Official Government Communication

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


Remembering Sherman Park

This Thursday, I had the honor of being a part of a presentation produced by PBS Milwaukee and WUWM radio that took a look back at the 2016 Sherman Park riot. Bringing in elected officials, community leaders, residents of the district and surrounding neighborhoods, organizers sought to address the reasons behind the disturbance, the response and what is needed to move beyond that period of unrest. Airing later in August, community members were invited to hear a panel discussion and then discuss or provide comments regarding what they believe played out last summer.

The riot occurred in August last year in response to the death of 23 year-old Syville Smith, during an officer involved shooting. The tensions between the African-American community, in Milwaukee, and law enforcement, mirrored much of what was happening around the country. The audience was asked to discuss the underlying factors that contributed to the property damage and ripped at the soul of this diverse Milwaukee neighborhood. Housing, unemployment, education, community pride, and police relations were all on the table.

A lot has been in response, to include $4.5 million in state aid to Milwaukee, job creation opportunities for youth, grassroots efforts to provide youth programming in the parks, and more. Personally, the work that I have done for more than ten years on creating legislation in response to officer involved shootings, or authoring the Community-Police Relations Act intended to create real incentives for police to use best-practices has been to improve community policing. By providing up to $300,000 a year to police departments, located in minority areas, it is hopeful that these additional resources will help reward plans that positively change the tone and interaction with the communities they serve. I am also currently working on my Officer Involved Deaths 2.0 package which will include four different bills that will institute a variety of changes to our current system such as; requiring independent investigators to cases of officer involved deaths so that they don't end up investigating themselves, and requiring law enforcement to release bodycam and dashcam footage to the families in a timely manner after an officer involved death. This is truly important to me and I hope that we can continue creating lasting change in Milwaukee.



One for the Books

This week, I met with representatives from Rosen Publishing to discuss their work in educating children about the importance of urban agriculture. They have been able to incorporate this into Preschool and K-12 curriculums through publishing books intended to expose children early to the subject. Books like "America’s Transition from Agriculture to Industry" explore the evolution of the U.S. agricultural economy. Education in this arena has often been overlooked, particularly in urban school districts.

However, the health, career, economic, and environmental benefits are enormous to cities like Milwaukee. I have stressed the importance of urban agriculture again and again during my tenure as a state senator. It's amazing to see how urban ag programs have flourished in Milwaukee public schools such as Harold S. Vincent High School, which has a program that gives students access to a greenhouse, hoop house, animal room, landscape equipment, aquaponics and outdoor study areas. It is my hope to expand this educational opportunity to all students in the district.



Protecting Those Who Need it Most

On Thursday, I met with Rep. Bob Gannon (R-West Bend) to address the high infant mortality rates in Milwaukee, especially among minorities. Right now there are barriers in our healthcare system design and it can be difficult to help those who need it most. To address some of the system issues of service delivery, I have been working on my LOVE & FAITH initiative and one of its components to better assist infant mortality.

Based on a model originally introduced in Mansfield, Ohio as CHAP (Community Health Access Project), the program has since been renamed the Pathways Community HUB and versions exist in Toledo and Cincinnati. CHAP originally opened its doors in "hotspot" areas where infant mortality was high and such a model seems ideal for Milwaukee. This program has the potential to create lasting change and could bring substantial savings to the state. It's estimated that each dollar invested in this program returns $3 in short term medical care costs, and $5 in long term medical care costs. Over time, that will really make a difference. My initiative is intended to create hubs throughout Milwaukee that will provide important resources to the community. This program is a game changer and I am excited about a chance to draft impactful bipartisan legislation or policies to address this important issue.



This Sunday, I am joining area residents in celebrating MICAH Day. MICAH stands for Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope. MICAH is a multiracial interfaith organization that addresses justice issues affecting the community through education, advocacy, and action. Organizations like this are critical partners in our work to address the problems that have been plaguing our community. Grassroots movements have always been our most direct and meaningful response to community problems. It is no secret that Milwaukee has a disproportionate share of issues to include excessive black male unemployment, disparate health, incarceration, and education outcomes for communities of color.

MICAH has stepped up to offer responses and work alongside elected officials at every level of government to address the issues. Whether hosting issue-specific town halls, working to reduce the prison population and recidivism, working alongside their additional allied partners, or demonstrating the role the faith community can provide in improving our neighborhoods, Milwaukee is stronger because of MICAH's presence. I am proud to support MICAH Day and look forward to their continued positive influence and commitment to public service.




On Wednesday Governor Walker made a deal with Foxconn Technology Group, a Taiwan-based electronics contracting company, to build a plant that would supposedly employ 3,000 Wisconsinites initially and upwards to 13,000 within 6 years. The plant would make liquid-crystal-display screens for TVs and other products. In theory, this should be welcomed news. After all, the positive economic impact that Foxconn's presence could bring includes jobs, construction projections and a strengthened tax base. Maybe. There are a number of questions that remain unanswered as Republicans in the state dangle between $1 to $3 billion dollars in taxpayer-backed subsidies to cement the deal.

However, Foxconn has had problems living up to their end of the bargain. In fact they've broken promises to at least 4 countries over the years, including the US. Foxconn has yet to build a promised $30 million factory in Pennsylvania. Due in 2013, that factory was never built. In 2014, Foxconn promised a $1 billion investment in Indonesia and three years later, nothing has happened. Foxconn has been getting hopes ups as far back as 2007, in which a $5 billion investment in Vietnam was reneged on as well.

And then there is the question of employment practices, worker treatment and wages. Foxconn's plants in other countries have had employee riots, high incidents of suicide, been accused of demanding excessive overtime without pay and subjected workers to unrealistic production schedules. Since our Republican colleagues worked to remove Wisconsin worker protections via Act 10 and in making this a "right to work" state, there are rightful concerns about worker's treatment. Forgive me, but I'm a little wary of this deal and am listening as local economists are questioning if the deal is "too pricey in terms of potential economic benefit back to the state." I'm rooting for this to work out and benefit Wisconsinites, but I'm going to ask the tough questions, push for worker protections, and work to ensure that taxpayers are protected.





Events and Opportunities






School Supply Drive


August 2nd

St. Frances Church

4611 S. Kirkwood Ave.

Cudahy, WI

Come donate school supplies and make a difference

More info here.






Live at the Lakefront

August 2nd


Discovery World

500 N Harbor Drive


Come enjoy this free events celebrating the community!

More info here.







Shorewood Centennial Celebration- Summer Concert

August 2nd


Hubbard Park

3565 N. Morris Blvd

Shorewood WI

Come celebrate 100 years of Shorewood being Shorewood!

More info here.







Downtown Employee Appreciation Week

July 31st-August 1st
Downtown Milwaukee

If you work downtown come be appreciated with this week of fun!

More info here.






The Sun's Disappearing Act


August 4th


Manfred Olsen Planetarium

1900 E. Kenwood Ave.

A Celebration of the solar eclipse with a live performance about cultural understanding of eclipses throughout time

More info here.






 Quote of the Week:

"It's just like a weed in your yard: you can go pull up the dandelion and break it off, but guess what's going to happen? It's going to grow back and multiply unless you do what? Dig down and get at the root. That's what I'm saying, we have to dig down and get at the root."

-Senator Lena C. Taylor on the Sherman Park unrest

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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