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


National Night Out!

I'm so excited for my National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1! This event is an effort to promote involvement in police-community partnerships, improve crime prevention, and create greater neighborhood unity. I'll be working with community organizations and legislators from our district at the city, county, and state levels. This is just one of approximately 16,000 National Night out events in America. More than 37 million people across the nation are anticipated to participate. We'll have food, live music, games, and a community resource fair. Come enjoy an evening of family-friendly fun and stay for the movie to be shown later in the evening. It's happening in the Blatz pavilion at Lincoln Park, 1301 W Hampton Ave and is free of charge. Because this is a free event, help us plan for food by confirming attendance on our Facebook event! You're all invited so hopefully I'll see you there.


Library Construction Has Been Booked!

This week I met with developers to discuss the Martin Luther King Library project, located at 310 W. Locust. The team plans to complete financing for the library by fall, followed by demolition of the current library. I love the way libraries connect Milwaukee residents to their community and help build relationships. They strengthen neighborhoods by providing a greater access to economic and educational opportunity. Work on the new library could begin as early as next year, with a temporary library space until its completion at the end of 2018. The library would also diversify housing in the neighborhood, featuring a retail space, a rooftop terrace and apartments targeted towards young professionals in the area. I'm excited to see the community grow with the development of the new Martin Luther King Library.


Kids Grow, Gardens Grow

Earlier this week I met with daycare providers to help bring urban agriculture into preschools. I am a firm believer that providing preschool children the opportunity to garden helps them to discover, experiment, nurture and learn. Gardening offers children a chance to actively participate in their education while gaining real life experience. I'm not the only one who believes this, either! Studies show that gardens encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables, increase parental involvement and improve children's attitudes about school and teamwork. With all of these benefits, gardens are surprisingly easy to bring into a classroom. I'm thrilled at the doors that can be open for youth be exposing them to urban agriculture!


Keys to a Home, Doorways to Opportunity

This Monday I participated in a tour to better understand the challenges of those who find themselves displaced or on the streets in Milwaukee. There are so many issues the homeless face that need our attention. This tour addressed chronic homelessness, which is defined as being homeless for over a year or having three or more stints of homelessness over the course of four years. The Milwaukee Housing First Program tour focused on providing a shift in the usual approach to chronic homelessness by providing housing first, then combining supportive treatment services in mental and physical health, substance abuse, education, and employment. This program has many benefits such as: supportive community integration, local economic development, taxpayer money saved, reduced burden on police and emergency services as well as homeless shelters, and advocates for justice in mental health services.

I have always prioritized helping the homeless during my time as a legislator. For instance, I cosponsored a bill in January to limit law enforcement's ability to arrest individuals sleeping on public benches. In the Joint Committee on Finance, I discussed creating a grant program through the Department of Administration Housing which aimed to combat the growing issue of homelessness in Wisconsin. It would allow municipalities to apply for grants of up to $75,000 to connect homeless individuals with long term employment, which is crucial legislation as there are currently around 1.56 million homeless people in Wisconsin in they need of resources. I'm glad this received bipartisan support as it is an excellent step in addressing chronic homelessness, but we must continue to do more. This means funding programs such as Wisconsin Works, expanding Medicaid and refusing to drug test welfare recipients.


Who's Teaching Your Child?

This Wednesday, Governor Walker signed a bill that I coauthored into law. Act 36 will ensure all private schools that participate in the Choice program conduct background checks on their employees and prohibits the school from hiring anyone who might endanger the safety of school children. According to the Department of Education, only 14 states in the country conduct mandatory background checks for private school employees. With the passing of this bill, Wisconsin is setting an example for student safety in private school for all other states. Additionally, this bill proposes to remove the reimbursement cap for the Special Needs Scholarship Program in Wisconsin. Special education demands more resources, time, and effort from teachers and staff; hence, they should be reimbursed accordingly. Allowing schools to fully cater to the needs of our children with disabilities will only ensure the longevity of the Special Needs Scholarship Program in the state. I'm truly proud to see this bill being passed.



Leading Issues on Lead

This Thursday the Public Safety and Health Committee engaged in a City of Milwaukee Common Council meeting and took action on an issue I've been concerned about for some time, lead poisoning. The Lead exposure from paint runoff or contaminated pipes is particularly dangerous for children. A fully developed adult is less susceptible than a child to the many risks posed by trace amounts of lead which include irritability, lower intelligence and in some cases the development of learning disabilities. Dr. Geoffrey Swain, a professor of family services and medical director of UW-Madison's Health Department, estimates that over 70,000 service lines in Milwaukee need to be replaced entirely to fully address the issue.


As we saw in Flint, Michigan there is potential for an epidemic if we don't take strong and swift action to ensure clean drinking water for all. The resolution addressed the need for transparency and improvement in public education on the risks posed by lead contamination. It is a step in the right direction, however, I firmly believe that we can do more. Public health is a basic human right; people deserve to know that the water provided to them by the government is safe to drink. That's why I'm working on the Lead Testing Package. This package combines 7 bills all aimed at starting the lengthy process of eradicating lead from Milwaukee's water. By requiring more regular testing for lead in schools, allocating funds to replace contaminated service lines, as well as taking a variety of other measures towards increasing public education regarding lead poisoning, I believe we can start moving in the right direction and provide the people of Milwaukee with the clean water they deserve.



Quote of the Week::

"There must always be a remedy for wrong and injustice, if we only know how to find it."

-Ida B. Wells

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.


Events & Opportunities




Festa Italiana

July 21-23

Henry W. Maier Festival Park

2000 N. Harbor Dr.,

Milwaukee, WI

Come enjoy a taste of Italy this weekend!

More info here.





NAACP Backyard BBQ

July 22


Johnson Park

1919 W Fond Du Lac Park

Great food, giveaways, music, spoken word, and vendors

Live music and family fun!

More info here.





The Community Breakfast Brainstorming Session

July 22

Breakfast: 8am-9am

Program: 9am-11am

St. Matthews C.M.E. Church

2944 North 9th St

Milwaukee WI

Program involves discussion about human trafficking and what we can do to stop it

More info here.





2017 African Cultural Festival

July 22


Brown Deer Park

Milwaukee, WI

A celebration of rich African cultural heritage

More info here.




PBS and WUWM Present; Beyond Sherman Park

July 27


Parklawn Assembly of God

3725 N Sherman Blvd

Milwaukee, WI

Join the conversation about the underlying issues that provoked violence in Milwaukee's Sherman Park

More info here.







Wisconsin State Fair

August 3-13

Wisconsin State Fair Park

640 S. 84th St.

West Allis, WI

Live music, food, fun, and so much more!

More info here.











Stay in touch:


    Milwaukee:  414-342-7176

    Madison:     608-266-5810