Official Government Communication

Week of Apr. 8-13

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


Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell Interview Friday, I had the opportunity to appear on MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. I, along with Julia Busch, Director of the Foundation for American Progress, and host Ali Velshi discussed the role and impact of young activists and progressives on the Wisconsin political landscape.

It is always amazing to watch how much goes into these interviews.  Initially, I was asked to be prepared to talk about three issues.  First, the host was interested in how Wisconsin farmers would be impacted by the talks of trade wars and tariff battles with China.  Wisconsin ships more than $300 million in goods to China each year. There are three exports areas in particular that could harm Wisconsin: soybeans, ginseng, and cranberries.  I was also asked to be prepared to discuss comments made by Michelle Obama at a recent women’s conference regarding the current administration, Hillary Clinton, and her decision to not run for office.  Finally, the host was interested in the changing political winds in Wisconsin.  Ultimately, that is where the bulk of my interview centered.  Going into the 2018 elections, the message is clear: Wisconsin has elected Democrats in areas with strong Republican showings and in the State Supreme Court race of Rebecca Dallet. Wisconsin has once again shown why we are most often a purple state, neither solidly red nor blue.  There is going to be a real fight for the direction and leadership of the state in future elections.   


Equity Summit“Listen to the sound of the genuine inside you”. Those were the words of PolicyLink’s President Michael McAfee when he addressed the audience at the Equity Summit 2018 in Chicago. This week, my office had the opportunity to attend the Equity Summit, one of the year’s most important diversity conferences, and hear from Mr. McAfee and a long list of other strong voices from all walks of life, including Policy Link’s CEO Angela Glover Blackwell.

PolicyLink is a nationally renowned research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works.®  Their work is rooted in the idea that our work must be grounded in the conviction that equity – just and fair inclusion – must drive all policy decisions. It was clear that everyone at the summit, both speakers and attendees, had come to connect and define our goals and organize to take action. It was inspiring to hear from people who, despite the hardships they’d faced, have made their voices heard and used their success to inspire others.  Linda Sarsour, the co-chair of the Women’s March, and speaker at the Equity Summit, paraphrased the famous quote from Shirley Chisolm, the first African–American Congresswoman, If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Government works best when it’s inclusive of all the people that it represents.


"Enhancing the Pipeline & Partnerships between Regional Milwaukee K-16 Educational Institutions, Corporations & HBCU" Wednesday, I was one of three panelists at “Enhancing the Pipeline and Partnerships between Regional Milwaukee K-16 Education Institutions, Corporations and HBCU.” This event served as an opportunity to discuss ways to connect Wisconsin employers to diverse pools of candidates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).  A number of key stakeholders of the community attended, including area and HBCU college deans, presidents, administrations, HBCU alumni and admissions personnel. Additionally, regional Milwaukee educational institutions, corporations and community-based organizations were in attendance.

This is an annual event that allows us to learn how to better attract and retain talent from HBCUs. This year the career interest focused on those with degrees in education, engineering, information technology, agriculture and health care fields. My comments addressed Urban Agriculture and the important role that it can play in providing family supporting wages and careers.  I also discussed the need to view the industry through another lens that allows us to address broader needs than food insecurity and food deserts, but also employment, high school graduation rates, corrections, and so much more. 


Community Update: Juvenile Corrections, via a partnership with St. Mark AME Church in Milwaukee, we are providing a community update on the juvenile corrections bill now that it has become law. I will be joined by Representatives David Bowen and Tim Muth, a volunteer staff attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to discuss next steps in the implementation and impact of the new law.  As a reminder, the law requires the closing of the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lakes juvenile corrections facilities by 2021.  It also funds a process for transitioning our state’s juvenile corrections to a county-based youth facilities that will provide more rehabilitative programming and keep youth closer to their families. The goal is to ensure that all youth who leave the corrections system are better off than when then entered it, or at the very least not worse.

Come to learn how the community can have a voice in the committees responsible for creating the change in the juvenile corrections system.  The law provides for two committees to be formed: one that will decide how to allocate grant money to counties that will be constructing new youth facilities, and one that will study the best-practices and programs for governing the facilities. Please join us to talk about who will be on these committees, who we want to see on them, and what we can do as a community to ensure they address the concerns and issues raised by residents. The event runs from 12:00pm – 2:00pm and will be held at St. Mark’s AME Church, 1616 W Atkinson Ave, Milwaukee.


Trade War With China to have effect on Wisconsin again, Donald Trump’s lack of understanding and depth of basic policy issues has created problems for America and many of our global partners or allies.  This time many of Trump’s own supporters are finding themselves in the crosshairs of hastily made decisions and tweets. At issue is the escalating trade war conversations regarding China. Wisconsin has three products that we export in particular that would be problematic for area farmers were these talks to go beyond threats and posturing: soybeans, cranberries, and ginseng.

Last year, Wisconsin produced $940 million in soybeans. In the U.S., 30% of all soybeans are exported to China.  Further, the U.S. ships more than 95 million pounds of cranberries a year to countries in the European Union.  Nearly 40% of the crop is exported.  At varying years, Wisconsin crops account for more than half the world's supply of cranberries.  A trade war would be devastating for many area farms. Trump has said that some suffering will be worth better deals in the long run, but that’s easy to say when your own family won’t be impacted.  It also doesn’t help that he pulled the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).   The 11-nation partnership has been rebranded as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.  It will cover an area that makes up 13% of the world economy and is home to 500 million people.  A trade war with China could hurt less if we were a part of that partnership, and so it’s no surprise that the Trump administration is now trying to figure out how to rejoin the group.


Lobby Meetings week was a busy week in my Madison office, as my staff were able to meet with a number of community groups, organizations and businesses to inform us of their work and efforts in the community.  We also heard about legislative concerns or ideas. On Tuesday, my team met with a representative from the Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired to discuss increased funding for those with special needs in the Milwaukee Public Transportation system as well as change the Council would like to see made to Wisconsin law regarding seeing-eye animals. On Wednesday, they got to meet with some amazing undergraduate constituents from UW-Steven’s Point, UW-Whitewater and UW-Platteville to discuss their research projects. As my staff briefed me on the meetings, they could not say enough about how impressive these students were. On Thursday, my team got to discuss possible new ways to fund the education of differently-abled students in public schools with the Family Voices Organization. They also got to connect with the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition to outline legislative and budgetary priorities for the upcoming sessions.


Intern Spotlight Wills is one of the policy interns in Senator Taylor’s office. She is from Northampton, Massachusetts and is in her third year at UW-Madison, where she is majoring in international studies. She says she chose international studies because it combines her interest in political and foreign affairs. Alex will be graduating in December and plans on working before eventually going to graduate school. In the future she hopes to do work in either diplomacy and/or foreign policy. Alex wanted to work in Senator Taylor’s office to get experience working in local policy. She was particularly interested in the Senator’s passionate projects:  justice reform and education. In this internship Alex says she’s learned about just how much work gets done in a Senate office. Her favorite part of the internship has been writing committee testimonies, which she says comes from her love of writing argumentative essays. She says that writing a fact based argument that could affect state law is “incredible and feels rewarding and impactful.”





Events and Opportunities



***Community Update: Juvenile Corrections***

Saturday, April 14th
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

St. Mark AME Church
1616 W Atkinson Ave,
Milwaukee, WI 53206


Spring Makers Market at Discovery World (414 Day!)

Saturday, April 14th 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Discovery World
500 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202


For more info


Free 4/14 Milwaukee Family Day


Saturday, April 14th
11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Milwaukee County Historical Society
910 N. Old World Third Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203

For more info



 Mobile Legal Clinic (Riverside Food Pantry)

Saturday, April 14th
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Riverside Food Pantry

924 E. Clarke St, Milwaukee, WI 53212

For more info



Mobile Legal Clinic (City on a Hill-Milwaukee)


Saturday April 14th
12 pm - 2 pm


City on a Hill

2224 W. Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233


For more info



Neighborhood Night

Thursday, April 19th
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
929 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202


For more info


Cream City Review 42.1 Release Party

Thursday, April 19th
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

UW-Milwaukee Hefter Center
3271 N. Lake Dr. Milwaukee, WI 53211

For more info








 Quote of the Week:

"No matter what they did, they're still young people. And they deserve to be treated humanely."

-Senator Lena Taylor on the legislation to close Lincoln Hills


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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