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


Celebrating Good Work!

On Thursday, the LGBTQ Progress Awards were held to celebrate community leaders who have positively impacted both the LGBTQ and Milwaukee communities. We have come a long way since PrideFest debuted 30 years ago, but the fight for equal protections in areas such as employment, military service, and healthcare remain as important as ever.  Advocates play a vital role in keeping issues affecting the LGBTQ at the forefront and I am pleased that we are taking a moment to acknowledge the importance of their work.

Award categories include the Struggle for Equality, Progress in Philanthropy, Progress in Youth Service, Progress in Activism and more. This event not only recognizes those who have made progress for the LGBTQ community, but also donates 20 percent of proceeds to the Cream City Foundation, an organization that does great work in Milwaukee to advance the human rights and support the needs of the LGBTQ community in Southeastern Wisconsin.



The Governor's Minority Unemployment Task Force

On Friday, I attended the Governor’s Minority Unemployment Task Force. A number of reports were provided and presentations offered on advancing the goal of addressing barriers to full participation of minority residents in Wisconsin’s workforce, developing skilled workers and empowering individuals to pursue and retain family supporting careers. We heard updates on the Wisconsin Fast Forward program, which supports worker training projects, as well as hearing from Employ Milwaukee.  Employ Milwaukee has youth apprenticeship program which emphasizes STEM, heavy manufacturing as well as urban agriculture. They have also reached out to the Sherman Park area, adding a Job Access Point and doing vocational rehabilitation work. Milwaukee Public Schools, who is also a partner  discussed their work around youth apprenticeships, summer youth employment and FaBLabs, which are fabrication laboratories that aim to teach engineering and materials processing and to allow students to apply textbook physics and math to real-world projects. Fab labs are the new shop class, but they're also at the center of a transformation in thinking about how to better engage students in learning and how to restructure technical education.  And finally we heard from business partners and the connection to the skilled trades and post-secondary educational opportunities.




Foxconn Price Tag: Fiscally and Environmentally Too High?

As Governor Walker continues to push for a speedy decision on the Foxconn deal, more red flags are waving. I have already expressed my concerns regarding Foxconn’s history of failed business deals and highly questionable labor practices around the world.  This concern is further solidified by the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s recent projections that it would take 25 years, under the best possible circumstances, for this to be a profitable deal for Wisconsin.  And yet, there are more immediate issues to weigh in on.

Job creation is important, no doubt, but the protection of Wisconsin’s waterways and natural resources is of consequential importance. If not done right, the damage we caused in the hurried execution of this deal could be real and resonating. Walker’s deal would exempt Foxconn from no less than six current Wisconsin DNR permitting requirements to encourage business development. Will other business expect similar treatment? Wisconsin is full of beautiful lakes, forest and wetlands, but now we are questioning what are we willing to forgo for job creation. How impactful are the power and water needs associated with a project of this size, and how are neighboring communities impacted?  We have a great responsibility to protect our wetlands, vibrant habitats which act as natural filters for drinking water, and protect against flooding. I want to make sure we’re getting a good deal with Foxconn, and environmental protection is inseparable from that.





Road Trip to Appleton, WI

This week I went to see how a 72-acre golf course is being converted into an Agriculture industry haven. Founded in 1898, Riverview Country Club and golf course was Wisconsin’s oldest private country club and an Appleton institution until its closing in 2011. It was purchased in 2011 and has become Riverview Gardens, a venue to address critical community needs in a completely new way. The course’s transformation addresses serious regional challenges, including unemployment, homelessness and poverty.


They offer five different social enterprise businesses where job-training participants can receive real “on the job” training that they can use immediately upon graduation from ServiceWorks, to include: (1) certified-organic urban farm on former golf course fairways; (2) hydroponics greenhouse built over country club pool (only known hydroponics operation over former pool in U.S); (3) event and park space at former country club building and golf course fairways; (4) maintenance contracts for other non-profit organizations; (5) donated downtown Appleton building converted into collaborative and creative space to serve the mission. 


I want to thank those in Appleton, WI for the in-state education, brilliance, experience sharing, and exposure to the program. Their willingness to help others who have fallen through the cracks and ability to see the possibilities in all that come to them for a 2nd chance is extremely important. I'm excited to learn more, connect it to the work I am doing around my Love & Faith initiative in Milwaukee, and introduce others to the work being done!


50th Anniversary of Milwaukee Open Housing Marches

In the summer of 1967 the people of Milwaukee took a stand to support a fair housing bill for in Milwaukee, aiming to desegregate the city and provide equal housing opportunities African-Americans. They marched for 200 nights and every night met largely violent counter-protestors who would throw bricks and bottles at the marchers, to which the KKK even bombed an NAACP Milwaukee office on August 9th, 1966. Hundreds of black people in Milwaukee were either shot at or arrested during this time, simply for using their first amendment right for peaceful, organized protest.

 The bravery, persistence, and strength that these individuals demonstrated was exceptional, something which I try to bring into my life and work every day. Despite all the progress we’ve made since 1967, Milwaukee continues to finds itself plagued by issues of segregation an racially based adversity.  However, like the strong individuals who took to the streets 50 years ago, we too need to continue our own march towards racial equity, fairness and inclusion.










Events and Opportunities






Milwaukee Police Band


August 13th


Marcus Center for the Arts. 929 N. Water Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202


Check out the oldest police band in America. 

More info here.






Bronzeville Black Food Truck Fest

August 12th


Garfield Ave. (between N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and 2nd St.

More info here.







Newaukee's Night Market


August 16th


Wisconsin Ave between 2nd and 4th Streets


Check out this free, open-air market featuring art, craft, food, and music.

More info here.









 Quote of the Week:

"The time is always right to do what is right."

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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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