Official Government Communication

Week of Jan. 8th- 12th, 2018

Dear Friend,

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


Taylor Expands Push for Suicide Awareness, Recognizes Wisconsin Hero Thursday, I congratulated Barb Bigalke, executive director of the Center for Suicide Awareness, for her work suicide prevention advocacy. Barb and the Center operate HOPELINE, Wisconsin’s only 24/7 suicide prevention text-based hotline. Each year, HOPELINE’s crisis-trained operators respond to residents across Wisconsin to provide immediate support and services. In 2016 alone, HOPELINE helped prevent 42 suicides. During the 2017 biannual budget, my Democratic colleagues and I introduced an omnibus motion which included funding for HOPELINE. Unfortunately, the Republicans on the committee voted the motion down. However, I am not giving up. I have spoken to several of my Republican colleagues, and in the upcoming weeks, we plan to introduce a bill to fund and help HOPELINE. I look forward to working together to address this important issue.

Milwaukee Police Chief Steps Down past Monday, Milwaukee Chief of Police Edward Flynn stepped down, effective February 16, 2018. In recent months, Chief Flynn received increasing scrutiny for his failures to keep and implement promises. Some of these failures were documented in the leaked U.S. Department of Justice draft report on the Milwaukee Police Department. The report detailed Chief Flynn’s issues in implementing community policing, creating a police force that reflects the racial, and establishing sufficient training for internal affairs investigations. In order to truly see community-police relations improve, we need a Chief of Police who is willing to listen to the community in which they serve and to enact positive change. While I appreciate the work Chief Flynn has done over these past 10 years, the time has come for the city of Milwaukee to move on.


Bill to Keep Juveniles in Juvenile System Gets Hearing week, the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety heard a bill to raise the age for juvenile court jurisdiction for first-time, non-violent juveniles from 17 to 18. During the public hearing, committee members and members of the public testified to the benefits of diverting juveniles from the adult criminal justice system. For instance, youth placed in a juvenile facility are required to continue their education. In addition, they would receive age-relevant treatment and therapeutic services. Wisconsin’s juvenile system has serious issues, most notably the alleged misconduct and abuse experienced by individuals in Lincoln Hills. However, it is important to keep the adult and juvenile systems separate while working to reform both. Juveniles have different needs and developmental capacities than adults, and cannot be treated in the same way if we want to get the results we need. I will continue to work legislatively and in the community to reform corrections, create taxpayer savings, and improve outcomes.



Voting Rights: Tested in Ohio and North Carolina Wednesday, two important court cases with serious implications for voter’s rights around the country were moved forward in Ohio and North Carolina. In Ohio, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, in which civil rights groups are challenging an Ohio law which allows for registered voters to be removed from the rolls if they go two years without “voter activity,” along with not responding to a letter from the Secretary of State. A decision should be passed down from the Court sometime mid-2018.  On the same day, a federal district court found that the manner in which GOP lawmakers had drawn congressional districts in North Carolina was “partisan gerrymandering”—meaning GOP law makers stacked the odds in their favor by intentionally drawing voting districts so they could dilute the Democratic vote. To have district maps challenged in court is not new. However, a judicial finding which explicitly states that district lines were drawn to advantage one party is unprecedented.

This casts an even brighter spotlight on a similar case—this one before the Supreme Court—right here in our own state, Gill v. Whitford (argued Oct. 3rd, 2017) , in which the Supreme Court will be ruling on whether the redistricting enacted by Governor Walker and Republican leadership 2011 violates Wisconsin residents’ First Amendment rights by systematically diluting Democratic votes. The impending ruling could not be more important to our state or the country, as it impacts a fundamental principle of our democracy: that each individual’s voice and vote is equal to all others.





Wisconsin’s Black Infant Mortality Highest in the Nation early January, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Wisconsin had the highest black infant mortality rate in the nation, with 14.3 deaths per 1,000 African-American babies compared to the national average of 11.1 deaths per 1,000 between 2013 – 2015. This is nearly 1.7 times higher than the rate in Massachusetts, which had the lowest rate in the nation. Not only are we last in the nation for black infant mortality, but we also lead the nation in racial disparities in infant mortality rates. Infant mortality rates for African-Americans are nearly three times that of white infants. These outcomes are unacceptable and demonstrate yet another statistic showing the extreme racial disparities in Wisconsin. Most recently, Wisconsin ranked dead last in the nation for racial equality, second worst in the nation for racial disparities in the labor market, and second worst in the nation for racial disparities in incarceration







Events and Opportunities



King Fest


12:00 - 1:00 PM

January 15th, 2018

Wisconsin Black Historical Museum 

2620 W Center St.

Milwaukee, WI 53206


 View Details Here



Talking Animation with J.J. Sedelmaier


5:00 - 9:00 PM

January 19th, 2018

MSOE Grohmann Muesem-Man at Work Art Collection

1000 N. Broadway .

Milwaukee, WI 53202


View Details Here



Winterfest at Boerner Botanical Gardens



10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

January 22nd, 2018

 Boerner Botanical Gardens

9400 Boerner Dr. 

Hales Corners, WI 53130



View Details Here







 Quote of the Week:

"This is not a healthy direction to go in and only tries to minimalize individuals being engaged."

-Senator Lena C. Taylor, on purposed rioting bill. See bill Here.

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