June 16, 2016




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




Find Me on Facebook and Twitter:













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.


Volunteer At Interfaith Older Adult Programs

More than 2,350 volunteers donate their time, energy and resources each year to help adults 50+ in the Milwaukee area stay healthy, active and engaged in their communities.

Starting at age 14 and up, Interfaith offers many volunteer opportunities to match personal interests, talents and schedules. Volunteers help older adults each day by: providing rides to doctor appointments or the pharmacy; helping with grocery shopping; working around the yard on seasonal chores, such as cutting grass, raking leaves and snow shoveling; or simply making friendly home visits. Even more volunteers can be found at Interfaith-run senior centers and senior dining sites, helping with everyday activities and meal service.

Another sector of Interfaith's volunteer opportunities is designed specifically for adults 55+. Through Interfaith's Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), older adults have the opportunity to volunteer their time by tutoring Milwaukee Public School students, making daily phone checks to isolated seniors, volunteering for veterans and becoming a senior ambassador. Another volunteer opportunity for adults 55+ is Interfaith's Foster Grandparent Program. Older adults provide one-on-one attention to children with special needs, helping them develop the skills, confidence and strength they need to succeed in life.

Volunteers looking to get involved can log on to and download a volunteer application.


When Milwaukee Had Rapid Transit
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2 to 3 p.m.

Description: Larry Sakar, author of Speedrail: Milwaukee's Last Rapid Transit?, will present a history of Rapid Transit in the Milwaukee area until service ended 65 years ago. CLICK HERE to register or call (414) 286-3011.


Centennial Hall, Loos Room


733 N. Eighth St.

Milwaukee, WI 53233

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 the Milwaukee area. Please see the list below to find a farmer's market near you:


Howell Avenue Farmer's Market
Date: July through October
Time: Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Location: US Bank


4015 S. Howell Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207

Cathedral Square Market
Date: June 4 through October 1
Time: Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Cathedral Square Park


Wells and N. Jefferson

Milwaukee, WI 53202

CLICK HERE for more information.


South Shore Farmer's Market
Date: June 18 through October 15 (except July 16)
Time: Saturdays from 8 a.m. to Noon
Location: 2900 South Shore Dr.


Milwaukee, WI 53207
CLICK HERE for more information.

South Milwaukee Downtown Market
Date: June 2 through October 13
Time: Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee & S 11th Avenue in South Milwaukee, WI 53172
CLICK HERE for more information.

Riverwest Garden Market
Date: June 19 through October 16
Time: Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Garden Park adjacent to the Riverwest Public House Cooperative Bar


821 E Locust St.

Milwaukee, WI 53212
CLICK HERE for more information.



Father's Day Events in our Community:

Father's Day Pancake Breakfast
Date: Sunday, June 19 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Location: Oak Creek
Description: The Oak Creek Community Center is hosting a Father's Day Pancake Breakfast. This breakfast includes pancakes, fresh fruit bar, made to order omelets, breakfast sausages and potatoes, coffee, and juice. Adults eat for $10, 60 and older eat for $9, kids 4-10 eat for $6 and breakfast is free for kids younger than 4. If tickets are purchased at the door there will be an extra $2 charge. CLICK HERE or call (414) 768-5840 for more information.


Oak Creek Community Center


8580 S Howell Ave

Oak Creek, WI 53154

Father's Day at the Zoo
Date: Sunday, June 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Bring your family to a fun day at the zoo, where all fathers receive free admission.
Click here or call (414) 256-5466 for more information.


Milwaukee County Zoo


10001 W. Blue Mound Rd.

Milwaukee, WI 53226

Father's Day at the Milwaukee Public Museum
Date: Sunday, June 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: All fathers receive free admission to the Milwaukee Public Museum on June 19 in honor of Father's Day.


Milwaukee Public Museum


800 W Wells St.

Milwaukee, WI 53233



Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,

My deepest sympathies and thoughts are with those affected by the senseless tragedy in Orlando.

Gun violence is a public health crisis and deserves immediate action. The tragedy in Orlando marked the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States. I join a growing majority in recommitting to advancing legislation to protect our communities and keep our neighbors safe.

You can read more about specific initiatives to end gun violence in the last Larson Report newsletter by clicking here.

As we mourn the lives lost in this tragedy, we must also unite and stand up against the special interests that are blocking common sense gun laws. In addition, we must recognize the unique challenges our LGBTQ neighbors face, and take a stand against discriminatory anti-LGBTQ policies and efforts to divide our community.


Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7



Fighting for Equality

As Wisconsinites, we share the same core values. We believe in freedom, equality, and justice for all.

In 2006, Republicans pushed a marriage equality ban into our state constitution that violated these core values, leaving many couples and their families vulnerable to intolerance and undue hardship. However, a federal court judge struck down Wisconsin's marriage equality ban on June 6, 2014, ruling that it violated freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.

After the ruling, couples who had been waiting five, 10, or even 30 years to marry the person they love were finally able to do so in the state they call home: Wisconsin. This included long-time couple Renee Currie and Shari Roll, who, after sharing 11 years together, became the first same-sex couple in the state of Wisconsin to receive a marriage license.

Just over a year later, on June 26, 2015,  the U.S. Supreme Court cemented the affirmation that love is love, and government-sanctioned marriage discrimination would no longer be accepted in the United States.

Congratulations to all the couples who are not only walking down the aisle, but are also now celebrating wedding anniversaries! I wish you many more to come!

The first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling shows how far we have come as a society to protect freedom in our country. Unfortunately, there have been stark reminders that fear and hate continue to seep into our communities; in many instances, these reminders are pushed by right-wing leaders bent on igniting hatered that gave them power.

In Wake of Orlando, Immediate Action Needed
Less than a week ago, our nation experienced the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States. As we mourn those tragically taken from us in Orlando, and pray for the families who lost their loved ones, we must also unite and stand up to the special interests that continue to block common sense solutions to preventing gun deaths.

Gun violence is a public health crisis and deserves immediate action. There are simple and sensible things we, as lawmakers, can do to help prevent these tragedies from occurring.

In Wisconsin, those in power have failed to act, leaving it to the public to hold them accountable. I call on all concerned neighbors to speak truth to power and call out legislators that continue to offer prayers after these tragedies, but fail to offer any solutions. Make no mistake, the gun lobby in our state is entrenched and their schemes to block sensible gun legislation puts us all in danger.

Common sense says we should have background checks on all gun purchases. This will provide people the freedom of knowing that guns aren't being sold to those with a record of hate crimes and/or violence. Many people may already think that a person on America's 'No Fly List' (the Federal Bureau of Investigation's terrorist watch list) wouldn't be allowed to purchase a gun. They, unfortunately, would be wrong. For safer communities, we should also put an end to the sale of assault style rifles that serve no civilian purpose, an put limits on the sale of high-capacity magazines that go way beyond hunting or recreational needs. 

As part of June 2, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, I talked about other strategies to addressing this public health crisis in the last Larson Report newsletter, read about them here.

No family should have to deal with the type of loss or life-threatening injuries that occurred in Orlando or that happens in neighborhoods across the country every day.

No person's life should be cut short at the hand of gun violence.

I -- along with many of my fellow Democratic colleagues -- am reaffirming my commitment to advancing legislation to protect our communities and keep our neighbors safe. While important, moments of silence and prayers are no longer enough, we must take firm action to address the public health crisis of gun violence.

Our policies need to reflect public sentiment about living in a safer community. We must stand up to the gun lobby that refuses to change and we must reject excuses from politicians who refuse to make an effort to prevent future tragedies. We have a right to live free of terror.

LGBTQ Pride Month
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month (LGBTQ Pride Month) is held during the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which were a tipping point for the movement for equality in the United States. Throughout the month, celebrations are held across the country including pride parades, picnics, parties, and workshops.

Click here to learn more about the history and impact of the Stonewall riots.

With LGBTQ Pride month well under way, it is important to celebrate the progress we have made towards equality and fairness, but also recognize the challenges and discrimination our LGBTQ neighbors continue to face.

While the majority of Americans share the belief that members of the LGBTQ community should be able to live their authentic lives without fear of bullying, discrimination, or exclusion, a small minority are responsible for spreading fear, hate, and violence.

A 2014 study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, showed that violence and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals persists as a serious issue. Additionally, another 2014 study published in the International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies showed that LGBTQ youth are more likely to be victims of suicide than their heteorsexual peers.

As we are still reeling from the tragedy in Orlando, we must honor those lost by standing with our LGBTQ friends and loved ones by making a commitment to advancing progress and equality. We are already seeing this solidarity happen in our own Milwaukee community. Thousands of LGBTQ people, along with friends and allies, united in a record-breaking PrideFest attendance this past weekend. 33,438 individuals attended PrideFest over the three-day weekend, showing that love always wins and that we will not allow hate to divide us.

School Policies -- Wisconsin Goes Backwards
In May, the Obama administration took a stand against discrimination in our schools. The United States Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance to public schools across the country, instructing them to ensure that their policies do not discriminate against any students, including based on gender identity.

Instead of embracing the chance to ensure all our children are treated fairly and equally, Wisconsin Republican leaders are instead encouraging hate and discrimination in our state and nation by attempting to impose barriers on our neighbors.

Sadly, Wisconsin is one of 11 states on a lawsuit challenging Obama's efforts create a safe, fair learning environment for all of our students.

This type of discrimination and political pandering leads to unfair treatment of our neighbors and should not be tolerated.

Moving Forward, Together
Addressing gun violence can immediately make our neighborhoods safer. It is also important to recognize the unique challenges of our LGBTQ neighbors who face discrimination in their everyday lives from employment and economic opportunities, to family violence, to access to health care. LGBTQ people of color are especially at risk of experiencing discrimination in these, and other, areas.

Across the country, there have been over 100 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in the past year that.

Sadly, the people of Wisconsin are all too familiar with attempts to impose unfair barriers on our neighbors. Republicans in the Legislature introduced a bill earlier this year to restrict the types of bathrooms and locker rooms transgender students are allowed to use in our schools. Despite the public outrage over the bill that helped stop it from passing, one of the bill's authors has stated he will reintroduce it next session.

Last session, I was a co-sponsor of legislation to empower the Department of Public Instruction to develop a model policy to ensure transgender students are treated fairly and equally. Communities around the state would have been able to decide to adopt this policy. Moving forward, I plan to continue working with my fellow legislators and LGBTQ individuals to strengthen our communities by advancing polices that ensure fairness and equality. We are stronger when we embrace our unique differences and stand together to advocate for a community that allows everyone the opportunity to thrive and prosper.


Ask Chris

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: You provided an update on the proposed changes to our long-term care system in a recent newsletter. Are there any further updates with this issue?

I received a lot of positive feedback regarding the update on long-term care in Wisconsin included in a recent Larson Report newsletter, as the details of proposed changes to our long-term care system were still largely being kept secret.


Now, families and advocates across the state are celebrating a huge victory after news broke last week that the Walker administration has withdrawn its request for changes to Family Care and IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct).

When the governor proposed dismantling our long-term care system as we know it a year ago, our neighbors who depend on these programs quickly mobilized and fought against these changes. Not once did they give up, and when their voices were ignored with the signing of the Republican budget last year, they only ramped up their efforts.

This is a great victory for families all over the state and I'd like to thank all the advocates -- from the older adults and individuals with disabilities who are served by our long-term care programs to the Managed Care Organizations, Aging and Disability Resources Centers, and other groups -- for fighting so hard to maintain our nationally recognized system.

This welcome halt to dismantling our beloved programs comes shortly after potential corruption and cronyism linked to the proposals was cited by recent news articles. For example, UnitedHealthCare, one of the large insurance companies that has been aggressive in its efforts to take over our long-term care system, has ties to Walker's former chief of staff, Eric Schutt. Schutt previously worked for the company and returned to UnitedHealthCare this year to take up the position of vice president of external affairs.


While the fight is almost certainly not over, this news is a huge success and will make it more difficult for Governor Walker to recklessly hand over Family Care and IRIS to profit-motivated insurance companies.


Click here to read a press release by Disability Rights Wisconsin regarding this latest news.


Celebrating Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, General Granger arrived in Texas and told the last slaves about the Emancipation Proclamation. In the following years June 19, Juneteenth, has spread across our nation and serves as a day of both celebration and reflection. Every year millions of people gather to commemorate the end of slavery and the beginning of African Americans' inclusion into wider American society.

Juneteenth also serves as a day to remember all those who suffered under slavery and those who sacrificed so much in the battles for equality and the American Dream.

Since 2009, Wisconsin has recognized Juneteenth as a legal holiday, and Milwaukee boasts one of the largest events in the nation. The Milwaukee celebration has a parade as well as a block party, which will be held this year on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. between Center and Burleigh Streets.

Last year hundreds gathered to commemorate the 150th anniversary of June 19, 1865, and this year should be even larger! The event is planned by the Northcott Neighborhood House, a Milwaukee organization. I hope you join in this year's event as cities across the United States come together to remember where we have been as a country and celebrate all we have accomplished.


Father's Day
Happy Father's Day from my family to yours!

I hope you enjoy celebrating with your families and loved ones on June 19.

I also encourage you to take advantage of the special Father's Day activities in the Milwaukee area, which are listed in the sidebar.



To Subscribe to the weekly Larson Report, CLICK HERE.

To Unsubscribe from the weekly Larson Report Newsletter, please reply to this email with the word "Unsubscribe."