Official Government Communication

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my email newsletter. There is a lot happening at the State Capitol and it is my hope that this email will help you stay in touch with your government. As your Senator, I truly believe in public service. If there is anything my office can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us.

Here to serve,      

Sen. Lena Taylor

4th District

Chief of Staff promotes education for veterans as special speaker chief of staff, Donna Shepard, spoke at the MATC Downtown Milwaukee campus on September 16th. Donna was invited to be a special speaker for the Fall 2015 Connection Reception of the Military Education Support Office (MESO.) MESO is a valuable resource for student veterans. It helps them understand eligibility for state and federal benefits and provides advising and counseling services in addition to the services available through MATC, to support academic success. There are many educational benefits available to veterans, and I am committed to connecting them with the services that will benefit them most. Promoting MESO is just one way that my staff and I extend our thanks to all who have served our country in the military.

“Ban the Box” legislation for Wisconsin don't just talk the talk; I walk the walk. I believe in second chances and if someone commits a crime and does their time, they deserve a fair chance to earn a living. In response to a bi-partisan bill recently introduced in Congress by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) that removes the box on federal employment applications asking whether job seekers have a past felony conviction, I will be re-introducing my state “Ban the Box” bill.

Many states surrounding Wisconsin have some variation of “Ban the Box,” including Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. I acknowledge that banning the box is not a cure-all to the problems faced by those with a felony record.  However, it will increase job opportunities for a population that struggles to move beyond their mistakes in an effort to fully reintegrate into society. I firmly believe that as legislators we should work to remove barriers to employment for those re-entering the workforce, and I look forward to working with a bipartisan group of legislators to bring this legislation to Wisconsin. To read more about why "the box" is so outdated, see my guest column.

Milwaukee receives $30M federal grant for Westlawn Housing Project Monday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that Milwaukee is one of just five cities in the nation to receive a $30 million federal grant which will go, in Milwaukee’s case, toward redeveloping Westlawn public housing and the neighborhoods surrounding it on the city's northwest side. This grant will help fund a transformation plan that involves 708 mixed-income units, including tearing down and replacing nearly 400 units at Westlawn. Receiving this grant is a huge victory for our community.

Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Nani Coloretti, said in a news conference that “in recent decades this area has faced its share of economic adversity. Development has been too limited and investment has been too scarce. But despite these challenges Westlawn has always been rich with ideas, talent and the resiliency of its people.” I couldn’t agree more with Ms. Coloretti, both about the difficulties Westlawn has faced and about the character of its residents. That is why I am so excited about the plans for redevelopment beginning with ground breaking this spring.

Lions, tigers, and bears in my committee hearing! recent allegations of a lion sighting in Milwaukee, my Judiciary and Public Safety Committee members and I were not surprised to see Senate Bill 241, creating legislation to regulate the ownership and care of exotic animals.  What seemed to be a no-brainer on the legislation had many twists for the people that showed up to testify.  Although I was attending a meeting at the White House at the time of committee, I attended by phone and my policy director asked a number of questions on my behalf regarding the clause in the bill that would allow people who currently own these animals in their home to keep them until their death.  There were no provisions made for insurance liability in the event the animal attacked someone, nor to insure that the owner could adequately house, feed, or care for the animal.  There was no real strategy for tracking these animals nor making first responders aware of the existence of such animals in a home.  The bill is a good start, and hopefully with amendments by the author recommended by myself and others, Wisconsin will no longer be one of only five states in the U.S. that have no laws regulating this ownership among private owners.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month September 28th, data from the 2014 Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report was released.  Forty-three Wisconsin residents lost their lives in connection to domestic violence last year.  The numbers for those that survive this form of abuse are staggering. In 2012, 28,729 domestic abuse incidents were reported to law enforcement and referred to Wisconsin district attorneys’ offices. Nearly half of all victims were 18-29 years old; 25% of victims were 30-39 years old; 19% of victims were 40-49 years old, and 15% of victims were 50 years of age and older. Nationally, those figures jump to more than 10 million women and men annually, who are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.  Domestic violence thrives when we are silent. It harms our communities, weakens the foundation of our nation and hurts those we love most.

Much like the civic groups who participated in the Purple Ribbon Walk right outside my capitol office last week, as legislators we have an ability to raise awareness regarding this troubling issue.  In Milwaukee, the Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women Walk partnered with the Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Police Chief Ed Flynn, and a host of others to acknowledge our progress, remind of us of the work that remains, and avow the right that every human being has to live without fear.

I introduced a resolution designating October 2015 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Wisconsin. I hope you will join in this opportunity to provide information, resources, and recognize the work of those organizations committed to reducing domestic violence for Wisconsin families.





Stay in touch:


    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810

Community Events:

Joint Public Hearing on 2016 Proposed Budget Monday Oct. 5, 6:30pm, City Hall. More details and agenda here.

'Dental Day' offers free dental exams for Head Start students! Saturday Oct. 3, 8am-noon at Marquette's Dental School. Full info here.

Restoration Celebration with ice cream and cake to celebrate post-sediment removal restoration. Tuesday Oct. 6, 11pm Lincoln Park. Full details in facebook event.



 Video of the Week:

Can't make it to the Capitol? Let me be your tour guide.

Click the video above to see the latest Taylor Talk: Capitol Tour!

This is an official government communication from Sen. Lena C. Taylor. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to send me an email to unsubscribe.






Madison Office - 608-266-5810

Room 5, South Wing
State Capitol , P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707-7882