June 7, 2012
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.
Anniversary Summerfest Tribute Exhibit
South Shore Park Watch's Spring Planting Day
Date: Sat., June 9 from 9 a.m. to Noon
Location: Bay View
Description: Help the South Shore Park Watch beautify our local South Shore Park by planting native wildflowers and grasses in the bluff restoration area. Meet at the trailhead near the playground. No tools or experience are necessary.
CLICK HERE for more information.
South Shore Park (MAP)
2900 South Shore Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Peacemakers' Day Camp
June 16 through
Description: The mission of Peacemakers' Day Camp is to provide peacemaking skills to a diverse group of children in a safe, fun environment. The teachers, staff, and teen counselors - all of whom are volunteers - are committed to working together to guide the campers and to respond to group and individual needs. Through play, discussion, projects, helping others, and interacting with nature, campers gain confidence in themselves as peacemakers. Every day, campers learn and practice various skills such as giving put-ups, building peace bridges, compromising, negotiating, and sharing respect. CLICK HERE for more information.
Peacemakers' Day Camp
Given that all eyes have been on Wisconsin's June elections, this week's newsletter will focus on issues and legislative initiatives related to elections in our state.
Moving Wisconsin Forward
With the power change in the Senate, the people of Wisconsin have put the brakes on the extreme policies and politics that resulted from unilateral Republican control over the past 18 months. Wisconsin now has the opportunity to restore balance to our government by setting a new course. This path should encourage swifter economic recovery, better reflect our shared values, and aim to heal our divided state. I am calling on the governor and Assembly to work with the Senate to help get Wisconsin moving forward. Below are just a few of the priorities that need to be addressed.
Jobs & Economy
The numbers do not lie. While the nation has added jobs every month for 17 straight months and neighboring states all posted job gains this past year, Wisconsin has fallen tragically behind. A nationwide report released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Wisconsin lost 12,500 jobs from January 2011 to January 2012, more than any other state over the past year. In fact, Wisconsin is one of only six states to lose jobs in the past year, and our job losses are more than three times higher than the next state on that unfortunate list. We need to get Wisconsin moving in the right direction with the rest of the nation when it comes to job creation and economic development. Below is a list of just some legislative proposals that that could help get Wisconsin moving on job creation:
The choices we make regarding education in Wisconsin will play a significant role not only in the success of our children, but also in determining the economic success of our state and local businesses. In his budget, Governor Walker chose to cut education by $1.6 billion. The negative impact of these cuts can already be seen in communities across Wisconsin through decreased educational opportunities, teacher layoffs, increased class sizes, and school closures. Additionally, most schools expect to see a second round of severe budget cuts for the next school year.
This attack on education does not represent Wisconsin's values and runs counter to our aim of increasing job creation and economic vitality. It is time that we work together on initiatives that invest in all levels of education and ensure that those education dollars are being spent wisely. Below is a list of just some of the legislative initiatives that that could help get Wisconsin's K-12 and higher education systems back on track:
Accountability and Transparency
As Wisconsinites, we have sought to
preserve accountability and transparency in our government since the
days of fighting Bob LaFollette a century ago. This is illustrated by
our laws requiring open meetings and records, and thoughtful checks and
balances in our government structures.
Whether its education, the economy, government accountability, or other state issues, the Legislature offers a free email notification system that alerts subscribers of legislative activities relating to issues they have identified as important. This is an excellent way to keep informed about the issues that are important to you as they progress through the legislative process.
Increasing Transparency for Legal Defense Funds
This past Friday, I signed onto the Legal Defense Fund Transparency Act, legislation aimed at encouraging greater accountability and transparency by our elected officials. This bill would establish strict disclosure requirements for donations to and expenditures from legal defense funds created by elected officials.
According to the Government Accountability Board, Wisconsin Statutes permit a state government official who is being investigated for or charged with a violation of campaign finance laws or prohibited election practices to establish a legal defense fund. The expenditures in this fund can then be used to support or defend the candidate while that person is being investigated for, charged with, or convicted of a violation of those chapters.
The Legal Defense Fund Transparency Act (LRB 4300) contains reasonable, commonsense disclosure requirements, including:
The need for this legislation has
become increasingly evident in recent months as Governor Walker has
refused to provide the public with information about the money being
funneled in and out of his legal defense fund. The existence of this
fund was not known by the public until March 2012. Additionally,
Governor Walker has yet to disclose to the people of Wisconsin who is
paying for his legal bills and if anyone else is benefiting from the
donations made to his legal defense fund.
Reforming Our Elections
During the past few years, it has become increasingly apparent that our elections are being hijacked by special interests. Much of this is a result of the recent Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision, which allows corporations to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns.
Since the decision was handed down, spending on political campaigns has exploded, jeopardizing the integrity of our elections. Instead of the people choosing the best representative for their community, our elections are now vulnerable to being sold to the highest bidder.
The influence of special interests was especially noticeable in the most recent recall elections, particularly with the gubernatorial race. In this single race, over $63 million was spent with $3.9 million being spent by Tom Barrett, $30.5 million being spent by Scott Walker, and nearly $29 million being spent by non-candidate groups.
In an effort to help ensure that our long-standing tradition of transparent, accountable government continues in Wisconsin, I supported a number of legislative initiatives this session to help reform our elections and ensure that those in office are working on behalf of the voters, not their donors. Please continue reading for a brief description of just some of these initiatives:
Update on IDs for Voters
March 2012, 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 was ruled unconstitutional and two
separate Circuit Court judges ordered government officials to halt
requiring voters to present a valid photo ID when casting their vote. It
was stated in the ruling that 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 carried a severe
risk of disenfranchising voters and was suspended based on the vital
public interest at stake in allowing full participation in elections.
I often have neighbors contact me looking for my perspective on various local and state issues. I very much appreciate our neighbors' questions and want to dedicate a portion of my newsletter to common questions that I hear to maintain an open dialogue. Please continue reading for this week's question.
Q: I get way too many political phone calls during election season. How can I be removed from call lists?
A: As you may know, the Wisconsin
Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection maintains a No
Call List of individuals who do not wish to be contacted by
telemarketers in their homes. However, the No Call List does not cover
calls made for noncommercial purposes, such as calls from politicians,
advocacy groups, or campaign organizations. While these groups are not
required to keep organization-specific Do Not Call lists like
telemarketers, many do, and it is possible to request removal of your
phone number from their contacts.
For more information about this or any other election-related issue, please feel free to contact my office or the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
Did You Know...
Did you know that every two years the state of Wisconsin releases a book that contains essential information for voters? This book is called the Wisconsin Blue Book and it is a valuable resource that offers contact information for elected officials, election results, a copy of our Constitution, and how the legislative process works in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Blue Book is made available free of charge to Wisconsinites. Please contact my office if you would like to receive a copy of the 2011-2012 Wisconsin Blue Book today.
Happy Father's Day
I encourage you to celebrate and thank
the fathers in your life by taking advantage of some of the Father’s Day
events in our community, which are listed below:
Day Pancake Breakfast
Oak Creek Community Center (MAP)
8580 S. Howell Avenue
Oak Creek, WI 53154
Father’s Day at the Zoo
Milwaukee County Zoo (MAP)
10001 W. Blue Mound Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Father's Day at the Milwaukee
Milwaukee Public Museum (MAP)
800 W. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Schiltz Audubon Nature Center (MAP)
1111 E. Brown Deer Road
Milwaukee, WI 53217
It's 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, which is 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
Community Farmer's Markets
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:
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:
Howell Avenue Farmers Market
Date: July through October
East Town Market
Time: Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Cathedral Square Park located at Kilbourn and N. Jefferson in Milwaukee
Click here or call (414) 271-1416 for more information.
Time: Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Beans & Barley parking lot
located at 1901 East North Avenue in Milwaukee
Click here or call
(414) 272-5823 for more information.
Time: Saturdays from 8 a.m. to Noon
Location: 2900 South Shore Drive in Milwaukee
Cudahy Farmers Market
South Milwaukee Downtown Market
Time: Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee & 11th Avenue in
Time: Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Garden Park located at the
corner of Locust and Bremen Streets in Milwaukee
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.
Cudahy Movie Nights
Thursday nights in June at 7 p.m.
This family-friendly event allows neighbors to watch movies outdoors in the community for free. Neighbors may bring blankets, lawn chairs, and refreshments to this event. Movies begin at dusk and will be held in Cudahy Park unless there is rain, in which case movies will play at the gym in General Mitchell Elementary. Below is a list of movies for the month of June:
Cudahy Park (MAP)
3000 East Ramsey Avenue
Cudahy, WI 53110
Milwaukee Trolley Loop
Neighborhood Survey Available
I created a survey asking about various issues that are
important to our community and our state. The input of neighbors is
I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues!
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