February 4, 2011



Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or opinions you might have.

Office Phone: (608) 266-7505
Toll-free Phone: (800) 361-5487



Mailing Address:

State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707











Supporting our neighbors and being involved in our community is of the utmost importance. Some community events that might be of interest to you and your family are listed below.

Streets of Old Milwaukee Alive

Feb. 5, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Learn what life was like in the early 20th Century for the people of Milwaukee. You will see what people wore, where they worked and what they did for fun. This is also a great opportunity to watch the Milwaukee Liederkranz Chorus, an all-men choir group that sings classical German folk songs and traditional American tunes. This exhibit is free with the purchase of a museum admissions ticket. CLICK HERE for additional information.

Milwaukee Public Museum (MAP)
800 W. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 278-2702

Tango Buenos Aires

Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Attend this cultural masterpiece featuring music and dance that is known throughout the world as the most authentic Tango dance experience. Ticket prices range from $25 to $95. For additional information, please CLICK HERE.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (MAP)
Uihlein Hall
929 N. Water Street
(414) 273-7206


Bay View Winter Blast ‘11
Feb. 20, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Attend this community festival featuring musical entertainment, family activities and community group stands. Winter Blast also hosts Bay View’s only chili cook-off between multiple neighborhood restaurants. For more information, please CLICK HERE.

South Shore Park Pavilion (MAP)
2900 S. Shore Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53207












Your thoughts and concerns are important to me. Unfortunately the previous senator for our community has chosen to forward only the information required by Senate Rules. Therefore, if you contacted the office between August 1, 2010 and Jan 1, 2011, no record of your issue exists. Please feel free to contact me to discuss any prior communications so that we can work together to address your concerns and assist you appropriately.



















































































































Dear Friend,

Hope you have been keeping safe and warm despite the cold temperatures and record snowfall. Even with the blizzard, the Capitol was bustling this week. The State of the State Address was given on Tuesday, and the Senate acted on several pieces of legislation. This weekend, please join me for coffee and conversation at Sven's. As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or opinions you may have about our community or our state.


Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7





Open Enrollment Changes: What it Could Mean for Our Community

On Wednesday, Republicans passed Senate Bill 2 over objections concerning the ability of community- based schools to plan and function. This bill increases the time for open enrollment at schools from three weeks to three months. It also contains a provision essentially allowing for year-round open enrollment, making it nearly impossible for our local schools to plan their budgets and adequately staff classrooms. My office and I sat down with superintendents, teachers and families who are concerned with how this legislation will harm our schools.

During the Senate debate, I worked to correct the problems in this legislation by introducing amendments to ensure that public schools can adequately plan, while also allowing more flexibility for families looking to depart the traditional school setting. Without these changes, all our school districts could face devastating cuts resulting in diminished educational opportunities for our children. The Republican-controlled Senate defeated amendment after amendment largely on partisan votes. 
The right of parents to choose the best educational opportunity for their children must be protected. Unfortunately, this legislation creates uncertainty for families choosing to place their children in public schools.
Senate Bill 2 passed the Senate, but has yet to reach the Assembly Floor for a vote. For more information about this legislation and to track its status, please utilize the bill tracker database available on the Wisconsin State Legislature's homepage at


Picture (top): South Milwaukee High School





Response to 2011 State of the State

Tuesday the governor gave his first State of the State, which offered surprisingly little vision on how to move our economy forward. It is especially disconcerting that important community issues, including: education, seniors, healthcare and agriculture, were completely ignored.

The governor discussed the state's overall deficit and once again pledged cuts to vital state services. Neighbors in our community have expressed concern that these dramatic cuts to education, public transportation and public safety will harm families and prolong the impacts of this recession.

Finally, the governor stated on Tuesday that he is ready to "move beyond rhetoric to reality." Hopefully he is also prepared to move past partisanship to practicality. His special session agenda thus far has been Republican government giveaways directed at special interests, and unabashed spending of tax dollars with little accountability or transparency. 

We can do better in Wisconsin.  We must do better.  Our economic recovery should lift everyone, not just a select few.





Update on Wetlands Legislation

The Senate and Assembly passed Special Session Senate Bill 10, legislation removing state protections for certain Brown County wetlands in order to provide a sweetheart deal to an influential developer.
In committee and on the Senate Floor I introduced amendments to make this legislation less damaging to Wisconsin’s conservation ethic. My first amendment would have narrowed the bill to just the contested parcel and codified some of the protections that the DNR had negotiated with the developer. The second amendment would have developed an advisory board allowing the issue to be solved locally. My amendments were not adopted in committee and also failed to pass in the Senate. A third amendment did pass narrowing the immediately affected wetlands from all wetlands in Brown County to wetlands in the Village of Ashwaubenon.

For the last decade, Wisconsin has enjoyed strong environmental safeguards preserving our remaining wetlands. These protections significantly slowed the destruction and development of wetlands that are both environmentally sensitive and vital for flood control. A significant part of the protections is the right of citizens to contest DNR decisions that allow wetlands' destruction. In the last 10 years, the Wisconsin Wetlands Association has acted as a wetlands watchdog, reviewing hundreds of DNR decisions. They have only objected to two DNR decisions. Objecting gives them the opportunity to go before an administrative law judge to challenge the DNR. This bill strips the right of Wisconsin citizens and the Wisconsin Wetlands Association to voice their objection to this project.

I appreciate hearing from so many neighbors and people across Wisconsin, who share my concern that this legislation signals a shift away from environmental conservation and a diminishing of our legal right to challenge government decisions.


Picture (top): One of Wisconsin's many wetlands





Call for Senior Citizen Hall of Fame Nominees

The Milwaukee County Department on Aging is requesting nominations for the Senior Citizen Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors five outstanding seniors in Milwaukee County who serve on behalf the elderly.


Nominees must show distinguished volunteer service in any one or combination of the following categories:
• Voluntary service of an educational, community or humanitarian nature
• Voluntary service in advocacy on behalf of Wisconsin senior citizens
• Exceptional volunteer contributions to improve the lives of people

   regardless of race, creed or national origin 
Nominations must be post-marked by February 14, 2011. A ceremony and celebration will be held in May 2011. For more information on the Hall of Fame and a link to the official nomination form, please CLICK HERE.


Picture (top): Milwaukee's Beulah Brinton Senior Center





Wisconsin Super Bowl-Ready

Packers vs. Steelers, 5:30 P.M. Sunday on FOX

The Green Bay Packers will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Arlington, Texas this Sunday, February 6 for Super Bowl XLV. The Packers have been victorious in three of their four previous Super Bowl appearances. Quarter back Aaron Rogers helped lead our Packers to a 10-6 record in the regular season. The Packers then went on to dominate in the playoffs after earning a Wild Card position. Best of luck to our Green Bay Packers in their fight for Super Bowl glory!


Picture (left): Green and gold dome honoring the Packers






Meet for Coffee

We will have office hours open to the public at Sven's Cafe in Bay View. This is your chance to talk in person about any questions, concerns or opinions you might have about our community or state. No appointment necessary. Feel free to call for additional information.

Saturday, February 5 and February 19, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Sven’s Café (MAP)
2699 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue
Bay View, WI 53207

Picture (right): Come to Sven's for good coffee and great conversation.





Community Meeting

Attend a town hall meeting this February at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. This is your opportunity to discuss your comments, questions and concerns about our community and state. I will be in attendance along with Representative Jon Richards and Alderman Nik Kovac. The information for the event is listed below. Do not hesitate to call or email with any additional questions you might have.


Thursday, February 24 at 7 p.m.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church (MAP)

2618 N. Hackett Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53211





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