Housing Security

On a given day in 2020, Wisconsin had 4,515 people sleeping in places not meant for human habitation, and a total of 11,624 people stayed in emergency shelters. Of these, 4,866 were located in Brown, Dane, and Milwaukee counties. In 2018-19, 18,349 children attending Wisconsin public schools lacked a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Wisconsin's housing shortage disproportionately impacts the lowest income households. Wisconsin has an estimated 188,100 households earning less than 30% of median income, but only 69,000 homes are considered affordable for those families.

Equity in Criminal Justice System

Wisconsin imprisons Black residents at a higher rate than any other state in the country at a rate of 1 in 36 Black adults. Black individuals comprise 42% of the Wisconsin prison population, but just 6% of the state’s population and are imprisoned 12x the rate of white Wisconsinites. Nationally, Black Americans are imprisoned at a rate 5x that of White Americans. A 2020 study by the Wisconsin Court System found that men of color, particularly Black and Native American men, are significantly more likely to receive prison sentences than their white counterparts — 28% and 34% more likely, respectively, with white men 21% less likely than non-white men to receive a prison sentence.

Personal Safety

In 2020, “Milwaukee police confiscated more than 3,000 guns last year during traffic stops and domestic dispute calls--an 18% increase from 2019." -LA Times

So far, 2021 is on pace to be the worst year for gun violence in decades, surpassing even the high levels last year. There were 189 homicides in Milwaukee last year, a 93% increase from 2019 and the most ever recorded. 89% of these homicides were shootings. There have been 168 homicides thus far this year--7 more than this time in 2020. 90% of these murders were shootings. In addition, according to Marquette University Law School, traffic related deaths in the city have seen a 65% increase since 2011.

Safe Harbor Act

As in past sessions, I have once again authored and introduced the bipartisan Safe Harbor Act, which prohibits children under the age of 18 from being prosecuted for acts of prostitution – a Class A misdemeanor. This vital proposal brings Wisconsin law in line with federal law, which rightfully treats children engaged in commercial sex acts as sexually exploited children and victims of child abuse, not criminals. 

The Safe Harbor Act does not legalize prostitution. Instead, it protects and convinces these children that they have done nothing wrong and are in no way responsible for the horrific acts they were forced into by their traffickers.

On October 14, this bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, and is now available for scheduling for a full vote by the entire senate. To track the Safe Harbor Acts as it goes through the legislative process, CLICK HERE.

Universal Background Checks

Last year, there were 189 homicides in Milwaukee, making gun safety a critical issue for the 6th district. Lax laws and loopholes have left our community awash in guns - placing our children and families in harm's way. 

To combat these terrifying statistics, my Democratic colleagues and I recently reintroduced legislation on Universal Background Checks. This common-sense proposal ensures that ALL individuals seeking to purchase a firearm undergo a background check, and prohibits the transfer of a firearm unless it goes through a federally licensed firearms dealer - with limited exceptions.

My hope is that this legislation will help to protect our community, as it is a step in the right direction towards decreasing gun violence and protecting our families.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders

In 56% of mass shootings and many instances of suicide, dangerous warning signs were exhibited beforehand – but in Wisconsin, there is no legal remedy to take action before it is too late. With this in mind, my Democratic colleagues and I recently reintroduced legislation that creates an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) in Wisconsin. 

Under this bill, if a person is likely to injure themselves or another person, a family member or law enforcement officer may petition to temporarily prevent the person from possessing a firearm. Moreover, this legislation mirrors existing temporary restraining order (TRO) and injunction processes, such as the domestic abuse injunction process, affording families and law enforcement officers the opportunity to act when they believe someone is at risk of harming themselves or others. ERPO empowers law enforcement and family members to save lives while ensuring robust due process provisions, providing harsh penalties for fraudulent claims, and upholding our Second Amendment rights.

Green Alert Bill

A law enforcement agency that receives a report of a missing veteran at risk within 72 hours of the individual’s disappearance must use its crime alert network to disseminate to broadcasters and outdoor advertisers reports of missing veterans at risk. 

Trucker Education Bill

Helps combat human trafficking by training truck drivers on how to identify trafficking. Given that truck drivers are literally where the rubber meets the road when human trafficking occurs along our highways, they can and do play a critical role in identifying and preventing traffickers who create victims through the exploitation of our transportation system.