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

Empty Shoes Memorial

This Wednesday, I joined the Center for Suicide Awareness in hosting the Empty Shoes Memorial on the steps of the Capitol. This event aimed to raise awareness about suicide's impact by displaying 900 empty shoes and 173 empty military combat boots on the Capitol's front lawn. The visual impact of it all was heartbreaking. The memorial was held in conjunction with the passage of a resolution that Representative Jacque and I sponsored, officially recognizing September as National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is a critical issue that doesn't receive enough attention. This event not only brought more attention to the issue, but also allowed the community to connect with one another and learn more about resources that provide constant emotional support, such as HOPELINE. HOPELINE is the Emotional Support Text Line in the State of Wisconsin which helped prevent 42 suicides in 2016. This year, I introduced a motion to provide funding to HOPELINE in the Wisconsin State Budget, but it was shot down during the Joint Committee on Finance along party lines, with all 12 Republicans voting against.

While I am disappointed that HOPELINE funding was rejected by the majority-seated party, I am proud of the work that the Center for Suicide Awareness does in our communities. I will continue to work within the capitol and around the state to fight for access to health care and help reduce and prevent the devastating number of suicides in our state.

MCW/Froedert Sickle Cell Event

On Tuesday, I spoke at the Sickle Cell Awareness event held by the Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). This event celebrated the success of bringing increased awareness to sickle cell disease. Affecting over 100,000 Americans, sickle cell disease is an inherited red blood cell disease that decreases the amount of red blood cells within the body, leading to enhanced pain and other severe medical issues, such as stroke and kidney failure.

Through the continued efforts of MCW and Froedtert Hospital, local advocacy groups like Independence First and national advocacy groups such as Sickle Cell Warriors have been able to reduce and better treat sickle cell in our communities. Compared to decades ago, public education about this disease has improved, more research has been funded and increased ways to manage the disease have been discovered. I am proud of the work that the MCW and Froedtert Hospital are doing across Wisconsin and recognize that there is still more work to do.

Steadfast and Immovable

Today, I have the privileged opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Dane County's 2017 Freedom Fund Dinner. As a local branch of the national NAACP, the organization is dedicated to ensuring and protecting the rights of all citizens. As stated by their former President Benjamin Jealous, the NAACP is both steadfast in ending the societal problems and immovable in their fight to do so. The Freedom Fund Dinner serves as the branch's annual fundraiser, that enables their work both on the local and national level. Since 1909, the NAACP has stood up against racism, bigotry, and unequal treatment under the law. The NAACP, through grassroots organizing, has used marches, civil disobedience, and the courts to expose and fight against the social ills that plague this nation. From Little Rock to our nation's capitol, the NAACP has stood strong. I am honored to stand with them tonight to recognize their important work.


Open on the Fifth Wednesday of the Month

This past Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day. I want to comment on the relatively recently implemented voter photo I.D. laws in the Wisconsin State Legislature. In 2011, Governor Scott Walker passed a bill requiring a strict voter photo I.D. requirements that placed extreme limits on what kinds of identifications were acceptable. After being implemented in February of 2012 for the first time, the law faced challenges in the judicial system. Though some parts of the bill were struck down as unconstitutional, the same strict spirit of the bill remained intact. When the Supreme Court declined to hear the case in 2014, the law was put back into effect. In the 2016 elections when Wisconsin had its lowest voter turnout since 2000, many wondered about the impact of photo I.D. requirements and access on voter turnout.

For example, in Sauk City, WI, the only place to obtain a valid driver's license or state-issued ID for the purpose of voting is the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, the DMV customer service center in Sauk City is only open on the fifth Wednesday of every month, which totaled out to only four days of 2016. To access the nearest DMV in another town, requires traveling a minimum of 20 miles. This is an undue burden and has the effect of disenfranchising residents in Sauk. Further, a study released this Monday, by UW-Madison political scientist Ken Mayer, concluded 16,800 to 23,250 voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties, in Wisconsin did not vote because of the voter ID law. Those most affected appear to be voters of color, young voters and newly registered voters. Whether Sauk or Milwaukee, I am working to ensure fair treatment and ease of access to voting in our state.

The High Cost of Doing Business with Foxconn

This week, documents released by North Carolina officials showed they offered Foxconn $570 million in an effort to bring the technology plant to their state. Ultimately, under Governor Walker's leadership, Wisconsin will pay nearly 5 times more than North Carolina to obtain the plant. State lawmakers were repeatedly told that other states had made "better offers" by the Governor and others supporting the Foxconn deal. Yet, we have yet to see proof that any other state was willing to match the excessive financial agreement we entered into with Foxconn.

Foxconn will basically pay no corporate tax in the state, as we struggle to fund transportation and fill huge gaps in education funding for our public schools. In 2011, the federal Government Accountability Office reported that at least 60 percent of all U.S. companies -- including many small ones -- reported no federal income-tax liability from 1998 to 2005. In 2017, a new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that 258 profitable Fortune 500 companies earning more than $3.8 trillion in profits paid no taxes in at least one year between 2008 and 2015. I want Wisconsin and the country to be competitive in luring and retaining businesses. However, I am also committed to taxpayers getting straight-forward answers regarding the Foxconn incentive package and how we compared to other states involved in the bidding process.

March for Black Women's Empowerment

Saturday, I am attending the Black Women's Empowerment March in Milwaukee. Hosted by Uplifting Black Liberation and Community (UBLAC), the march is intended to demonstrate solidarity with the March for Racial Justice happening in Washington, D.C. on the same day. Speaking out against systems of institutionalized racism, especially those affecting women and girls are at the core of their mission to see an equitable future for communities of color. After the march, UBLAC plans to continue to build an agenda to better the lives of women and girls in Milwaukee, taking into account the specific struggles we face here in our city. I am a firm believer in creating a world in which all women, especially those in communities of color, feel empowered to have their voices heard. I proudly stand with UBLAC and all those who continue the fight to improve the lives of women and girls in Milwaukee.

Kneel or Stand, But Be Engaged

This past week, the decision to kneel or stand at an NFL game has gained national attention at the misguided stoking of the U.S. President. Mudding the waters of a difficult discussion around first amendment rights to free speech, we have watched the narrative of Colin Kaepernick's initial protest be changed from one of calling attention for the deaths of unarmed African-American men and women at the hands of law enforcement to disrespect for veterans. The flag and anthem are a symbol of American ideals and do not belong to one group, race, or organization. That is likely why there is no constitutional requirement in which one has to stand during the rendering of the national anthem.

The beauty of being in a country like the United States is that as citizens, we are allowed to freely voice our opinions, without fear of imprisonment or punishment, ironically unless you are actively serving in the military. I encourage all to become involved with issues that you care about, whether locally, nationally, or internationally. If you are already engaged, thank you for your contributions and continued efforts to build a better community for all! If not, I urge you to find an issue you are passionate about and get to work! As Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."






Events and Opportunities








Sturgeon Fest with RiverEdge Nature Center


Saturday, Sept. 30


Lakeshore State Park

500 N. Harbor Dr.,

Milwaukee WI

Fun free event for the whole family! Come out and make a difference!

More info here.













Fall Color Festival Bike Rides

Saturday, Sept. 30


The John Muir Trails, White Water WI

Bring your bike and raise money for our state forests!

More info here.













Palermo's Pizza Making Lesson

Saturday, Sept 30


3301 Canal St.

Milwaukee WI

Come make pizza and enjoy yourself!

More info here.














Autumn Harvest Fest

Sunday, Oct. 1


1545 Main Street, Milwaukee WI

Pick an apple, take a pony ride, and more all for free!

More info here.












60 Years of Sputnik


Wednesday, Oct. 4


UWM Manfred Planetarium

1900 E Kenwood Blvd., Milwaukee WI

Celebrate this anniversary of Sputnik's launch!

More info here.







 Quote of the Week:

"The only way that we make American Democracy work is to listen to each other and try to be respectful, while anybody who's trying to express any political view of any sort understands that they do so under the blanket of protection of our men and women in uniform, and that that appreciation of that sacrifice is never lost."

-Barack Obama

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.

Stay in touch: