Official Government Communication

Week of March 12th-18th

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


Panelist for Women Leading Wisconsin morning, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with local women in leadership to discuss the challenges we face on the road to equity and parity. I recalled some of my role models, women who inspired me to keep fighting, even in the face of opposition. In politics, women such as Vel Phillips, Gwen Moore and Judy Robson were testaments to just how much a woman could achieve, even in an arena dominated by men. I can’t stress how important it is to have role models and mentors, people to look towards for inspiration during the good times and the bad. Aside from the women in politics, I had many mentors from my home in Milwaukee. I can never forget where I came from or how hard the leaders of my community worked to provide for all of us. How could I do any less? After all, as one of the only African-American women in Wisconsin’s State Senate, I represent an entire community of people whose voices have gone unheard for far too long. As President Barack Obama once said, “the path ahead of us isn’t a ladder, but a jungle gym. The twists and turns, the moments where you almost fall, they will all come together to shape who you are at the end.” I hope you all can learn from every one of your experiences and find inspiration in the climbs of those around you. 


Pearls for Teen Girls: 10th Annual Women Inspired to Lead Thursday, I attended the 10th Annual “Women Inspired to Lead” event hosted by one of my favorite youth organizations, Pearls for Teen Girls.  Their goal is to inspire young women by providing them with guidance and tools for self-development. I got to hear from many of Milwaukee’s future leaders, the fierce and formidable young professionals who have already done so much to inspire those around them and give back to the community. I also met some of the young women involved with the Pearls for Teen Girls program and was thrilled to hear about all the work they’ve done and their goals for the future. The event’s keynote speaker was Jennifer Buffett, Co-President of one of the most accomplished women’s advocacy groups of our time, The NoVo Foundation. Jennifer highlighted the untapped potential in young girls from the United States and around the world. She reminded attendees that women’s perseverance, in the face of, and despite, sexism, is exactly what makes us the best catalysts for change in our society. It was inspiring to see a program like NoVo creating opportunities for young women to connect with professionals and providing them with the tools to pursue education, employment and philanthropy. I’ve spent my time as a Senator fighting, and advocating for women. We’ve made so much progress, and the people I met at this event were a testament to that, but there will always be more to be done. I continue to be honored to work with and inspired by Wisconsin’s young women.


Student 17-minute Walkout was an inspiring reminder of what democracy looks like, and just how much can be accomplished by the young people of this country. Across the nation, students walked out to demand action after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida. Students stepped out of class for 17 minutes, one for each of the individuals shot down in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day of this year. Many of Wisconsin’s youth gathered in the State Capitol to let legislators know that they are ready to bring the fight to the ballot box and get rid of politicians who are bought and paid for by special interests. Politicians cannot continue to prioritize special interests over student safety. I was incredibly proud to see so many young people actively engaged in the political process. We cannot allow school shootings to become normalized, and at the end of the day thoughts and prayers must be turned into policy and action. I believe, as I think we all do, that school should be sanctuaries for our kids. They should be places where they learn, grow, and make memories.



Judiciary Executive Hearing was an important day for one of the most important issues of my legislative career: juvenile justice reform. The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety met to discuss a number of bills, most importantly SB 807. I co-authored the bill in hopes of making long lasting changes to the way we handle youth corrections in Wisconsin and the stop the pipeline to prison that’s torn apart so many families. There is no denying the deep rooted problems in our juvenile justice system, most notably the lack of resources and abuse of young people at Lincoln Hills. As we were finally able to work across the isle on real juvenile justice reform, my goal was to produce legislation that would ensure young people leaving the juvenile justice system aren’t leaving worse off than when they arrived.

I also co-sponsored AB 111 which was discussed at the hearing. This important piece of legislation provides a criminal penalty to individuals who threaten to use a firearm on school property to injure or kill a person. In the wake of the tragic shooting in Parkland, FL, we were reminded that we simply cannot afford to stand by as legislators or citizens. We must protect all individuals from the physical and emotional effects of gun violence and work to make sure that fatal shootings like Sandy Hook and Stoneman Douglas never happen again. SB 807 and AB 111 are both steps in the right direction to ensure that all individuals within our community are given a safe environment to learn, and provided with the tools to improve their circumstances and our communities as a whole.


SB 807: Bill Gutting the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Executive Session this week, Senate Bill 807, the bipartisan juvenile justice legislation, was voted out of committee as amended by a substitute amendment introduced by Chairman Wanggaard. The substitute amendment essentially gutted the meaningful changes in the bill, leaving only the mandatory closure of Lincoln Hills. Closure of Lincoln Hills is of course a positive step, but the bill was created to be far more than that. The bipartisan group of legislators that came together to make this bill happen intended for it be a transformational change to our juvenile justice system. It was supposed to be the meaningful action that activists and legislators like myself have been working for for years to make happen. Moving juvenile detention facilities to a county-based model to keep the youth closer to home and funding evidenced-based programming to reduce recidivism is in the best interest of the public. After the Assembly passed their version of the bill quickly, it had to go through the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to make it to the Senate floor. At the 11th hour, it was gutted by a small group of Senate Republicans with a substitute amendment. Now, the work of everyone may be used as political bargaining chips when we meet for the final Senate floor session.


Intern Spotlight
Each week, Isaac Alter, a communications intern in my Capitol office, writes a short feature on a fellow intern working in the office. Take it away Isaac! Kataria is one of the policy interns in Senator Taylor’s office. Navya is from Dubai, and is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is majoring in economics and mathematics. Growing up in Dubai she went to British international schools, which she says are more specialized in their curricula, so for college she wanted to experience the US higher education scene. After college Navya would like to work on monetary policy--ideally for the International Monetary Fund. Navya decided to work in Senator Taylor’s office because of her interest in policy, and she could not pass up the opportunity to work in the State Capitol. So far her favorite part of working in the office has been getting to see the Senate in session, working on preparing topsheets for bills, and in general, getting a firsthand look at all the work that goes into making policy.




Community Action Alerts

It's Still Cold!
Call The Salvation Army To Get A Free Winter Coat

MILWAUKEE COUNTY - Do you know anyone that needs a free coat this winter?

Winter coats are being distributed to residents in need at The Salvation Army Distribution Center, 5880 North 60th St., in Milwaukee this month.  

About 9,500 coats were collected, through donations, in November and December 2017.

Coats will be distributed from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, from now until March 31, 2018. Residents should call 414-464-2940 to make an appointment.







Events and Opportunities


Wisconsin Wild Wetlands World

Saturday March 17th
10:00AM - 3:45 PM
Discovery World
500 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Event Details Here



Spring Equinox Celebration at Mitchell Park Domes

Sunday March 18th

9:00AM - 4:00PM

Mitchell Park Horticulture Conservatory-The Domes

524 S. Layton Boulevard

Milwaukee, WI 53215


Event Details Here





Our Community, Our Solution: Washington Park Job & Resource Event


Monday March 19th


Urban Ecology Center - Washington Park

1859 N. 40th St.

Milwaukee, WI 53208



Event Details Here




Where Do Justice and Kindness Meet?


Saturday, March 17th

1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

814 W. Wisconsin Ave

Milwaukee, WI 53233

Event Details Here


Maple Sugar Time at Schlitz Audobon


Saturday, March 17th

10:00AM - 3:00PM

Schlitz Audobon Nature Center

1111 East Brown Deer Road

Milwaukee, WI 53217



Event Details Here








 Quote of the Week:

"You in the Senate will be held responsible. It is not acceptable to do this."

-Senator Lena C. Taylor on Senate Republican's modification of the juvenile justice bill (SB 807) in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.


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