June 3, 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


Web Site:












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.



Downtown Dinning Week  Through June 9
The annual event features three-course menus at $10 for lunch and $20 or $30 for dinner at a variety of downtown restaurants and a price you can afford. No passes, coupons or cards required. CLICK HERE for a list of participating restaurants and to view their menus for the event.

Bay View Plant Sale
June 4 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Bay View Garden And Yard Society, in collaboration with the South Shore Farmers’ Market and Milwaukee County Parks, is excited to begin the 2011 growing season with its annual Bay View Plant Sale. The event will host a variety of local and commercial plant vendors with hundreds of beautiful, quality plants. Featured plants include: annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, shrubs,  ornamental trees, herbs,  vegetables and tropical plants. Delicious bakery, food items, and coffee will also be available for sale. The Society members will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about your garden. Please CLICK HERE for more information.


South Shore Park (MAP)

2900 South Shore Drive

Bay View, WI 53207



Laura's Smile Mile
June 4 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sign up for the fifth annual Laura's Smile Mile 5k Run/Walk. Proceeds will be donated to educate and advocate about ovarian cancer. Prizes will be given to the top three male and female finishers, and medals will be given to the top three male and female finishers in the age groups. All children ages 8 and younger participating in the Giggle Gallop will receive a finisher's award. After the race there will be face painting, a bounce house, cupcake decorating, refreshments, live entertainment, a free raffle and an awards ceremony. CLICK HERE for more information or to pre-register for the event.

Veterans Park (MAP)

1010 Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 277-0860



Reclaiming Our Heritage

June 4 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and June 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This annual, family-friendly event honors veterans and educates the public about veterans' countless contributions to American society. Reclaiming Our Heritage features reenactments from all the major military eras in U. S. history, starting with the pre-Revolutionary War to the present era. Enjoy music from the battle fields, period fashions, a parade, Civil War demonstrations and first-hand accounts. The event is also a resource for veterans seeking information about VA benefits and services.  CLICK HERE for more information and to view the event schedule.

Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center (

5000 W. National Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53295


Our Kids Count March and Rally

June 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Join in the fight to save public education by participating in the Our Kids Count March and Rally this weekend. The 2.5-mile march will begin at MacDowell Montessori around 11:15 a.m. and continue down 16th Street to Forest Home Elementary School. The rally will begin at 1 p.m. at Forest Home Elementary School and will feature students, community members, and leaders in civil rights and education that will talk about what we can do as a community to support our children and their schools. The march and rally will also include performances from our future leaders, high-school drum lines, slam poets, dance groups, basketball teams and more. CLICK HERE for more information.


MacDowell Montessori (MAP)

1706 W. Highland Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233


Forest Home Elementary (MAP)

1516 W Forest Home Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53204



Spring on Brady

June 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Stop by Brady Street to shop amazing sidewalk sales and take advantage of spectacular dining deals. Merchants will compete to earn the annual Flower Power award for the most decorated storefront and this year, you will be the judge. Those who go online to vote for their favorite storefront will be automatically entered into a drawing to win two free Air Tran airlines tickets. Spring on Brady is also partnering up with the Boys and Girls Club and the Cass Street School to do a school supplies drive. Donations can be made at Dryhootch (located at 1030 East Brady Street) between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. In exchange for donations, you can receive Brady Bucks which can be used throughout the day. CLICK HERE for additional information.

Ride for the Arts
June 5 at 7 a.m.

Ride to raise money for the United Performing Arts Fund at this year's Ride for the Arts. The United Performing Arts Fund is a non-profit organization that supports 34 performing arts groups in Southeastern Wisconsin through its annual fundraising campaign. This year's ride features three routes that travel over the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge in addition to two regular routes that ride through Milwaukee's lakefront parks and communities. The Ride offers routes ranging between five and 75 miles. After the Ride, participants can enjoy the Finish Line Party on the Summerfest Grounds that includes entertainment, performances from United Performing Arts Fund groups and children's and sponsor-related activities. For more information or to register for the event, please CLICK HERE.


Summerfest Grounds (MAP)

200 North Harbor Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53202


Renaissance Garden Opening
June 5 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Join the Villa Terrace as it officially opens its Renaissance Garden for the season! Enjoy free admission to the garden and museum, as well as garden tours, music and fun. CLICK HERE for additional information.

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum (MAP)
2220 N. Terrace Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 271-3656




































































































































































































Dear Friend,


The Joint Finance Committee is making its final changes to the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget this week. I have included an update on these changes and details on the next step of the budget process. I also encourage you to complete a new survey on my Web site aimed at getting feedback from neighbors about budget priorities and the direction Wisconsin is headed.


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




Spring 2011 Budget Priority Survey

I have found the tens of thousands of emails, letters, postcards, and phone calls from neighbors to be enlightening and invaluable as I consider current budget proposals. I invite your continued thoughts on budget priorities and about the direction Wisconsin is headed in. Please take a moment to visit my new Web site and complete the Spring 2011 Survey. This survey will be available for a limited time and only fully completed surveys will be counted.


It is my hope that we can work together on these important issues to improve our communities and make Wisconsin a better place to live and work for our family, friends and neighbors. I value your opinion and look forward to hearing back from you on these important issues.


CLICK HERE to complete the Spring 2011 Survey.




Republicans Vote to Cut Aid to Local Communities and Neighborhood Schools

Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee voted late Thursday night and early Friday morning to cut aid to local communities and decrease educational opportunities for children attending our neighborhood schools.


A motion to cut aid to our communities by nearly $77 million over the biennium passed along party lines with a vote of 12-4. Additionally, these cuts to local government were restructured to benefit the wealthier communities in Wisconsin, increasing the financial burden on the neighborhoods that are currently struggling across our state. Another consequence of these devastating cuts is that our local communities are expecting to make deep cuts to vital police protection programs, putting the safety of our neighborhoods in jeopardy.


Republican Joint Finance Committee Members also voted this week to decrease educational opportunities for children attending our local neighborhood schools. The adopted proposal reverses the intent of the voucher program aimed at helping economically-challenged students by increasing the income eligibility limit from 175% to 300% of the federal poverty level. Legislation to remove the current caps on our state's voucher program is also expected to pass later this session.


This means that taxpayers will now be responsible for paying $6,775 for each voucher student, some of which will belong to families that can afford to pay the tuition for these private or religious schools on their own. The changes to the current voucher program will likely increase property taxes in the Milwaukee area by millions and take away funding from our neighborhood schools at a time when our children need these crucial funds the most.




Small Conservation Victory--Funding to Recycling Partially Restored

The Joint Finance Committee voted to partially restore 60% of funding to recycling programs across Wisconsin, after pressure from Democrats, conservation advocates and community members.


Governor Walker's budget proposal would have completely eliminated funding for the popular statewide recycling program. This would have forced many local communities to end their existing programs or raise taxpayer fees.


Recycling programs reduce the amount of waste that end up in our state landfills. According to Recycle More Wisconsin, current recycling programs keep 1.69 million tons of materials out of Wisconsin's landfills, supports 97,000 jobs and contributes $5.4 billion to our state's economy.


I am happy to see that some funding was restored to this crucial program, which keeps our communities clean and encourages Wisconsinites to continue our valued tradition of stewardship.



Update on the Budget Process

The Joint Finance Committee is expected to wrap up debate on Governor Walker's budget proposal either tonight or Saturday. After they complete action, legislative service agencies will have approximately one to two weeks to compile the full budget document and the accompanying fiscal estimate. Once they have completed this task, the Legislature will then take action on the new budget proposal, which must be passed by June 30.


I will be sure to keep you updated on any new developments as the budget makes it's final lap through the legislative process.




Runaway Highway Spending--Addicted to Asphalt

A new transportation report indicates that our transportation funds would be better spent supporting local roads and public transit, rather than throwing money at new projects, such as massive highway expansions.


The report by WISPIRG, a statewide non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization, examines four highway projects proposed by Governor Walker. The findings indicate that Wisconsin taxpayers will be footing the roughly $2 billion to fund questionable and unnecessary transportation projects


Governor Walker's budget proposal will increase highway funding by 13% to $328 million while slashing local transportation funds and public transit services by nearly $60 million. I will continue to stand up for the interests of our community by fighting to protect the quality of our current transportation infrastructure instead of wasting taxpayer funds on unnecessary ribbon-cutting projects developed from outdated data and insufficient need.


Please CLICK HERE to view a copy of WISPIRG's report.


Bike to Work Week

Next week is Bike to Work Week across Wisconsin. I encourage you to participate in this challenge to leave your car at home and instead commute to and from work on your trusty bicycle. Biking is healthier, more environmentally friendly and more cost effective than driving. It is also a great way to see more of our community. Below is a listing of local Bike to Work Week events that are happening in our neighborhoods.


Morning Commuter Stations
Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 9 a.m.
These three stations offer free coffee, bakery & minor bike repairs before you begin your commute.

Downtown Station: Alterra Foundry, 170 South 1st Street. Mechanic provided by Crank Daddy's.

Central Station: 1300 West Canal Street (Hank Aaron State Trail near North Emmber Lane). Sponsored by Sigma Group and Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail. No mechanic at this station.

Eastside Station: Urban Ecology Center, Riverside Park, Oak Leaf Trail. Coffee provided by Alterra Coffee. No mechanic at this station.

Bike Art Show Opening & Ride
Friday, June 3 at 5:30 p.m.
Get in the spirit of Bike to Work Week by checking out the opening of a new bike art show. The show is in the Marshall Building at 207 East Buffalo Street. Meet at Cafe Hollander on on Downer Avenue at 5:30pm to ride to the show.

Ride to Work With Our Friends at the City of Milwaukee

Tuesday, June 7 at 8:30 a.m.
Bike To Work with Milwaukee's Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator Dave Schlabowske and City Engineer Jeff Polenske. The ride begins at North 51st Street & West Washington Boulevard and will be followed by a press conference in the Zeidler Municipal Building at 841 North Broadway around 9:15 a.m.

Bike to the Brewers

Thursday, June 9 at 5 p.m.
Bike to a Brewer's game and tailgate with the Bike Federation! Ride to the Brewer's Stadium, enjoy tailgating munchies from Whole Foods, and then watch the game. Group rides will leave Alterra Foundry at 170 South 1st Street in Milwaukee and Mugshotz at 1902 South 68th Street in West Allis at 5 p.m. sharp. Brewer's tickets are $15 and should be purchased on your own in advance at or at the door. $5 suggested donation is appreciated to cover tailgating expenses.

Bikes@Work Bike Fair

Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Celebrate the end of Bike to Work Week with a fun and informative event that will help you lean more about bike commuting in Milwaukee. The day's events include commuter workshops, bike maintenance seminars, a bike fair with local bicycle businesses and vendors, plus much more. The event will be held in the Urban Ecology Center at 1500 E. Park Place in Milwaukee.




CPR Awareness Week

National CPR Awareness Week runs from June 1 through June 7 and aims to encourage all of us to learn Hands-Only CPR. According to the American Heart Association, Hands-Only CPR (CPR with just chest compressions) has been proven to be as effective as CPR with breaths in treating adult cardiac arrest victims. Infants, children under eight years old and victims of drowning or respiratory issues still need conventional CPR with chest compressions and breaths.


Cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. If not treated within minutes, it quickly leads to death. About 92% of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.


Statistics show that if more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved as immediate CPR can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival. Unfortunately, 70% of Americans may be helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they do not know CPR or their training has lapsed. This is likely to have a significant impact on our loved ones as four out of every five cardiac arrests occur at home.


To learn how to perform Hands-Only CPR in just 60 seconds, please visit the American Heart Association's Web site by CLICKING HERE.



Williams House Historical Landmark Dedication

Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m.

Join me and on Saturday, June 4 at the Bay View Historical Society's historical landmark dedication ceremony for the Williams House. The home was built in 1865 by Joseph Williams and Catherine Shields Williams. The ceremony is free and refreshments will be served. You can also take a tour of this beautiful and historic home.

Williams House (MAP)

606 E. Homer Street

Milwaukee, WI 53207




Recap of Coffee in Milwaukee

Thank you to everyone that attended the coffee this week in Milwaukee. Neighbors gathered at Roast Coffee Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday to share their perspectives on community and state issues.


The thoughtful comments and questions are greatly appreciated. Hearing your perspective on issues that will have a significant impact on our community is crucial as we continue working together through this legislative session and biennial budget.




Summer Activities in Our Community

Our community offers a wide variety of summer activities for families, children and adults alike. Below are just a few activities that you can take part in this summer.


Milwaukee County Free Days

Many of the museums right here in our neighborhood offer days when Milwaukee residents can visit free of charge. Below is a list of participating museums:


Milwaukee Public Museum (MAP)

800 W. Wells Street

Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 278-2702

*Free every Monday (additional charges apply for the Humphrey IMAX Dome, Daniel M. Soref Planetarium & special exhibitions)

Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)

700 N. Art Museum Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 224-3200
*Free every Wednesday (includes all special exhibits)

Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (MAP)

524 S. Layton Blvd.

Milwaukee, WI 53215
(414) 257-5611
*Free every Monday from 9AM until Noon (excludes major holidays)


Work Outside Wednesdays
Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Green up your thumbs in the native nursery while you keep the Urban Ecology Center's bioswale, rain, butterfly, rooftop and prairie gardens looking great and welcoming to wildlife! Work Outside Wednesdays is a free, weekly program open to all ages. For more information

Urban Ecology Center (
1500 E. Park Place
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 964-8505


Food Tours in Milwaukee
Take part in food tours that will have you discovering the sights and savoring the flavors of Milwaukee's most delicious and historic neighborhoods. Milwaukee Food Tours offers food tours in a number of different neighborhoods, such as the Third Ward and Brady Street, and featuring a  variety of themes. These one-mile walking tours usually last between two to 2.5 hours and make four to six stops. For more information or to book a tour, please CLICK HERE.




Support Our Local Economy

Support our local economy this summer by frequenting one of Wisconsin's many farmer's markets. According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, there are many benefits to buying local for producers and consumers alike, including:

1). Strengthens Our Local Economy – Buying locally increases employment, attracts businesses to the area and ensures more money stays within our own community.

2). Supports Family Farms – The number of family farms in Wisconsin are decreasing. We need to keep these local farmers in business so that we preserve Wisconsin's rural landscape and farming tradition.

3). Fresher Food – Local food is fresher than food shipped from other states and countries. Additionally, locally grown foods tend to contain fewer pesticides.
4). Decrease Farm to Table Distance – On average food travels 1,500 miles to reach a consumer’s plate. Decreasing food miles lessens the impact on the environment and our dependence on oil.
5). Enhances Connection Between Producer and Consumer – Buying locally provides consumers the opportunity to connect with businesses and learn more about their growing and management practices.


Wisconsin is home to plenty of farmer's markets that can be found all across the state. We are fortunate to have many of them located right here in our community. Please see the list below to find a farmer's market near you:

Cudahy Farmers Market (MAP)
Dates: May to November

Times: Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location Info: Municipal Parking Lot at 4700 S. Packard Avenue in Cudahy

Phone: (414) 486-9593


East Side Green Market (MAP)

Dates: June 18 through October 8
Times: Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location Info: Beans & Barley Parking Lot; Corner of E. Kenilworth & E. North Ave in Milwaukee
Phone: (414) 502-9489

East Town Market (MAP)

Dates: June 4 through October 31
Times: Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location Info: Cathedral Park in downtown Milwaukee
Phone: (414) 271-1416

Howell Avenue Farmers Market (MAP)
Dates: July through October

Times: Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon

Location: US Bank at 4015 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee Phone: (414) 881-1185

South Shore Farmers Market (MAP)

Dates: June 18 through October 15
Times: Saturdays from 8 a.m. to Noon
Location Info: South Shore Park, 2900 South Shore Drive, Bay View, WI 53207

South Milwaukee Downtown Market (MAP)

Dates: June 2 through October 13
Times: Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location Info: 11th and Milwaukee Avenues in downtown South Milwaukee
Phone: (414) 768-8195 or (414) 758-3155
Web site:



Volunteers Needed for Play in the Park

The YMCA and Milwaukee County Parks are seeking volunteers to help out with their new Play in the Park program.


Humboldt Park, located at 3000 S. Howell Avenue is currently lacking volunteers for the southeast corner of E. Oklahoma Avenue and S. Howell Avenue from 6 p.m. through 7:30 p.m.


Play in the Park offers outdoor fun for the whole family at participating local parks. Please consider donating some time to a worthy cause as volunteers are needed for the children to be able to fully enjoy this program.


For more information or to sign-up as a volunteer for Play in the Park, contact Curt at (414) 454-4657 or via email at You can also CLICK HERE to view the calendar of dates, times and locations of this event.




Web Site Now Available!

My State Senate Web site is now available! On this site you will be able to track legislation, view community and state updates, and access local resources. The Web site also provides another way for you to communicate with me directly about any questions, comments or concerns you may have about our community or state.


I will continue to update this site frequently and appreciate any feedback you might have to make the site as user-friendly as possible.


To visit my new Web site, please CLICK HERE.



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