November 10, 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. 



Don't Tell Me I Can't Fly

Now through November 13
Attend this world premiere production offering an inspiring and engaging look at family life. This family-friendly play paints the humorous yet inspirational portrait of the life of 9-year-old Tonia, seeking to contain her intelligence and creativity in order to adapt to her familyís lifestyle. When her attempts do not work out as planned, Tonia harnesses her artistic soul Ė and finds her family, friends and the world begin to appreciate her uniqueness. Discover with Tonia and her family that the best you can be is yourself. For more information or to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

First Stage Children's Theater (MAP)
325 W. Walnut Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212

(414) 267-2929


Children's Art in the Garden Exhibition
November 6 through December 4

Join the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum for a vibrant exhibition of childrenís art inspired by the Villaís Renaissance Garden and created by students from Milwaukee-area schools. There will be an opening reception on Sunday, November 6 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the exhibit will be on display until December 4. Childrenís Art in the Garden is free with paid admission to the Museum, which costs $5 for adults; $3 for students, seniors, and veterans; and is free for members, children under 12, and active military. CLICK HERE for more information.


Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum (MAP)

2220 N. Terrace Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 271-3656


Holiday Bazaar

November 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
FREE admission. Attend this family-friendly event featuring baked goods, homemade crafts, raffle items, white elephant exchange, rummage sale, and lunch items available for purchase. Admission to this neighborhood event is free.


Grobschmidt Center (MAP)

2424 15th Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

(414) 768-8045


Veterans Resource Fair November 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Veterans and their families are invited to attend this upcoming resource fair. This event is being hosted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in collaboration with the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Center for Veteran's Issues, and other community partners. Veterans will receive information about benefits, foreclosure and homelessness prevention, affordable housing, home buying and much more.

CLICK HERE to view the flier for this event.


Veterans Manor (MAP)
3430 W. Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53208



Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival
November 17 through January 1
Kick-off the local holiday season at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 17 with the Holiday Lights Kick Off in Downtown Milwaukee. This event will feature more than 500,000 lights, 360 wreaths, 35 animated sculptures and 17 Moravian stars. This six-week long holiday celebration will also offer hundreds of activities. CLICK HERE for more information.



85th Annual Milwaukee Holiday Parade
November 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Enjoy the start of the holiday season with the 85th annual Milwaukee Holiday Parade in Downtown Milwaukee.
The parade will feature family-friendly entertainment, including: lavish floats, live animals, high school bands and, of course, Santa Claus. The Holiday Parade is also an opportunity to help feed the hungry in our local community. Parade-goers are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation, which will be picked up along the parade route. The Milwaukee Holiday Parade will begin at the corner of Kilbourn and Prospect Avenues. The parade will continue west on Kilbourn and turn south on Old World Third, ending in front of the Shops at Grand Avenue at approximately 11 a.m. For additional information, please CLICK HERE.

Annual Heritage Place Tree Lighting

November 19 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Enjoy music, warm beverages for purchase, and a visit with Santa at South Milwaukee's Annual Heritage Place Tree Lighting Celebration. The event will take place at the northwest corner of 10th and Milwaukee Avenue in South Milwaukee.

































































































































































































































Dear Friend,

Please join me in attending the DOT's public hearing on Monday, November 14 to discuss the addition of a bike and pedestrian lane on the Hoan Bridge. This project has received unprecedented public support from over 5,000 neighbors and local business owners alike. Continue reading for more information.


Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7




Support for Hoan Bridge Bike Lane Continues to Grow

I was honored to be joined by business leaders, bike advocates, neighbors and elected officials at a press conference this past Wednesday to discuss the growing public support for the addition of a bike and pedestrian lane on the Hoan Bridge. The Petition to Bike the Hoan generated a total of 5,043 signatures from individuals requesting that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) add a bike and pedestrian lane to the Hoan Bridge during its upcoming reconstruction.


To view video of a local business leader voicing his support for the addition of a bike and pedestrian lane on the Hoan Bridge, please CLICK HERE. You can also view video of support for the project from within the biking community by CLICKING HERE.


The Hoan Bridge is crucial to our neighbors as it is the transit artery connecting south side residents to the rest of their community, including downtown Milwaukee and the entire interstate freeway system. Expanding access to the Hoan Bridge by adding a user-friendly bike lane that is separated from traffic  would be a positive step forward in cementing our cityís commitment to providing multi-modal forms of public transit, while simultaneously promoting tourism and business.

The proposed project would be the last major piece to complete a trail network, which runs from Downtown Chicago through Milwaukee and up to Sheboygan. Growing support from the business community illustrates that this final link is an economic tool that could assist our local and state economy. If we do not take advantage of this generational opportunity, we will likely have to wait another 40 years.


Public Hearing on Hoan Bridge

Monday, November 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) recently released their feasibility study on including a bike and pedestrian lane as part of the Hoan Bridge reconstruction project. The study includes varying construction plans and cost estimates, which can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.


The DOT will be holding a public hearing on these proposals on Monday, November 14, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the DOT downtown office building located at 1001 W. St. Paul Avenue in Milwaukee.


I look forward to attending this meeting to learn more about these various bike lane options and hear what neighbors have to say. In choosing a final project proposal, it is important to keep in mind what the best fit is for the scope and cost of the project, and also what option will ensure safe travel for everybody.


Conceal Carry Law Change Threatens Public Safety

2011 Wisconsin Act 35, conceal carry legislation, went into effect on November 1 of this year. Under this law, any individual obtaining a license to carry a concealed weapon is also responsible for taking four hours of training to ensure they are well-versed on gun owner safety and responsibility.


Unfortunately, Republicans have already decided to change the rules by striking this requirement, meaning that there will no longer be adequate training for individuals carrying a concealed weapon. They even removed the 8-hour training requirement for firearm safety instructors. This extreme policy shift by Republican lawmakers rejected the basic safety parameters established by Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.



I have heard from people across Wisconsin who are concerned that the removal of sensible training standards will dramatically decrease public safety. As we work to move Wisconsin forward, I would hope that Republicans will begin to heed the concerns of our neighbors over those of powerful special interests.


To view a video I created discussing this important issue in more detail, please CLICK HERE. You can also find additional information on the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort's (W.A.V.E.) Web site by CLICKING HERE.



Wisconsin Teachers Now Face Mission Impossible

I authored and introduced legislation this week honoring Wisconsinís hardworking teachers. The joint resolution acknowledges the dedication and effort our teachers show in educating our children and extends special gratitude to the 3,000 Wisconsin teachers retiring this year.

This recognition is well-deserved. Wisconsinís teachers have given us a reputation to be proud of. Through their work in the classroom and countless uncompensated hours outside, they have helped ensure Wisconsin public schools have the some of the highest graduation rates in the country, with three- quarters of high school graduates continuing to post-secondary education.

A generation of educators made Wisconsin a top academic state. This legacy is now in jeopardy. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently released the results of a survey distributed to school districts across Wisconsin, the results of which were troubling. The survey showed that because of recent budget cuts, schools were forced to cut staff, eliminate vital support services, reduce course offerings, increase class sizes and narrow educational opportunities. Budget cuts have consequences and below is a list of how our children were affected by the $1.6 billion in cuts made by Governor Scott Walker and Republicans according to DPI's survey:

  • Wisconsin lost 4,000 educational jobs, leaving our schools understaffed and our children underserved

  • 2/3 of responding school districts expect to make the same or greater cuts next year as a result of no longer receiving one-time federal dollars

  • 4 in 10 students attend a district with larger class sizes in grades K-6

  • 40% of students are in districts that eliminated sections or increased class size for the core subjects of English, Math, Science and Social Studies

  • Districts are offering fewer art, music, physical education, Advanced Placement and foreign language classes

  • Roughly 3 in 4 students attend school at a district that reduced at least on essential support program

  • The biggest cuts were to special education programs, which are followed by library and media center staff, reading coordinators, programs for at-risk youth, and drug and alcohol abuse programs

  • Cuts to education far out weighed the savings from increased pension and insurance contributions

To view the results of DPI's school district survey, please CLICK HERE.


Strengthening Wisconsin's OWI Laws

I will be supporting legislation that will be introduced shortly to provide uniform penalties for OWI across classes of recreational vehicles (motorboat, ATV, or snowmobile). 


Under current law, a person may not operate a snowmobile, ATV, or motorboat with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or if they are under the influence of a controlled substance. Currently, an operator who uses a boat while under the influence of alcohol may be punished differently than the operator of an ATV under the same influence. Further, under current law, in sentencing a repeat offender a court must distinguish between the vehicles used as separate types of offenses, which does not allow the court to enhance punishment by sentencing individuals as repeat offenders. 


This bill will make penalties uniform and fair across all recreational vehicle use. It has been unanimously supported by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety as well as the the Wisconsin ATV Association. Under this bill, if a person is convicted twice of operating any type of recreational vehicle while under the influence the court may revoke that personís drivers license. This bill provides the court system with the tools necessary to deter such dangerous behavior. Further, this bill would raise the requirement that operators be absolutely sober when operating until they reach the age of 21.  Current law only requires absolute sobriety for those who are 19 and younger. Those who cannot legally drink, should not be allowed to drink any amount and operate a recreational vehicle. 


Roughly half of recreational vehicle crash deaths in Wisconsin can be attributed to alcohol consumption. Recreational vehicles are both fast and fun, but sometimes we forget they can also be deadly. Therefore, it is important that when we enjoy them, we do so responsibly. This legislation is a positive step towards ensuring safety for all of us on our beautiful waterways, parks and trails.


To view a copy of this legislation, please CLICK HERE.




Great Lakes Caucus to Discuss Landslide

The Great Lakes Caucus, a groups of legislators that represent communities surrounding or impacted by the Great Lakes, will be meeting on Thursday, November 17 in the Capitol to discuss the recent landslide in Oak Creek. The agenda will focus on recounting what occurred, addressing efforts being made to minimize environmental damage, and ensuring similar events do no happen in the future. I will be sure to keep you updated on the situation in Oak Creek as it unfolds.




Meet for Coffee in the Neighborhood

I will have office hours open to the public throughout our community in the coming week. 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 my office for additional information. Date and time information for the coffees are listed below:


Monday, November 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Azteca (MAP)
901 Milwaukee Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172


Monday, November 14 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Alterra (MAP)
1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202


Tuesday, November 15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Sven's Cafe (MAP)
2699 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue
Bay View, WI 53207


Wednesday, November 16 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Local United Auto Workers Building (MAP)
7435 S. Howell Avenue

Oak Creek, WI 53154


Friday, November 18 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Fixx Coffee House (MAP)
3558 E. Sivyer Avenue
St. Francis, WI 53235



Remembering Our Nation's Veterans

Friday, November 11 is Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. This federal holiday honoring military veterans is celebrated every year on the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Join in honoring the brave men and women that fought for our country to preserve our nation's freedom.


There are several community events taking place this Friday to honor our neighbors who served. You can find the information for these events listed below:


Cudahy High School's Annual Veterans Day Assembly

Friday, November 11 at 9 a.m.

This event has been described as "one of the best in Southeastern Wisconsin." The assembly will take place on Friday, November 11 at 9:00 a.m. in the school's field house. A moving, dramatic reading of the Cudahy Gold Star List - the names of all the community's men who gave their lives in service to our country during World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, and Iraqi Freedom will be featured. Many of the names on the list are former Cudahy High School students. The reading is enhanced with photos of those on the Gold Star List being projected on a giant ten-foot screen. Members of the community are invited to attend. If anyone knows of a veteran that would like to be included in this ceremony please contact Principal Christopher Haeger or Secretary Cindy Smith at (414)294-2700.


Cudahy High School (MAP)

4950 S. Lake Drive

Cudahy, WI 53110

Veterans Day Observance at the Cudahy Family Library

Friday, November 11 at 11 a.m.

This ceremony will be held in front of the south entrance of the library on Friday, November 11 at 11 a.m. If you wish to honor a special serviceman or woman on that day, please stop by the library's Reference Desk or call (414) 769-2244 for more information.

Cudahy Family Library (MAP)
3500 Library Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110
(414) 769-2244


South Milwaukee High School Veterans Day Assembly

Friday, November 11 from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Students at South Milwaukee High School have put together a great Veterans Day Assembly at the South Milwaukee High School Field House to honor those that are serving or have served. The Assembly will include a Skype interview with family members of students or staff that are serving, and will honor VFW members, American Legion Post 27 and the Honor Flights. To reserve a spot please to this event, please contact George Cleveland by email at




November is Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time when we celebrate the rich past and present of North Americaís Indigenous People. Native Americans have a proud history in Wisconsin and in the United States as a whole. From the American Revolution to World War II to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Native Americans have fought valiantly to make our country great. Ho-chunk tribe member, Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipient Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr. who selflessly gave his life in order to allow the rest of his company to retreat from oncoming forces in the Korean War is evidence of that.

Wisconsinís Native Americans have also played a huge part in keeping our nation financially and morally strong. Menominee tribe member and native of Keshena, Wisconsin Ada Deer served as head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Assistant Secretary of the Interior. She also played a key role in protecting humanity across the world by serving on the United Nations Human Rights Council. Many of the qualities that make Wisconsin great would not be possible without our Native American community members.

We owe much to the Native Peoples of the United States and Wisconsin, and this debt should inform current state policies, from responsible land stewardship to comprehensive diversity protection.


See You in the Neighborhood

I created a new survey that I will be distributing to neighbors asking them about various issues that are important to them, our community and our state. I have started distributing the survey door-to-door throughout our community and will continue doing so for about the next month. To return the survey, simply fold it, tape it, and put a stamp on it.

To save a stamp and take the survey online, please CLICK HERE.

You can also CLICK HERE to download and print a copy of this survey, which you can return to my office via mail, email or fax upon completion.


I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues. Hope to see you in the neighborhood soon!




Know Your Voting Rights

Scott Walker and Republican legislators recently enacted some of the most restrictive ID requirements for voters in the country. While they have been working to silence Wisconsin's voters, I have been working hard to keep Wisconsin's voters informed of their rights. I have created a simple handout answering some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding Wisconsin's new voter restrictions.


To view this handout please CLICK HERE or visit my Web site, You can also CLICK HERE to view the same PDF in Spanish.




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