Official Government Communication

Week of Feb. 26th - March 4th

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


Juvenile Justice Bill Informational Hearing Tuesday this week, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety held an Informational Hearing on Senate Bill 807, the juvenile corrections bill that includes some of the reforms I have been working to make a reality for much of my legislative career. The bill has been passed by the Assembly, and I expect to see it on the Senate floor in March so we can send it to the Governor. I’m hoping the action we’ve taken to shut down Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake will set an example for legislators across the country and motivate them to take a closer look at the way troubled youth are treated. In particular, I am happy with county-based juvenile corrections centers the bill provides for—they will allow for more rehabilitative programming and keep youth offenders closer to home and family. As happy as I am that my colleagues and I were able to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans to accomplish a portion of our juvenile justice agenda, it is very disappointing that years went by before meaningful action has been taken to respond to the crisis at Lincoln Hills. Senate Bill 807 is a good first step, but my work on corrections reform is far from over, and I promise to continue the fight for a better system.


Black History Month Lobby Day week, I helped coordinate the Black History Month Lobby Day at the Capitol. Community, business and Greek Letter organizations were among the attendees who came to learn more about the issues and causes they champion.  I am an alumna member of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority and it was a pleasure to greet so many AKA members.  It was an honor to bring these young women together with the Black and Latino Caucus and help connect them to state legislators.

Attendees were able to hear from various members of the caucus, learn about the work they do and the impact they have on the state. It was an informative exchange, filled with spirited questions and energy for solutions.  In addition, Ruben Hopkins, President of the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce, joined the panel discussion and issued the Call to Action surrounding civic engagement and advocacy. 


Celebrating Dr. Seuss' Birthday, I had the pleasure of visiting Capital West Academy to celebrate Read Across America Day, in honor of the beloved author Dr. Seuss’ birthday. During my visit I read a couple of books to students, including Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. I also spoke with students about the importance of reading, not just when you are young or in school, but as a life-long habit. According to the U.S. Department of Education, avid reading promotes better skills acquisition, superior grades, and a desirable life. Sadly, literacy is a real problem in Wisconsin. The Department of Education has found that over seven percent of people over 16 are classified as illiterate in our state, with Milwaukee County coming in at 9.5 percent, which ranks third worst in the state. Those numbers are why it’s so important to promote reading at any young age.  I also really like “Green Eggs and Ham”!

Visiting Milwaukee Women's Correctional Center's%20Correctional%20facility%20final.jpgI visited the Milwaukee Women’s Correctional Center, this week, as a continued commitment to work alongside the Department of Corrections to improve our justice system.  These visits are often inspiring and challenging.  As you talk with the center’s incarcerated women and facility administrators, you realize the inherent challenges within the system and how easy it is to hamper rehabilitation and indirectly impact recidivism.  We have to do our part to ensure that residents who have made mistakes are given the resources--that may include education, training, soft skills, mental health treatment and medical care--needed to return them to the community ready to contribute. 

My office receives on average 20-30 letters a week from inmates incarcerated within the Department of Corrections, often requesting assistance or to voice concerns about treatment or programming deficiencies. In the coming months, I will be visiting various institutions to listen to and understand the concerns of those that are incarcerated, administrators, and the staff charged with their care. Adult and juvenile justice reform continues to be a legislative priority for me.


Meeting With WAAL Thursday, I met with the Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers to discuss the issue of diversity within our state’s legislature, and the work that needs to be done to ensure that our statehouse mirrors the diversity of our population. Of the 132 seats in the legislature, only six are occupied by African- Americans, with three by Latinos. Additionally, very few minorities comprise the staff of legislative offices and some state agencies.  If we want to create an effective, representative government, our legislature must include Senators, Representatives, staff, and interns from minority and underrepresented groups.  We need to ensure that those groups understand the opportunities that exist for them in state government and encourage their participation, as well as the recruitment, hiring and retention of candidates of color.


Keeping it Real with Mike Scrill Thursday, I appeared on a community talk show with host Mike Scrill to discuss business and entrepreneurship in Milwaukee. Mike’s an entrepreneur himself, with an internet radio show and You Tube channel based out of the Milwaukee Mall.  On his show Keeping It Real with Mike Scrill he regularly interviews up and coming entrepreneurs.  Viewers are able to hear advice and information from business owners and policy makers regarding the key steps towards business start-up and the challenges they may face along the way. We discussed state and federal programs available to provide training and grants to individuals looking to get a head start including Fast Forward, job subsidies and technical support from Wisconsin’s many Chambers of Commerce. It was great to discuss the need to create a pipeline to high demand industries, something I’ve stressed in my LOVE&FAITH initiative, which brings together a variety of industries to help people access needed resources.


30th Street Corridor Reception This week, I stopped by the 30th Street Industrial Corridor Reception. The event was an opportunity for community members, legislators, and stakeholders to learn about the Corridor’s Strategic Plan for 2018.  Often just called the “The Corridor,” the organization is a Business Improvement District (BID) based on Milwaukee’s north side that focuses on economically developing the area. The organization aims to attract and retain industrial and commercial businesses, thereby creating meaningful work and economic security for residents.  Specifically they seek to connect business owners with the community, improve the safety and security of the area, improve the image and environment of the district and to provide technical assistance and support to businesses that comprise the district.


Intern Spotlight Friday, I am happy to be bringing back our weekly Intern Spotlight! Each week going forward, an intern from our team will interview and write a short bio for another intern. This week’s bio has been written by Isaac Alter, who is working in my capitol office. Isaac is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Journalism and Political Science. Take it away Isaac!

Yi Wu is one of the casework interns working in Senator Taylor’s capitol office. Yi is from Beijing, China and is a junior at UW- Madison, where he is majoring in both political science and legal studies. After college he wants to work for an international organization. He would like to work for one that focuses on international affairs or human rights. Working for Senator Taylor is not the first time Yi has worked in government. In China he worked for the village council which he said is the grassroots organization of the Chinese political system. Yi wanted to work in Senator Taylor’s office so that he could learn more about American domestic politics. Specifically, he said he thought he could learn a lot from the Senator because of her history of strong leadership. He also liked that the Senator has a history of working on legal reforms, another passion of his.







Events and Opportunities



Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

March 3rd


10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Milwaukee Public Library Central Library

814 W. Wisconsin Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53233


Event Details Here


International Woman's Day Display 

March 3-9th


All Day Event

Milwaukee City Hall  

200 E. Wells St.

Milwaukee, WI 53202

Event Details Here


Harriet Tubman House: An Armchair Tour

March 5th


6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Milwaukee Public Library- Atkinson Branch

1960 W. Atkinson Avenue

Milwaukee, WI


Event Details Here


Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidate Forum 

March 6th

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Milwaukee Area Technical College-Main Building
700 W. Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Event Details Here


Women Against Hate

March 8th


5:30 PM

Milwaukee City Hall

200 E. Wells Street

Milwaukee, WI 53202


Event Details Here



 Quote of the Week:

"Whoever thought that 50 years later, we'd still be talking about the same thing? That's kinda sad." 

-Fred Harris on the increase in the racial inequality gap since when he was on the Kerner Commission 50 years ago.

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.

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