Official Government Communication

Week of July 2nd - July 8th

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


On Monday, I participated in the "Wisconsin Needs Unions" event, host by the Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH) and the National Fast Food Workers Union (NFFWU).  The two organizations created the event to support issues surrounding workforce in Milwaukee, such as a $15 wage floor, union rights, and a hiring hall.  The discussion, which was part of a nationwide series of roundtables, gave workers, elected officials, and organizational leaders an opportunity to come together and share our thoughts on issues surrounding the labor market.


Interview with Courtny Gerrish

On Monday, I sat down for an interview with a local news station to discuss the way traffic citations are handled in Wisconsin.  We talked about Wisconsin's policy of suspending driver's licenses when traffic fines are overdue.  Traffic fines vary, but it's not uncommon for them to exceed $100 – even for minor parking violations.  For many on a tight budget, paying those fines on top of day to day expenses isn't possible, so fines go unpaid and people drive on suspended licenses so they can get to their jobs or take their kids to school.  It can turn into a vicious cycle of increasing fines that has been called a poor people's tax.  The numbers show how widespread the problem is; in 2017, 206,729 people in Wisconsin had their license suspended for failing to pay a fine, which accounts for roughly 56% of all suspensions.

Wisconsin's policy has proven to be such a burden for so many that Legal Action of Milwaukee has created the Center for Driver's License Recovery and Employability.  They also helped reduce the license suspension for unpaid fines from two years to just one.  Nevertheless, a year is still a long time to lose a license for something like parking on the wrong side of the street.  Around the country others are taking a different approach, like Washington State for example.  In 2013, Washington stopped suspending licenses for "failure to pay" fines and early numbers showed 500 fewer arrests each month.  I think there are alternatives to suspending a license, and at the very least we should do a much better job in making people aware that community service is an option available to them.


4th of July! (And Parades!)

This Fourth of July, I was lucky enough to continue my tradition of pa in several parades across the fourth district.  My staff and I participated in the Noyes Park, Wauwatosa, Glendale, Brown Deer and Shorewood parades!  I want to send a special thanks to the many organizers and volunteers that make these events possible each year.

It was great to see so many people, with family and community, celebrating such a significant holiday in our nation's history.  The day always provides an opportunity for reflection of our values as Americans and the journey undertaken to create this country.  As we celebrated, it was also a reminder of the work needed to preserve the "unalienable rights" which the United States Declaration of Independence says have been given to all human beings by their Creator, and which governments are created to protect; "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness".  I hope everyone had a great holiday!


The Future of St. Joe's Hospital

Yesterday, I met with the Chief Administrative Officer of Ascension Health, Kevin Kluesner.  Ascension manages Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare's St. Joseph campus in Milwaukee, known by many as St. Joe's.  Earlier this year, we met when a possible downsizing of St. Joe's campus was announced due to substantial financial losses in 2016.  For many in the community, this was extremely concerning considering St. Joe's vital service to area residents.  It has become a "safety net" hospital, which is one of the last locations providing critical care to residents of central Milwaukee.  On average, an estimated 70,000 people receive medical care at St. Joe's each year.

Although plans to downsize the hospital have been put on hold, I met with Mr. Kluesner yesterday to follow up on proposed changes under consideration and the impact to the community.  As plans are continuing to be fleshed out, many would like to see Ascension allocate space in the hospital complex to address socio-economic determinants of health, including housing, education, and employment.  There are models around the country that have restructured traditional hospital systems to reflect a model using partnerships with other health care and social services that focus on outpatient care and telemedicine.  As they move through the process, I will continue to ensure that the voice and opinions of the community are heard and considered.


(Re)Building the Next Great American City

Today, I am meeting with filmmakers for the Young Enterprising Society, who are making a documentary called "(Re)Building the Next Great American City."  The film focuses on six initiatives or programs intended to assist Milwaukee residents.  My LOVE Initiative and specifically the impact of urban agriculture, has been included in the production.  The purpose of the LOVE Initiative is to connect people in Milwaukee with hubs in the community that can act as a one-stop shop for improving their lives.  Whether through employment, healthcare, or addressing the social determinants of health, we need to centralize services and resources to better serve families and individuals.  Urban Agriculture is a cornerstone of my LOVE Initiative because it checks multiple boxes at once; it is an economic opportunity that provides healthy food, as well as physical and mental health benefits.

I met with the filmmakers at Andre Lee Ellis' WE GOT THIS community garden for the first interview of many to come.  I'm incredibly proud to be featured in this documentary and I'm just as proud of the Young Enterprising Society for taking on this amazing project!



This Saturday, I will be joining the young men from the WE GOT THIS program and community volunteers to clean up the "Family House", which was targeted by vandals and completely destroyed on the inside recently.  Founded by Cordelia Taylor (no relation), a former nursing home administrator, Family House was a 24-hour, assisted living facility offering long term caImage result for cordelia taylor family housere for up to 50 senior citizens and disabled adults.  Mrs. Taylor operated six licensed homes that provided for low-income elderly residents in need of housing with support for addressing personal care needs and medical issues.  Family House prided itself on providing a home-like setting, which incorporated youth programming into their services.  The outcome was an intergenerational environment that helped the community thrive.  Family House was featured on Oprah, Today and in Reader's Digest.

In May 2017 Mrs. Taylor planned to retire.  Family House was closed and the residents moved to other facilities.  Her plan was to sell Family House to another ministry so she would have money to use for her own retirement.  In October 2017, Family House was vandalized and the damage rendered the facility unsellable.  After learning about Mrs. Taylor's plight, the community has come together to donate much of the labor, materials and time needed to restore Family House.  I look forward to helping and working alongside volunteers to make this situation right for Mrs. Taylor.


Intern Spotlight: Lisa Larson

Lisa Larson is a casework intern at Senator Taylor's Madison office.  She has come all the way from Shanghai, China to pursue her studies at UW-Madison.  Lisa is a rising junior set to graduate in 2019, with a double major in neurobiology and psychology.  Her interest in these subjects stems from a desire to learn more about social psychology and how the fields of biology and psychology intersect.  Outside of our office. Lisa is active with the Psi Chi honor society, the Chinese language and culture club, and has a position within the Wisconsin Union Directorate Distinguished Lecture Series.

While these areas of study may differ from the work she does here for Senator Taylor, Lisa's interests also extend beyond the sciences and into public policy as well.  After graduation, Lisa has considered careers in public policy, statistics, and biostatistics.  She is also contemplating graduate school and pursuing a Ph.D.  She wanted to intern with Senator Taylor specifically because they share many of the same political views and the senator has a history of fighting to protect minority rights, which Lisa strongly supports.

We appreciate all the hard work and energy Lisa has brought into the office and are excited to see how she'll contribute the rest of the summer!





Community Action Alerts

The Salvation Army Opens Cooling Centers in Milwaukee County

To mark the start of summer, The Salvation Army worship and community centers are open as cooling centers, Monday through Friday and Sunday mornings.

"Everyone deserves comfort and a safe place to go during the extreme heat," said Major Steve Merritt, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Below is a list of the cooling center locations and hours:

·         Citadel Corps Church and Community Center
4129 West Villard Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53209
Monday - Friday: 9 a.m to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon

·         Coldspring Church and Community Center
2900 W. Coldspring Rd., Greenfield, WI 53221
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday:  9:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m
Friday: 9:30 a.m to noon
Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon

·         Oak Creek Centennial Church and Community Center
8853 South Howell Ave., Oak Creek, WI 53154
Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon

·         West Corps Church and Community Center
1645 North 25th St,, Milwaukee, WI 53205
Monday - Friday: Noon to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Make Use of Milwaukee's "Cool Spots" During Heat Advisories

As the temperatures climb, I encourage you to make use of Milwaukee's "Cool Spots", a partnership of Milwaukee Water Works, MPS, and Milwaukee County Parks.

Cool Spots are open only during citywide heat advisories, Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. , available June 18 through August 10. 

·         Ben Franklin School
2308 W. Nash St

·         Carmen Playfield
7320 W. Carmen Ave.

·         Columbia Playfield
1354 W. Columbia St.

·         Franklin Square
2643 N. 13th St.

·         Green Bay
3818 N. 8th St.

MPS Recreation Wading Pools:  

Open June 18- August 25

Monday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

·         Burbank
6035 W. Adler St.

·         Burnham
1755 S. 32nd St.

·         Enderis
2938 N. 72nd St.

·         Holt
1716 W. Holt St.

·         Merrill Park
461 N. 35th St.

·         Modrzejewski
1020 W. Cleveland Ave.

·         Ohio
974 W. Holt St.

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.












Free Summer Movie Night: Star Wars The Last Jedi


Saturday, July 7th

8:00 pm


Veterans Park

1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.

Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info




Shakespeare in the Park: King Lear


Sunday, July 8th

7:30 pm


Peck Pavilion

929 N. Water St.

Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info




Chalk It Up!


Monday, July 9th

5:30 pm


Menomonee Falls High School

W142 N8101 Merrimac Dr.

Menomonee Falls, WI 53051


For More Info




DIY Smoothies for Teens


Tuesday, July 10th

2:00 pm


St. Francis Public Library

4230 S Nicholson Ave.

St. Francis, WI 53235


For More Info



Family Movie: Peter Rabbit

Wednesday, July 11th
2:30 pm

St. Francis Public Library

4230 S Nicholson Ave.

St. Francis, WI 53235

For More Info


Summer Concerts: A Classical Quartet


Wednesday, July 11th

6:00 pm


St. Francis Public Library

4230 S Nicholson Ave.

St. Francis, WI 53235


For More Info




Tosa Tonight Free Summer Concert

Wednesday, July 11th
6:00 pm

Rotary Performance Pavilion
Hart Park, 6650 W. State Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53213

For More Info


 Concerts in the Garden

Thursday, July 12th
6:30 pm

Boerner Botanical Gardens
9400 Boerner Dr.     Hales Corners, WI 53130

For More Info


Kids Fishing Friday

Friday, July 13th
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Friends of Lakeshore State Park
500 N Harbor Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

For More Info









 Quote of the Week:

"May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right."

- Peter Marshall


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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07/06/18 E-Update Stories


On Monday, I participated in the “Wisconsin Needs Unions” event, hosted by the Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH) and the National Fast Food Workers Union (NFFWU). The two organizations created the event to support issues surrounding the workforce in Milwaukee, such as a $15 wage floor, union rights and a hiring hall. The discussion, which was a part of a nationwide series of roundtables, gave workers, elected officials and organizational leaders an opportunity to come together and share our thoughts on issues surrounding the labor market.