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


Indigenous Peoples' Day Day, for many, celebrates Christopher Columbus arriving in the Americas. However, for the indigenous people of this country, it represents so much more. It is a painful reminder of millions of individuals who were forcibly moved from their homes, enslaved and violated. By making Indigenous Peoples’ Day a state holiday, we can recognize and support those who have historically not had a voice. Over the past few years, many states and cities have begun to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a state and local holiday. More recently, Milwaukee County has joined the movement with the help of students at the Indian Community School in Franklin, WI. When I met with them on Tuesday, I was so impressed by their eloquence in explaining why we need Indigenous Peoples’ Day to be recognized by our entire state. There are currently 5.2 million Native Americans living in the United States. Despite this grand total, in 2016, only eight Native Americans ran for Congress and 94 ran for seats in various state legislatures. This lack of representation hinders our state from reaching its greatest potential. While times are slowly changing, we can always do more. As the Senate author on a state resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I won’t stop fighting for the recognition and celebration of our important Native American communities.


Forming a Coalition to Close Lincoln Hills Thursday, I spoke at an event with Youth Justice Milwaukee calling for the closure of juvenile state prisons throughout the State of Wisconsin and providing alternatives to youth incarceration. Youth Justice Milwaukee advocates for more community centered, family-based programs as an alternative to juvenile incarceration that can lead to abuse. Since 2012, news reports have shown that youths who are in Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile correctional facilities have been abused with shackling, solitary confinement and pepper spray at the hands of some staff, and have even acted out violently against staff to the point that staff has been hospitalized.

I have continually been a vocal advocate for shutting down these juvenile state prisons like Lincoln Hills and Copper Lakes. The current administration has not done their part in addressing the issues being faced at these facilities. Our state government needs to see and understand that juvenile offenders who have made poor decisions should not be made to endure any abuse- they are still human beings. Groups like Youth Justice Milwaukee who advocate for closing such prisons give me confidence that we can make positive change in our juvenile prison system.

Reckless Driving & Automated Speed Enforcement

On Wednesday, I attended and spoke at Representative David Crowley's (D-Milwaukee) town hall to discuss his “The Safe Roads Save Lives” Act (LRB-3994). This bill would implement a 5 year pilot program that will allow law enforcement in the City of Milwaukee to use automated traffic enforcement technologies, including the use of speed detectors to detect speeding drivers and red-light cameras that would spot reckless drivers who speed through red lights. Current law in Milwaukee prohibits use of these technologies by law enforcement. While I understand the intent of this bill, the audience and I did have some concerns regarding where these automated traffic cameras would be located and if they would disproportionately impact poor and minority communities. There is a potential for automated enforcement to be used as a revenue stream as a form of “taxation by citation,” as seen in Ferguson. In addition, there were concerns that the bill will not help prevent reckless due to the fact that the automated enforcement will only catch those who have a valid license plate. It will not deter reckless driving by those who borrowed a vehicle, those who do not have a license plate or have an obscured one, or by individuals who stole a vehicle. Reckless driving is a serious problem, but we need to consider the full impacts of a bill and if a bill adequately addresses the issues it sets to resolve. I look forward to further discussion about how we as a community can reduce reckless driving.


In Reversal, Some Republicans Finally Condemn Roy Moore

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate, Roy Moore, had allegedly sexually assaulted four underage and teenage girls during his time as Assistant District Attorney in Alabama. The immediate response by GOP leaders was disappointing to say the least. During a Sunday media appearance, Governor Walker questioned the timing of the claims and referenced rumors spread during his own personal campaign. He also stated, along with U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, that “if” the accusations were true, then Moore should step down. The next day, a fifth accuser stepped forward. When four women made the claims it wasn’t enough. However, there must have been something magical about yet another woman telling her story of a near rape that motivated Walker, Congressman Paul Ryan and so many others to finally accept that Ray Moore is unfit to serve in public office. Unfortunately, some elected Republicans disagree; Alabama State Representative Ed Henry stated “you can’t be a victim 40 years later” while Alabama State Auditor said “there is nothing to see here,” citing the biblical story of Joseph and Mary. As of this writing, seven women have stepped forward with allegations of sexual assault by Roy Moore.


GOP Tax Cuts Leave Middle Class Behind Thursday, Republican members of the House of Representatives voted to pass the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act.” The tax cut prioritizes wealthy families and corporations while leaving middle- and working- class families behind. Under the House plan, corporations would receive a permanent tax break while tax breaks for middle-income earners are temporary. According to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, those making $20,000 to $50,000 per year would see their taxes increase in a few years. The bill also eliminates key deductions such as deductions for medical expenses, state and local income and sales taxes, and student loan interest payments. To top it all off, the GOP House plan adds $1.5 trillion to the national debt. The bill now heads to the Senate, where the GOP-controlled chamber has taken up its own tax bill. Under the Senate version, families earning less than $75,000 would see taxes increase by the end of the decade. In addition, the Senate includes a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would remove 13 million people from healthcare.





Events and Opportunities




Lessons from the Long Black Freedom Struggle Saturday, November 18th





The Body and Soul Healing Arts Center

3617 N. 48th St.

Milwaukee, WI



See details here




Milwaukee Holiday Parade

Saturday, November 18th

Begins at 9:30am


Kilbourn Ave.

 Milwaukee, WI


View parade route here



 Annual Tree Lighting in the Monarch Lounge Saturday, November 18th




Hilton Center Hotel

509 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee, WI



Find out more here



Jingle Bus Rides Sunday,

November 19th 




Shops of Grand Avenue - Center Court

275 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee, WI



More details on rides







 Quote of the Week:

"I am excited to see young people engage in this very special day - this is the day you let them know who is coming to claim their day, and claim their legacy."

-Sen. Lena Taylor on Indigenous Peoples' Day

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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