Official Government Communication

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my email newsletter. 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

Mental Health Awareness Month

Did you know that one in five American adults will experience a mental health issue? Every day, millions of Americans are faced with the realities of living with a mental health condition.  Far too often, they suffer in silence. Throughout the month, we are dedicated to raising awareness for mental health, improving our overall well-being, and reducing the harmful, negative stigmas associated with mental illness. 

The statistics behind mental illness are eye-opening. 26 percent of homeless adults staying in a shelter live with a serious mental illness and 24 percent of prisoners nationwide have a “recent history of a mental health condition.” Homeless shelters and prisons are two of the most high profile places that lack adequate resources to assist the mentally ill.

The media is full of inaccurate portrayals of individuals dealing with mental illness or addictive disorders, creating misconceptions that hurt those who are struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. They limit the scope of what truly constitutes “mental health” and foster an atmosphere in which it may feel shameful or unacceptable to seek help. We should be fighting to ensure that individuals have access to the care and help that they need rather than reinforcing this destructive stigma.

Mental illness goes undiagnosed for an average of ten years. When properly treated, those with mental illness experience a significant reduction of symptoms and an improved quality of life. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our community to not only look out for our own health and well-being, but also provide easily accessible resources for those in need of mental health services. Through community-based initiatives designed to aid our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors, we can reduce the damaging stigmas surrounding mental health.

May is mental health awareness month. We need your help with awareness. Please, join us in breaking down the stigma and spreading the word.

Transgender teacher suicide emails reveal she was bullied

While the public debates about which bathrooms transgender folks should use, a larger issue goes ignored; the mental health challenges faced by the transgender community. This week, the Milwaukee Public Schools released the emails of Karis Ross, a transgender teacher who committed suicide in 2014. The emails reveal she identified herself as subject of bullying by her coworkers. “I feel that I am being subtly bullied and it’s taking a toll on my health,” she wrote just days before committing suicide. This month is Mental Health Awareness Month. Please, help me spread the word that 90% of people who commit suicide have an underlying mental illness and that suicide is the 10th leading cause of illness in America. While I can’t speak to the mental health of Ms. Ross, I will say that bullying can and does exacerbate the problem. Rather than being part of the problem, I’m asking you today to be part of the solution and please help educate others this month about the importance of inclusion and the dangers of bullying.

More tragedy in the city

A nine-year-old girl is in critical condition this weekend after becoming victim to gun violence in her neighborhood. Two groups armed with shotguns and pistols were engaged in a “shootout” on Meinecke Ave. early Thursday evening. The girl was inside a nearby home and was struck in the face by a bullet that pierced the wall. Police recovered more than forty shell casings. Chief Flynn said that just last week, one of his officers walked the neighborhood and spoke with this young girl's family about their concerns. Flynn said the officer jumped rope with the girl, whose only concern was whether police can keep her safe. I am grateful for the efforts of the Milwaukee Police Department, but devastated that we could not prevent this incident. This young girl is turning 10 on May 17th, and I pray that she has a fast recovery.

 MPS Educator named “Music Teacher of the Year”

Two Milwaukee Public Schools music educators will be honored by the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee for their excellence in music education. Benjamin Zabor is the director of band and orchestra at MPS’ Rufus King International High School, my alma mater. Zabor was selected to receive the 2016 Music Teacher of the Year Award by the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee. Jessica Marks is a music and chorus teacher at the Academy of Accelerated Learning and is being recognized for Excellence in General Music Instruction. Mr. Zabor and Ms. Marks will be honored at Civic Music’s annual Music Educator Awards Ceremony on Sunday, May 15, 2016. The event will take place at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. Congratulations Mr. Zabor and Ms. Marks on your well-deserved honor, and thank you for all that you do for our kids!




Stay in touch:


    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810




Community Events:

Manufacturing Recruitment Event! Wide variety of direct hire positions with several companies for experienced workers, as well as recruitment for pre-employment trainings that lead to full-time positions for successful graduates. May 19, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 633 South Hawley Road, Milwaukee. Call 414-342-9787 to register, click here to see the full flyer.

Express Yourself Milwaukee: Illuminate 2016: Proof that art changes lives, strengthens families and builds communities! May 12 6:30-9:00 p.m. free and open to the public. More info here.

Art in the City: Plein Air MKE: Outdoor painting competition featuring up to 75 plein air artists creating art along the Milwaukee Museum Mile. May 7-14, 8"00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Click here for further details.




 Quote of the Week:

 "Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: getting out of bed"

-Mason Cooley

 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.