October 20, 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. 


Compost Your Leaves with Kompost Kids

Happening Now
Fall is in the air and the leaves are starting to drop. Kompost Kids, comprised of all volunteers, would like to take your leaf piles off your hands and use them in their composting endeavors. Acquiring leaves allows Kompost Kids to continue accepting composting donations all year round as they cover fruit and vegetable donations without freezing. Donations in paper bags are preferred, but leaves will be accepted in any fashion. Kompost Kids is located behind Sweet Water Organics. Place donations in the "Brown Source Here" bin located down the gravel path on the corner of Ward and Lincoln Avenues. If you do not have a vehicle, Kompost Kids may be willing to pick up your bagged donation. For more information about Kompost Kids, please CLICK HERE. You can also CLICK HERE for composting guidelines.


Harvest Tasting

October 21 from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Help raise funds for the Cudahy Family Library by enjoying an evening of distinguished wines, craft beers, specialty soft drinks and delicious hors d’oeuvres. Entertainment will also be supplied by
Milwaukee’s own comedian and radio show host Jane Matenaer. Tickets are on sale now at the Cudahy Family Library. Please CLICK HERE for more information.


Cudahy Family Library (MAP)
3500 Library Drive

Cudahy, WI 53110

(414) 769-2244


Fall Gallery Night and Day October 21 and 22
Presented by the Historic Third Ward Association, Gallery Night and Day is the premier art event in Milwaukee. An evening of gallery hopping and art viewing begins Friday, October 21 and continues during the day on Saturday, October 22. This fall, the quarterly event showcases 61 venues throughout the downtown Milwaukee area. Admission is free to all venues during event hours listed below. CLICK HERE for more information, including a list of participating venues.


Milwaukee Public Museum Volunteer Fair
October 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Learn more about available volunteer positions at the Milwaukee Public Museum by stopping by their volunteer fair. Find positions that match your skills and fit your schedule. You will also have the opportunity to take a personalized tour of the museum, view volunteer areas, and talk with staff and established volunteers. RSVP before October 19 by CLICKING HERE or by calling (414) 278-6149. For more information about the event, please CLICK HERE.


Milwaukee Public Museum (MAP)
800 W. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233



Grant Park Fall Weed-Outs

October 22 and 29

Help preserve the natural areas and wildlife habitats in our parks by joining the Friends of Grant Park in removing various invasive species. Volunteers will work together to weed-out buckthorn and invasive honeysuckle. Feel free to bring eye protection or pruning shears if you have either. To participate, meet at the Area 1 parking lot (by the tennis courts) in Grant Park. Fall 2011 weed-out dates and times are listed below:

  • October 22 from 9 a.m. to Noon

  • October 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • October 29 from 9 a.m. to Noon

  • October 29 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please RSVP to Don Lawson at (414) 764-0612 so that he can secure sufficient supplies.


Grant Park (MAP)

100 E. Hawthorne Avenue
South Milwaukee, WI 53172


Sheridan Shelter and Grounds Autumn Clean-up

October 22 from 10 a.m. to Noon
Help our neighbors clean-up brush and trash by participating in the Sheridan Shelter and Grounds Autumn Clean-up. Seasonal refreshments will also be available. Meet at Sheridan Shelter Area 1, at the east end of Layton Avenue in Cudahy.
This event is sponsored by Sheridan Park Friends.


Sheridan Park (MAP)

4800 S. Lake Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110
(414) 762-1550



























































































































































































































































































































Dear Friend,

While Republicans prioritized restricting your health care options, denying health care information to our youth, and pushed for larger class sizes, Democrats focused on job-training to provide dislocated workers with additional tools.



Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7




How Will Abstinence-Only Create Jobs?

Republicans in the Senate Committee on Education proved they are more interested in inserting extreme ideology into Wisconsin’s public schools than fostering job growth. The Committee held a public hearing this past Wednesday on legislation that seeks to deny Wisconsin's young adults vital, medically accurate information regarding contraceptives and sexually transmitted disease prevention.


Comprehensive Sex Education Proven Effective

Our own community has long battled high teen pregnancy rates with little success. However, that all changed in 2008 when the City of Milwaukee and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee launched a program providing our young adults with information about both abstinence and contraception. According to the Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee's teen birth rate dropped from 52 per 1,000 teens in 2006 to 35.68 per 1,000 in 2010 - a drop that occurred as the city and United Way implemented their joint comprehensive sex education efforts. Repealing the Healthy Youth Act in Wisconsin could reverse much of the work that has proven effective in reducing teen pregnancy in Milwaukee and the surrounding area.


Statistics also show that comprehensive sex education is valued by the vast majority of Wisconsinites. According to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, approximately 87% of Wisconsin voters support requiring comprehensive sex education instruction that includes information about both abstinence and contraception.


Teen Pregnancy, STD Treatment Costs Taxpayers

Choosing to ignore teen pregnancy and STD infection rates in teens rather than working to prevent them from occurring comes with a significant price tag to Wisconsin's taxpayers. According to a 2011 study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, teen pregnancies cost Wisconsin taxpayers at least $168 million in 2008. Additionally, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services estimates that direct medical costs associated with STDs among youth aged 15-24 costs Wisconsin taxpayers $117 million annually. These statistics show that Wisconsin cannot afford to replace our current comprehensive sex education program with an abstinence-only plan.


Need Focus on Jobs, Not Extreme Religious Ideology

The people of Wisconsin have spoken loud and clear that jobs must be the Legislature's top priority. We should to be working on bills that will actually create jobs and decrease our unemployment rate, rather than rushing through legislation to keep Wisconsin’s young adults in the dark on sexual health. Unfortunately, rushing through divisive legislation based on extreme religious ideology, such as this bill to repeal the Healthy Youth Act, sends a message to Wisconsinites that Governor Walker and Republican legislators are choosing to ignore the elephant in the room and expecting our economy and job figures to fix themselves.




Democrat Jobs Bill Passes the Senate

Democrats were able to get one of their jobs bills scheduled and passed in the Senate despite Republicans focusing on divisive social issues this session. Senate Bill 40, legislation to increase funding for advanced manufacturing training programs at Wisconsin's technical colleges, passed with a vote of 32-1.

Governor Walker's budget cut 30% from our state's technical colleges, which forced these schools to scale back important job training programs, including those for advanced manufacturing. This has resulted in waitlists of one to six years for most, if not all, of our job training programs.

As a result, local businesses in our community have family-supporting jobs available but lack the qualified skilled workers to fill them. Many local business leaders, including those at Caterpillar and Molded Dimensions, believe that investing in our technical colleges will help workers develop the skills necessary to fill the vacant positions these companies currently have.

Wisconsin currently has a 7.8% unemployment rate and has moved backwards in recent months while trying to recover the 171,400 jobs that were lost between January of 2008 and January of 2010. Statistics released this past week from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development show that Wisconsin lost another 900 last month. We need to get Wisconsinites back to work immediately, and Senate Bill 40 will help to do just that.


To view a copy of Senate Bill 40, please CLICK HERE.



Push for Bigger Class Sizes

Despite solid results and clear evidence that smaller class sizes dramatically increase educational success in Wisconsin, GOP rubberstamps passed a bill to disrupt the SAGE program. The "SAGE" program is a key corner stone program that helps students succeed by keeping smaller class sizes in the most formative years. I authored an amendment to retain the SAGE program. It was rejected on a party-line vote.


Governor Walker's billion dollar cut to education has made the SAGE program our next educational casualty. Unfortunately, cutting funding and ignoring scientific research behind the SAGE program means larger class sizes and less opportunity for our children.




Stop Campus Credit Card Traps Act Introduced

I am introducing legislation with Representative Jon Richards that will protect students from falling victim to credit card traps. The Stop Campus Credit Card Traps Act will help ensure that young adults are not hoodwinked into ruining their credit by:

  • Preventing credit card issuers from offering college students tangible incentives or anything of value to persuade them to apply for credit cards

  • Requiring colleges and universities to provide information on financial literacy to its students

  • Having a parent or guardian co-sign credit card applications for individuals under 21 who have demonstrated an inability to repay debts.

College students are popular targets for credit card issuers because they frequently lack knowledge and experience in managing financial matters. Therefore, many students fall prey to the marketing tactics of credit card issuers and as a result, accumulate debt,  which negatively impacts their credit history. The Stop Credit Card Traps Act is necessary to protect Wisconsin’s college students from future financial difficulties when making the transition to independence.


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



Healthy Women - Healthy Families Legislation Moves Forward

I am supporting two pieces of legislation, the Healthy Women-Healthy Families Bill Part One and Part Two, that aim to repair some of the detrimental cuts made in the Republican budget to Wisconsin's health safety net. The 2011-2013 Biennial Budget substantially restricted women’s access to preventative health care services, including cancer screenings, pap tests and birth control. The budget also reduced the eligibility requirements and services for working families across Wisconsin that rely on programs such as BadgerCare and FamilyCare.

The Healthy Women-Healthy Families Bill would reverse the new restrictions placed on family planning services, which limit where women can obtain family planning services and what medical concerns pregnancy counselors can discuss with patients. The bill also restores funding that was cut from family planning programs, redefines the income eligibility to ensure more families have access to planning services, and guarantees that contraception remains part of family planning programs.

Family planning services are vital to our state and have proven to be effective by saving Wisconsin over $500,000 by helping to prevent unintended pregnancies. Furthermore, investing in basic reproductive health care and family planning services shows a commitment to Wisconsin's working families. This bill will renew that commitment and ensure that such services can best serve our neighbors across Wisconsin.


Recognizing October as Comprehensive Women's Health Month

I introduced a resolution with Rep. Sinicki this week recognizing October as Comprehensive Women’s Health Month. The resolution acknowledges the importance of reproductive health care services including: Pap smears, breast exams, screening and treatment for STDs, birth control and counseling services, and prenatal care coordination by licensed medical professionals. Furthermore, it commends women’s health centers for saving lives by preventing and treating life-threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer. The resolution also states that family planning health care is recognized by the CDC as one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th Century.

Our neighbors and our state value comprehensive health care for women that includes prevention and detection. Family planning services are also highly respected by Wisconsinites and play a critical role in the overall healthy of our families. Declaring October 2011 as Comprehensive Women’s Health Month recognizes the necessity for access to quality, affordable health care for all women across the state.


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




Neighbors Provide Feedback at Milwaukee Jobs Forum

Thank you to everyone that attended the jobs hearing in Milwaukee. Neighbors gathered at the Washington Park Senior Center in Milwaukee this past Monday to voice their concerns about Wisconsin's jobs and unemployment statistics and propose possible solutions.

I was grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this important discussion and the thoughtful comments and questions that were raised 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.




Dozens Attend Milwaukee Bike Ride

This past Monday, Representative Jon Richards and I hosted a bike ride illustrating the considerable safety concerns bikers face while biking on city streets if they wish to get from Milwaukee's South Shore suburbs to Downtown or Milwaukee's Eastside neighborhoods.


I would like to thank the more than three dozen neighbors that attended the bike ride hoping to bring attention to the need for a more viable transit option for bikers. To view video from the Milwaukee Bike Ride, please CLICK HERE.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) is nearly finished conducting their feasibility study on including a bike and pedestrian safety lane as part of the Hoan Bridge reconstruction. 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. Having a bike and pedestrian lane on the Hoan will provide our neighbors wishing to travel North and South with a direct route that is also safer for pedestrians, bikers and motor vehicles.


If you would like to sign on to the petition to request that DOT create a bicycle and pedestrian lane on the Hoan Bridge, please CLICK HERE. Feel free to encourage your family, friends and neighbors to show their support by circulating this petition throughout your community. CLICK HERE to download or print the PDF for the Petition to Bike the Hoan.


Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or thoughts you have on the Hoan Bridge project, including the proposed bicycle and pedestrian lane.



Celebrate Halloween in Our Community

Halloween is fast approaching. This holiday guarantees a fun time for children and adults alike as they dress up in costumes and trick-or-treat around the neighborhood. This year, Halloween falls on a Monday, so most trick-or-treating will take place over the 29th or 30th of October. I am including some trick- or-treat safety tips to ensure that you and your family remain safe as you take part in the Halloween festivities:

  • Only trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods

  • Carry a flashlight after dark

  • Travel in groups

  • Watch for cars when crossing the street, particularly after dark

  • Do not eat any candy without inspecting it for loose wrappings

  • Respect others and their property

I am also including a list of Halloween events taking place in our community that I hope you will be able to attend and enjoy on this festive day:

Neighborhood Trick-or-Treat

  • Cudahy Trick-or-Treat on Sunday, October 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • South Milwaukee Trick-or-Treat on Sunday, October 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • St. Francis Trick-or-Treat on Sunday, October 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Oak Creek Trick-or-Treat on Sunday, October 30 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Operation Pumpkin MKE 2011
Saturday, October 22 through Tuesday, November 1

Drive or walk by St. Paul Avenue to view hundreds of lit up Jack O'Lanterns featuring interesting carving creations made by your fellow neighbors. CLICK HERE for additional event information.


Ghouls & Spirits Adult Trick-or-Treat
Saturday, October 22 and 29 at 5:30 p.m.
Explore a city's worth of ghost stories through the Third Ward, along Brady Street and down Wisconsin Avenue on this three-hour seasonal bus tour. Enjoy appetizers and wine while exploring a historic B&B in the haunted Concordia neighborhood, dine on chicken mole and jambalaya in a haunted bordello while sipping your choice of pumpkin punch or seasonal craft beer, and delve into dessert and more at a local brewery. Plus, hear from a local paranormal society's lead investigator as they share their investigation experiences with you. Food, drinks, guided fun and round-trip transportation are included with each $70 ticket. Everyone must be at least 21 to participate. CLICK HERE to book a tour or call (800)979-3370.


Milwaukee Ballet’s Dracula
Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 30

Attend this Halloween’s most thrilling adventure as Dracula returns to Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Ballet Company’s talent is highlighted in this monstrous production combining this well-known story with dark and towering scenery, period costumes, dramatic lighting effects and a chilling score performed live by the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. CLICK HERE for showtime and ticket information.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (MAP)
929 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 273-7206


Dia de los Muertos Parade
Friday, October 28 at 4 p.m.
Join the Walker's Point Center of the Arts (WPCA) for their second annual Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, parade held in conjunction with their annual Dia de los Muertos art exhibit. The parade will travel from the United Community Center (UCC) to the WPCA, and continue back to the UCC for a performance by Ballet Folklorico Hermanos De Avila. CLICK HERE for more information about this event.

United Community Center (MAP)
1028 S. 9th Street
Milwaukee, WI WI 53204
(414) 384-3100


Riverside Theater Haunted History Tours
Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m.  
Experience spine-tingling reports of spectral activity at the Riverside Theater this Halloween. Those choosing to participate in this paranormal party will enjoy a haunted history tour led by Caper Company’s Haunt Spots investigators, one free tap beer or soda, free pizza, tarot readings by the Tarot Sisters, giveaways and more. Tickets are $25. Costumes are welcome but not required. To buy tickets or get more information, please CLICK HERE.

Riverside Theater (MAP)
116 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 286-3663

Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe
Friday, October 28 through Saturday, November 5 
Watch this World's Stage Theatre Company production of an intimate tale of Poe's downward spiral into madness. In this original production, Edgar Allan Poe stands alone in the flickering darkness of his mind, trying desperately to convince himself - and the audience - that he is not mad. The spell he weaves brings together four highly theatrical adaptations of "The Raven," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Pit and the Pendulum," and "The Tell-Tale Heart." Tickets are $16, or $12 for students, and available online or at the door before the night's performance (cash or check only). For more information or to purchase tickets for the show, please CLICK HERE.

Marian Center for Non-Profits (MAP)

3211 S. Lake Drive

St. Francis, WI 53235


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. I will also be putting an electronic copy of the survey on my Web site shortly. To return the survey, simply fold it, tape it, and put a stamp on it.


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,




Thanks for a Great Season, Brewers!

Thank you to our Milwaukee Brewers for a great season. Although we did not make it all the way to the World Series, we should nevertheless be proud of the records we broke and the amazing season our Brewers had. We should also appreciate the amazing memories and look forward to creating countless new ones when the 2012-2013 season begins. Go Brewers!




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