Official Government Communication

Week of July 21st - July 28th

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


Interview Regarding Sentencing Disparities morning, I had the chance to speak with a journalist from The Cap Times about disparities in sentencing, which refers to criminal or civil cases in which a judge gives sentences that are extremely different from one another, despite virtually no difference in the crime committed. These decisions are often made based on factors that shouldn't play a role in any way, most notably, the color of one's skin or socioeconomic status. It's a systematic problem that I believe was highlighted in the case of UW-Madison student Alec Cook. Cook, who is white, was initially charged with more than 20 crimes against nearly a dozen women. He plead guilty to sexually assaulting three female students as well as choking or stalking two others. He was eligible to serve up to 39 years behind bars.

Although the prosecutor in the case asked that Cook be sentenced to 19 years in prison, Judge Stephen Ehlke decided that Cook would only serve three years. In a previous ruling, Judge Ehlke sentenced Adore Thomas, a 16-year-old African-American teenager, to 20 years in prison after he sexually assault a single woman in Madison. I voiced my frustration with this case for both the message sent to women who come forward to report sexual assaults and with the number of other instances in which disparity in sentencing is evident. For those that would like more information on this issue, I suggest reading The Sentencing Project's report "The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in State Prisons."


LOVE&FAITH Discussion with DWD week, I had a conversation with Department of Workforce Development Secretary Allen about my LOVE&FAITH initiative. We discussed ways to create pathways to work through hubs in Milwaukee. Specifically, we talked about the need to connect community organizations with industries that can provide quality jobs. With the legalization of industrial hemp in Wisconsin, a potential billion dollar industry is available to us. Industrial hemp can be used to create fire resistant fibers and CBD-based medical products that are in high demand. I want to ensure that my constituents get the most from this opportunity. As a result of our conversation, we have set up additional meetings with community stakeholders to talk about how best to move hub-based pathways to industry forward.


Juvenile Corrections Study Committee Meeting, I phoned into the first Justice Corrections Study Committee meeting. The Committee was created as a result of the state passing 2017 Act 185 into law, which will close the Lincoln Hills youth correctional facilities by 2021 and replace it with a new juvenile corrections system built on regionally based institutions. The regional locations are something I believe will help to reduce a number of the problems that resulted in staff and incarcerated youth being hurt. Ultimately, the state was sued and forced to make changes in the way we deliver services to youth that have been remanded to correctional facilities. I am excited to be working on the committees tasked with recommending best-practices. The goal of these reforms should be to keep youth closer to their families and allow for more personal, rehabilitative programming. The Study Committee is working on a tight deadline, and I believe needs to work with transparency and as much community input as possible. If you know an organization you would like to see the committee work with going forward, please contact my office at 608-266-5810 to share.


Upward Bound Visit to Talk about MKE Water Quality Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting with high school students in Marquette University's Upward Bound Program. Upward Bound, which is a part of the university's Educational Opportunity Program, strives to enable high school students (who are potential first-generation college students) to successfully move on to higher education and attain successful careers down the line. The students I met with have dedicated their summer to working on improving water quality and treatment in Milwaukee. By testing water samples from Lake Michigan, their homes and other sources, they hope to answer the question: "is our water safe?", and offer both legislative and grassroots solutions to the issue.

I'm proud to see people so young taking such initiative, putting in the work, and seeking out a solution for the problem rather than waiting for someone else to present one. Thank you to the students of the Upward Bound Program for all your work so far!


National Night Out: History and Goals Night Out is less than two weeks away! In preparation, my staff and I have been working hard to make this year's event a success. The goal of NNO is to enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement and promote a true sense of community.

NNO was first introduced in 1981 in the suburbs of Philadelphia when its founder Matt Peskin connected hundreds of local community watch organizations to assemble the National Association of Town Watch. NATW established a network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, state and regional crime prevention associations and volunteers from across the nation. The first NNO in 1984 involved 2.5 million neighbors and those numbers have only continued to grow. Today, 38 million neighbors and 16 thousand communities across the nation participate. NNO has a rich history that I'm proud to be a part of!


Intern Spotlight: Thomas Summerwill by Kelsey Mjaanes Summerwill is a casework intern at Senator Taylor's Madison office, originally from St. Charles, Illinois. This fall he will be a junior at UW-Madison studying Political Science and History. His interest in those subjects stem from a life-long passion, which has also led him to serve in several student organizations some of which include the Alexander Hamilton Society, Circle K International, and as Chief Justice of the Student Judiciary.

Thomas wanted to work in Senator Taylor's office, and specifically as a casework intern, because he saw it as the most direct way to engage with constituents. Additionally, his experience working for the Cook County State Attorney gave him valuable knowledge and experience which he has brought to Senator Taylor's office. He says that the most rewarding part of this job has been helping to resolve some of the issues incarcerated individuals face. We appreciate all the hard work Thomas has done this summer and look forward to seeing more!




Community Action Alerts

Memorial Service for Lititia Minor

A memorial service for Ms. Lititia (Tish) Minor will be held Sunday July 29, 2018 at the African American Women Center, 3020 W. Vliet Street,  from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.

Ms. Minor was a long time member of the NAACP and served in many capacities including third vice president of the Milwaukee branch. She was a diligent fighter against racial discrimination, mob violence, and police brutality. Ms. Minor could always be found working for a free ballot for every qualified American citizen, working for legislation banning discrimination and segregation is just a short list of her passion in her pursuant of justice for all.


Free Friday Night Concerts

I encourage you all to take advantage of the free Friday night concert series hosted by Arts @ Large. All concerts will be located at the corner of 3rd and Walker Streets in the Walker’s Point neighborhood of Milwaukee.

Below are the dates and performers of each show:

  • July 27 Pangea – World Music
  • Aug 3 Mitch Shiner – Latin Vibes
  • Aug 10 Tritonics – Rock Steady Reggae
  • Aug 17 LaChazz – Latin Jazz
  • Aug 24 Sindoola – African Dance Music
  • Sept 7 Listening Party – Bluegrass/Americana
  • Sept 14 Command Performance – Big Band

For more information check out Art @ Large's website. Enjoy!


Rhythm & Blooms Free Summer Concerts

Don't miss out on another free summer concert series hosted by the Havenwood Economic Development Corps!

When: August 2nd from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Where: Green Tree Community Garden- 6767 N. 60th St, Milwaukee.

Visit their Eventbrite for an updated list of performers.


South Howell Avenue Reconstruction Project

Please see the briefing below from the Wisconsin Department of Public Works on reconstruction on South Howell Avenue in Milwaukee.

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) announces that a reconstruction project on South Howell Avenue from West Grange to Layton Avenues will begin on Monday, July 16, 2018 with preliminary work on the avenue crossovers. This is a State of Wisconsin Department on Transportation project, managed in conjunction with DPW, and is expected to last into December 2018, weather permitting.

IMPORTANT: Access to General Mitchell International Airport (GMIA) from S. Howell Ave. will be maintained during this project.

However GMIA travelers, customers, employees, and vendors should be aware of traffic pattern changes and possible delays accessing the airport during the project. The traveling public may wish the use South 13th Street between W. Layton and W. Grange as an alternative route to the airport.

What to expect during construction:

  • Two-way traffic on S. Howell Ave. will continue during construction.
  • On Thursday, July 19 the east side of S. Howell Avenue will be closed.
  • One lane in each direction will be open on the west side of the street.
  • The intersection of S. Howell/ East & West Layton will also be reconstructed; traffic lane closures on Layton will occur as well.

Bus Routes: #55 and the Green Line will remain in operation on their regular routes. Route #80 will detour to/from the Airport Spur via W. Grange Ave. to S. 6th St. Passengers should watch for possible additional and/or relocated bus stops, and other possible delays, and plan accordingly.

Parking: There will be no on-street parking on S. Howell during construction.

Pedestrian access: Short-term disruptions will occur as sidewalks are being removed and rebuilt. Temporary accommodations will be provided as needed.

For more information on this project go to the DPW website.


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.


The Salvation Army To Celebrate Christmas In July

Please see the briefing below from the Wisconsin Salvation Army on their Christmas In July donation drive in Milwaukee County.

MILWAUKEE COUNTY - The Salvation Army is bringing Christmas in July to Milwaukee County. Christmas in July, which will be held from July 23 to July 28, is a week dedicated to community awareness and fundraising.

During that week, residents of Milwaukee County will see The Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles out at the following locations throughout the city:

- Pick 'N Save, 250 W Holt Milwaukee, WI 53207
- Pick 'N Save, 3701 S 27th Milwaukee, WI. 53221
- Pick 'N Save, 7201 S 76th Street Franklin, WI 53132
- Pick 'N Save, 7780 S Lovers Lane Rd Franklin, WI 53132
- Pick 'N Save, 4279 S 76th Street Greenfield, WI 53220
- Pick 'N Save, 2320 W Ryan Rd Oak Creek, WI 53154
- Pick 'N Save, 8770 S Howell Avenue Oak Creek, WI 53154
- Pick 'N Save, 2625 S 108th West Allis, WI 53227

“The Red Kettle Campaign during Christmas has historically been the The Salvation Army's primary fundraiser, with proceeds going directly to help families and individuals in need throughout the entire year, not just at Christmas,” said Major Steve Merritt, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan. “With the increase in financial requests made to The Salvation Army and need for community care year round, Christmas in July will help provide financial assistance for more families right now.”

Christmas in July will also include one major fundraising event. In partnership with The Milwaukee Brewers, The Salvation Army will have bell ringers and kettles outside Miller Park prior to the Brewers vs. Nationals game on Wednesday, July 25.

If you would like to volunteer to ring bells this July, please visit and enter your city or zip code to find a kettle closest to you.

If you would like to donate to the Christmas in July campaign, visit or text keyword ChristmasInJuly to 41444.

More volunteer opportunities:

Shifts are now open for Christmas Family Feast, the Prison Toy Program and Toy Shop. If you are interested, please apply online at:

About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (Human Locally, 87 cents of every dollar raised is used to support programs and services in Milwaukee County.












War Memorial Center Public Tours

Friday, August 3rd
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

War Memorial Center
750 N Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info


World Peace Celebration Community Resource & Job Fair

Saturday, August 4th
1:00 - 4:00 pm

Sherman Park Boys & Girls Club
3000 N Sherman Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53210

For More Info


Power To The Polls: Creating an Agenda for Black Women in Wisconsin


Saturday, July 28

6:00 - 9:00 pm


Chic Underground Lounge
770 N Jefferson St. Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info




Brady Street Festival


Saturday, July 28th

11:00 am


1224 (LR) E. Brady St. Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info




Car and Bike Show


Saturday, July 28th

1:00 - 5:00 pm


ABV Social

11200 W. Burleigh St. Wauwatosa, WI 53222


For More Info




Art and Chalk Fest


Saturday, July 28th

9:00 am - 5:00 pm


 Sunday, July 29th    10:00 am - 4:00 pm


Museum of Wisconsin Art

205 Veterans Ave.

West Bend, WI 53095


For More Info




Enchanted Evening


Sunday, July 29th

6:30 pm


Boerner Botanical Gardens

9400 Boerner Dr.

Hales Corners, WI 53130


For More Info




WBDC Connect & Celebrate


Tuesday, July 31st

1:30 pm


Italian Community Center

631 E. Chicago St.

Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info




Happy Birthday Harry Potter!


Tuesday, July 31st

2:00 pm


St. Francis Public Library

4230 S. Nicholson Ave.

St. Francis, WI 53235


For More Info




Camera Club


Wednesday, Aug. 1st

7:00 pm


Retzer Nature Center

S14W28167 Madison St.

Waukesha, WI 53188


For More Info




Best of Broadway


Thursday, Aug. 2nd

6:30 pm


The Mayfair Collection

11500 W. Burleigh St.

Wauwatosa, WI 53222


For More Info




The Little Prince: A Children's Opera

Friday, August 3rd
7:00 - 8:30 pm

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

1209 N. Broadway

Milwaukee, WI 53202

For More Info








 Quote of the Week:

"Policing must become a truly community endeavor- not just in a few cities, but everywhere. Police forces should look like, and come from the neighborhoods they serve."

- Senator Elizabeth Warren

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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