Official Government Communication

Week of June 4th - June 9th

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


D.C. Youth Development Center Monday, I traveled to Laurel, Maryland to visit the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services' New Beginnings Youth Development Center. At the invitation of Dr. Ramel Smith, I went to learn about this juvenile corrections system that has undergone a transformation similar to the work we are undertaking in Wisconsin to address the problems we experienced at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile facilities. The facility serves a big portion of the Washington D.C. area and is a 60-bed secure residential treatment facility for young males involved with the most serious and chronic offenses. Youth participate in the D.C. Model program, which provides long-term supervision, rehabilitation, and community reintegration planning. This program has been able to reduce recidivism through a transformative approach to serving the most vulnerable in our society. The amount of care and desire to see these youth turn their lives around was evident in my tour of the facility. I am excited to share all that I learned with my colleagues interested in this work and incorporate lessons learned as we move forward.


Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Dental Center of Excellence Tuesday, my office participated in a tour of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Dental Center of Excellence in Milwaukee. This clinic is specifically for children with special health care needs including those with developmental or cognitive disabilities, physical limitations, and behavioral issues. Children's Hospital has years of experience providing this specialized dental care and train dentists from all over the country in this specialty.

During the tour, my office learned how this clinic continues to be an innovator in this field. Their dentists, orthodontists, and nursing staff receive additional training after dental school on techniques and approaches which can help alleviate the stress some special needs children feel when visiting the dentist. It was amazing to observe a surgical procedure on a patient, that was estimated to take 7 hours to complete all of their needed work. The Dental Center of Excellence treats patients from ages 1-12 and are available through referral. They also work with families to develop a unique care plan to ensure children have good dental health moving forward. The frustrating fact, though, is that they have far more people than they can accommodate and funding continues to be a problem to expand these much-needed programs. Hopefully, the number of legislative offices in attendance will be able to work to ensure access for all Wisconsin residents.


Safe Summer Kickoff, I attended a press conference to announce Milwaukee's annual Safe Summer Kickoff event. In an effort to highlight the shared community goal of making Milwaukee's neighborhoods a safe, fun place for all of the city's residents, community partners and elected officials continue to join forces to achieve this goal. The work done by individuals from neighborhoods like Harambee, Amani and Sherman Park are a huge testament to the power of collaboration. Some of the activities planned for the Friday, June 8th event include performances, informational tables and activities for people of all ages. Previously, these efforts have left those that attended emboldened and ready to spread the call for peace and safety, a message that has gained a bigger voice than ever in our city. You can find more information about this event here.


Meeting with Trevonte Maxwell Wednesday, I had the pleasure of meeting with Trevonte Maxwell-King, a local filmmaker in the Milwaukee area to discuss his upcoming project regarding the epidemic of youth and stolen cars. In his current project, "The Stolie Tippers", Trevonte discusses the problem of car theft among young people in Milwaukee. The film will follow four teenagers and discuss the consequences of car theft. Trevonte is a pursuing this film with mostly self-funded resources at the moment, but that is not stopping him from sending out this important message. I cannot wait to see what Trevonte will do with this upcoming film. Having studied acting in the Second City Chicago Training Center, Trevonte is an accomplished young man who mentors at-risk youth in Milwaukee. His work in film and underscoring the needs of urban youth is important to Milwaukee, as well as other urban cities throughout the country. If you would like to learn more about his project, you can follow this link to his GoFundMe page.


3B'z Catering Service week, I met with a local entrepreneur to discuss some of the ways she can expand her business and the available resources to assist her work. At nearly every level of government, there are opportunities to receive grants and technical assistance for varying types of businesses. Entrepreneurship might mean making your own business or product, but it doesn't mean you have to take each step towards success alone. Programs like Fast Forward can be of tremendous help. Fast Forward is a Wisconsin initiative geared towards helping budding businesses train skilled workers in a variety of fields in order to improve the state economy from the ground up. Fast Forward grants are available to help small businesses sharpen their brand and fine tune their skills. It was great to share such important information with someone one-on-one and I can't  wait to see the next steps they take to bring their business to the next level. For more information about Fast Forward visit their website.


Trees Forever Thursday afternoon, I met with a representative from Trees Forever, a nonprofit organization based in Iowa, which aims to motivate communities to go green and engage in agriculture through hands-on conservation projects. They educate the public on sustainability through local programs that provide engaging work for participants. Trees Forever currently has conservation projects in both Illinois and Iowa and wants to expand into Wisconsin. Increasing urban agriculture opportunities in Milwaukee is a passion of mine, so we met to see how I could support similar efforts in Wisconsin.

Even in urban areas, trees are vital in restoring the environment through energy conservation, and improved air and water quality. In addition, growing your own produce can certainly be achieved in cities, providing healthy food options for those willing to learn. It was great to get to sit down and discuss legislation, funding, and partnerships that could enhance the urban agriculture of Milwaukee. To learn more about Trees Forever visit them here


Familia Dental Tour, I visited Familia Dental's River Glen clinic to tour the location and meet the staff. The dentistry has clinics across the state of Wisconsin, including one in my district, and is committed to a mission of providing affordable and accessible care. During my visit, I learned much about the organization's values and the positive impact they have had in the cities in which they have clinics. A major focus of the organization is to provide high quality dental services to Medicaid recipients. Due to low reimbursement rates, many dental offices are unable to serve Medicaid patients, meaning that dental has become one of the most inaccessible types of care for Medicaid recipients. I find this lack of accessible care for Wisconsin's most vulnerable population unacceptable, as everyone deserves access to essential medical care. Familia Dental has been working to alleviate this pressing issue through new payment structures, which has resulted in the organization building a platform of support for Medicaid recipients, with them now representing as much as 80% of the case load at some locations. I'm glad to know that my constituents, those who are Medicaid patients or those who are simply seeking quality dental care, can utilize Familia Dental as a resource. More information about Familia can be found on their website.  


Intern Spotlight

This week's intern spotlight is written by one of our communications interns- Kelsey Mjaanes.  Kelsey is a senior at UW-Madison studying Journalism and Spanish. This week she is writing about Jonathan Drew, a casework intern in my Madison office. Drew graduated this spring from UW-Madison with a double major in History and Political Science, as well as a certificate in Scandinavian Studies. Jon has always been interested in history and says that it lends itself well to politics because it offers important insight. As far as his certificate in Scandinavian Studies, Jon took a class about Swedish language and literature freshman year that he found fascinating and just decided to go for it.

Jon's studies in these fields transitioned well into his internship at Senator Taylor's office. As a casework intern, Jon is enjoying learning about the Department of Corrections and its processes as well as what Senator Taylor's office does to help people in the corrections system. These experiences will be helpful as he looks towards a career in foreign policy and nonprofit work. Because he is from Milwaukee, Jon says he was very familiar with Senator Taylor and her efforts even before he started working at this office. He eventually wants to move back to Milwaukee and continue to help people there with the skills he takes away from this experience.



Community Action Alerts

Application Fees Waved for 2-Year UW Campuses

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross announced that application fees will be waived, effective immediately through September 7th, for students applying to any of the 13 two-year UW College Campuses for the upcoming fall 2018 term.

"Waiving the application fee demonstrates our continued commitment to the access and affordability mission of these campuses," said President Cross. "During the transitional period of our restructuring, we want to reassure prospective students that all campuses remain open and we encourage them to apply and enroll."


Safe & Sound Donations: June 19-28

Dear City of Milwaukee Residents:

For their 20th anniversary the Safe & Sound Campaign will be accepting donations June 19-28 to support projects and other efforts that create stronger and safer communities in the Milwaukee area.

Free “Little Libraries”, neighborhood cleanups and community gardens are some examples of how Safe & Sound has been a positive influence in the Milwaukee community.

Also, Safe & Sound has partnered with the Milwaukee Police Department in holding monthly Crime and Safety Meetings for each Milwaukee district. 4th district meetings are held 6 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month at in the Safety Academy at 6680 N. Teutonia Ave.

For more information on these meetings contact Community Liaison Officers Tracey Geniesse at (414) 935-7248 or Carrie Resnick at (414) 935-7373.

If you can please help Safe & Sound reach their $5,000 goal to continue these incredible programs!


Work Continues Along Milwaukee's Valley Bridge

Please see the briefing below from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on continuing work on Milwaukee's Valley Bridge

On the evening of Wednesday, May 30, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will begin the next phase of the Valley Bridge overlay project in the city of Milwaukee. This phase will shift southbound I-43 traffic allowing for the 11th Street / Wisconsin Avenue on-ramp to I-43 south to reopen.

 As the project advances, access to certain system ramps will continue to become available. Please note that these closures are weather dependent and subject to change.

 Current long-term ramp closures:

  • I-794 West to I-43 South                                                                                                (Until Late June)
  • I-43 North to I-94 West                                                                                                 (Until Late June)
  • I-43 North to 10th Street and Michigan Avenue Off-Ramp                                             (Until Late June)
  • I-94 East to I-43 South                                                                                                  (Until Late July)
  • Mineral Street/National Avenue On-Ramp to I-43 North                                                (Until Late August)

The primary detour route for navigating interchange access continues to be the I-794 Hoan Bridge. For more information on closures and detour routes, visit 511 Wisconsin or visit their website.








Menomonee Valley Bike Tour


Saturday, June 9th

10:00 am-12:00 pm


Hank Aaron State Trail 6th St. and Canal St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233


For More Info




New Summer Art Exhibitions


Saturday, June 9th

4:00 pm-8:30 pm


Cedarburg Art Museum W63 N675 Washington Ave.
Cedarburg, WI 53012


For More Info


Downtown Sculpture Tour


Sunday, June 10th

10:00 am-12:00 pm


      Mackie Building       235 E. Michigan St. Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info


Rainbow Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday, June 13th
1:00 pm-2:00 pm

Lakeshore State Park

500 N Harbor Dr
Milwaukee, WI 53202

For More Info


Lakeshore Chinooks Bobblehead Night

Sunday, June 10th
5:05 pm

Kapco Park - Concordia University Wisconsin
12800 N. Lakeshore Dr., Mequon, WI 53097

For More Info


Lakefront Festival of Art

Friday, June 15th
10:00 am-10:00 pm

Milwaukee Art Museum
700 N. Art Museum Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info




Westown Farmer's Market

Wednesday, June 13th
10:00 am-2:00 pm

Zeidler Union Square

301 W. Michigan St
Milwaukee, WI 53203


For More Info



Capuchins’ Run Walk for the Hungry

Friday, June 15th
6:00 pm

Henry Maier Festival Park
200 North Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info








 Quote of the Week:

"What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black."

- Robert F. Kennedy 


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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