Official Government Communication

Week of April 2nd - April 7th

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


Pew Charitable Trusts week I had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the PEW Research Center.  Pew is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. They conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research.  They, along with organizations like the Council of State Governments, have been integral in helping state governments understand complex issues and data driven responses to solve problems.  With the work being done on Juvenile Corrections Reform, it was important to meet with this group to discuss their ideas as the state moves forward. One of the initial steps in the reforms is to assemble a juvenile corrections study committee.  The study committee must include a representative of a national nonprofit that works on issues of juvenile justice. It is important to me to ensure that groups are at the table that bring experience, expertise, and resources to best inform the work of the study committee.  


Clara Barton Elementary Visit, I had a great time getting to know some of the students at Clara Barton Elementary School.  They were a smart group of young people with some thoughtful questions about our government and what my role is as an elected official.  We talked about the different levels of government and the way that each level works to help people. In talking about my responsibilities, I shared some of the recent bills that I’ve worked on.  The student’s discussion about issues of importance to them reminded me of the civic and social movements around our country currently being led by youth.  As I explained at Clara Barton, understanding the levels of government is crucial if you want to make a change. I’m sure it won’t be long before I hear that one of them has started their own project to make Milwaukee better for everyone!


Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr years ago this Wednesday, April 4th, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. A brilliant speaker and resilient activist, Dr. King’s approach to change through civil disobedience and non-violence remains a model around the world for equity and inclusion. The impact of Dr. King’s work can be seen in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country and my continued work for corrections reform in Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin.

On April 4th, 1968, Dr. King was robbed of his life and the opportunity to see the changes he dreamed of and worked so hard to inspire. He would be proud to see the immense social, economic and political progress we have made since 1968, such as the end of legal discriminatory housing policies, better employment opportunities and the election of the first African-American president of the United States. Even though we have made such progress, we still have a long way to go and Dr. King would be disappointed to find that we are still, fifty years later, having the same old conversations about police brutality and unsteady race relations. To this day, we continue to fight for his dream and his legacy lives on in our activism.

Recently, Dr. King’s granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, spoke at the March 26th March For Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC. In the words of Dr. King himself, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…. Every step towards the goal of justice requires… the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals… This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” And so it is.


Until The Flood Community Presenter the weekend, I had the honor of being featured as the community guest responder at Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s production of Until the Flood, a play about the aftermath of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. Now in its 63rd season, The Milwaukee Repertory Theater has sought to ignite cultural change through powerful plays that engage their audiences. As a community guest responder, I spoke to the viewers during the intermission to address some of the thought-provoking questions from the play. Mr. Brown was 18 when he lost his life. He had plans to attend college and like all of us, dreams of a better life. Until the Flood isn’t about what happened that day, but what happened after. The play’s creator and only actor, Dael Orlandersmith, created eight characters, some white, some black, and presented their reaction in the wake of the shooting, an event that many believe started the current social justice movement against police brutality. It was amazing to see one actor capture so many different opinions, something she did by traveling throughout Missouri and speaking to people from all walks of life about their interpretation of what happened that day.

 I talked about the importance of understanding the message of the play and connected it to my own anguish surrounding my son’s interaction with police as he tried to deliver a turkey to a family on Thanksgiving Day a couple of years ago.  My son was detained and placed in a squad car, while questioned about why he was running across the street.  The issues raised by this production transcended the theater, forcing attendees to think about the serious questions posed.  I hope everyone gets a chance to see the play themselves, but if not, I encourage you to get involved in the conversation about how we can make Milwaukee, and the country, a better place, for everyone.


Lincoln Hills Study Committee juvenile corrections reform bill recently signed into law statutorily requires that a study committee be formed for the purpose of overseeing the administrative rules governing the services and programming in the youth correctional facilities provided for in the bill. That is a mouthful, I know, but because the study committee has such an important job going forward, my office has received phone calls from constituents asking about the makeup of the committee. That information is provided below

The 25 member committee will be comprised of the Secretary of Corrections, or his or her designee, who shall serve as Co-chairperson, Secretary of Children and Families, or his or her designee, who shall serve as Co-chairperson, Secretary of Health Services, or his or her designee, the superintendent of public instruction, or his or her designee, the state public defender, or his or her designee, three representatives to the assembly appointed by the speaker of the assembly or the appointed representative's designee, three senators appointed by the senate majority leader or the appointed senator's designee, and then the following members appointed by the governor: two circuit court judges, two district attorneys, two representatives of law enforcement agencies in this state, one sheriff, or his or her designee, one representative of a national organization that focuses on eliminating race-based discrimination, one representative of a nonprofit that focuses on issues relating to juvenile justice, one representative of a nonprofit organization that focuses on best practices for holding juveniles in secure custody, one representative of the county department of social services or human services in the county with the highest percentage of juveniles under the supervision of either the department of corrections or a county department under chapter 938 of the statutes, one representative of a county department of social services or human services of a county that operates a regional juvenile detention facility that is also an eligible juvenile detention facility, as defined under subsection (7m) (a), one representative of a county department of social services or human services of a county not described in subdivision 14. or 15., and one resident of the state who either has been under the supervision of the department of corrections under chapter 938 of the statutes or has had a close family member who has been under the supervision of the department of corrections under chapter 938 of the statutes, appointed by the governor.

The juvenile corrections study committee shall research and develop recommendations for rules governing the services and programming provided to juveniles in secured residential care centers for children and youth. The committee shall submit to the Department of Corrections its findings and recommendations no later than September 1, 2018.  They shall also study and develop recommendations for the location of Type 1 juvenile correctional facilities no later than November 1, 2018.


School Safety Bill Interview was interviewed by an education administrator this week about the recently announced School Safety Package.  We discussed my views on the bills that passed the legislature last month, and what I would like to see moving forward. As I have mentioned before, I do not believe what was included in the Governor's school safety package goes far enough to ensure safety not just for our schools, but across the board.  We need to listen to our students who have consistently told us that we need to address the issue of gun violence.  Like administrators, these students are dealing with these problems and yet adults are telling them to be quiet or that they have no idea what the response to these mass shootings should be.  I believe their voices should be heard.



Peg Lautenschlager: A Woman of Many "Firsts" March 31, 2018, former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager passed away at the age of 62. Throughout her career, Lautenschlager held many important positions in both the state and local government, becoming a prominent role model for many women in Wisconsin politics. In 1988, after serving as the first woman district attorney for Winnebago County, she served in the Wisconsin State assembly, chairing many important committees. President Bill Clinton, in 1992, appointed her the US District Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. Shortly after, Peg was named by US Attorney General Janet Reno as the first Wisconsinite to serve on the US Attorney General’s Advisory Committee. Then, in 2002, Peg was elected as the first and only female Attorney General of Wisconsin, serving until 2007. I’m proud to say that Peg’s services and influence within Wisconsin over her 30-year career inspired me as a young lawyer and her legacy will continue to shape my work within the legislature. I’m honored to not only have worked with Peg, but also to have called her a friend. My heartfelt condolences go out to her family, friends and the numerous lives she touched.


Community Action Alert

Common Council secures additional funding for STRONG Homes Loans

Please see the briefing below from Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs on the resolution authorizing the sale of a portion of the loans in STRONG Homes Loan Program loan portfolio.

The Common Council Tuesday passed a resolution authorizing the sale of a portion of the loans in STRONG Homes Loan Program loan portfolio. Under this legislation, Associated Bank would purchase this portion creating additional capital for the program, funding it through 2019, according to sponsor Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs.

Created in 2015, the STRONG Homes Loan Program provides financing for homeowners to make home repairs. This program has been very popular in serving property owners who could not otherwise access financing.

“Since its inception the program has originated $4 million dollars, which translates to 280 loans to homeowners,” said Ald. Coggs. “This legislation will allow the program to continue providing much needed assistance to homeowners in the community.”

Coggs said although Associated Bank will take control of some of the program’s portfolio, affected property owners will see no disruption. “The loan recipients will continue to send loan payments to the same address and continue to have contact with the same City staff they have always had.”





Events and Opportunities


Milwaukee Harley's Hogs N Dogs


Saturday, April 7th

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Milwaukee Harley-Davidson

11310 W. Silver Spring Rd

Milwaukee, WI 53225

Event Details Here


The Worth of Water: A Great Lakes Story


Wednesday, April 11th

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Urban Ecology Center - Riverside Park

1500 E. Park Place

Milwaukee, WI 53211


Event Details Here


Omelette Cook Off

Wednesday, April 11th
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Boelter Superstore
4200 N Port Washington Road
Milwaukee, WI 53212

Even Details Here


Conversations with Scientists Precision Medicine: Own Your Own Genome


Wednesday, April 11th
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Medical College of Wisconsin

8701 Watertown Plank Road

Milwaukee, WI 53226


Event Details Here


Ex Fabula Fellows: Housing as a Public Health Issue

Thursday, April 12th
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zilber School of Public Health, Room 119
1240 North 10th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53205

Event Details Here


Instrument Lab

Sunday, April 8th
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Brinn Labs
433 East Stewart Street
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Event Details Here


Indigenous Voices: Sharing the Wisconsin Sky

Friday April 6th
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium
1900 East Kenwood Boulevard
 Milwaukee, WI 53211

Event Details Here



 Quote of the Week:

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." 
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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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