appointment here.