August 11, 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




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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.




Friday Fish Fry in the Parks
Date: Every Friday through Labor Day Weekend from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Description: Enjoy your Friday evening with a fish fry at one of Milwaukee's beautiful county parks. CLICK HERE to learn more.


Jazz in the Park
Date: Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through September
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Jazz in the Park is a weekly event featuring a wide array of musicians that takes place in Milwaukee's Cathedral Square Park. Concerts will start at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, but people are encouraged to come socialize and enjoy happy hour beginning at 5 p.m. CLICK HERE for more information.

Cathedral Square Park


520 E Wells St

Milwaukee, WI 53202

Irish Fest
Date: August 18 at 5 p.m. through August 21 at 10 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee
Description: Milwaukee's Irish festival offers an experience that can only be rivaled by visiting the Emerald Isle. Attendees can enjoy musical performances, traditional Irish dance, authentic cuisine, a dog show, Gaelic poetry readings, theater events, and more.   CLICK HERE for more information including an entertainment line-up and admission deals.

Henry W. Maier Festival Park


200 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202


Taste of Egypt Festival
Date: August 22, 23, and 24
Location: Oak Creek
Description: St. Mary & St. Antonious are organizing a great festival to give a sense of Egypt, from the unique ethnic food and drink to the unique Coptic music and the sophisticated Coptic history and the wonders of the camel rides and the beautifulness of the Egyptian antiquities and souvenirs. The Egyptian ethnic food is made fresh and served fresh daily. The cookies are all from natural ingredients and homemade, they are mouth-watering and they melt in your mouth. The souvenirs are all Egyptian and attractive and unique. The festival, tour, and parking are free, the merchandise prices are very reasonable. Come and join us in this one of a kind experience and you will enjoy it. CLICK HERE for more information, including event times.

St. Mary & St. Antonious Coptic Orthodox Church
1521 W Drexel Ave
Oak Creek, WI 53154



Wine & Vine
Date: Saturday, August 27 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: St. Francis
Description: Celebrate the Grape arbor's 100+ years by drinking wine, beer, tea and coffee, and sample food from participating restaurants and vendors in the area. All proceeds will go to refurbishing the 1912 Grape arbor and developing the surrounding green space. CLICK HERE for more information.

St. Francis of Assisi Convent
3221 S. Lake Drive.
St. Francis, WI 53235


Meeting on Civil Rights and Hate Crimes
Date: Monday, August 29 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 pm
Location: West Allis
Description: The Wisconsin Advisory Committee (WAC) will be holding a public meeting regarding civil rights and hate crimes in Wisconsin. The event will also feature speakers from the Hmong community who will discuss the impact of the Hmong hunter incidents of the past few years and how to combat future hate crimes like these. For more information, CLICK HERE.


Hampton Inn & Suites


8201 W Greenfield Ave.

West Allis, WI 53214



Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,

You wouldn't know it by the hot weather we have been having, but Wisconsin's summer will soon be coming to a close and our kids will be headed back to school.


Many families in our state will be taking the next few weeks as an opportunity to explore Wisconsin, by going to a favorite picnic spot at a park or checking out an attraction they haven't been to before.

However, it's not just Wisconsinites that enjoy our great state. Many people visit Wisconsin with their friends and family to take part in the wonderful outdoor recreational and other unique opportunities we offer.

This week, the Larson Report will be discussing our tourism industry and it's importance to our economy. Plus, I've put together some ides for you and your family as you look to enjoy a last vacation of the summer.

In Service,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7



Wisconsin: A Great Place to Live and Visit

A robust travel and tourism industry is crucial to a strong Wisconsin economy. In 2015 alone, the industry contributed $19.3 billion to our local economy. During my time in the State Senate, I've have strongly believed in the power of promoting and supporting existing resources, industries, and businesses that make Wisconsin a wonderful place to live and visit. Wisconsin has a lot of great things to offer residents and visitors alike, and it is the responsibility of legislative leaders to encourage healthy growth in our tourism industry.

Our state provides its citizens the opportunity to experience big-city living or life in a small town; is home to gorgeous natural resources such as trails, parks, lakes and rivers; and offers exciting entertainment and cultural events. From kayaking around the Apostle Islands in Bayfield, WI to enjoying events in the City of Festivals (Milwaukee), we must make sure that residents and potential visitors are aware of these amazing opportunities and also encourage them to explore Wisconsin further.

With the national economy improving and gas prices low, Wisconsin has an opportunity to promote our state as a prime place to visit. Doing so generates more money for our communities and small businesses. For instance, in 2015, for every $1 the Wisconsin Department of Tourism spent on promoting Wisconsin, we saw $8 in returned revenue. Last year, the tourism economy generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue, saving Wisconsin taxpayers $640 per household.

Ski and snowmobile tourism is a massive industry that fuels our state's economy as is fishing and hunting. However, a lesser known -- but quickly growing -- economic driver in our state is bicycling. A recent study done by the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies found that the economic impacts seen with biking is nearly the same as the aforementioned activities.

Biking is a pastime of out-of-state visitors and residents alike. In fact, according to a 2006 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources study, 49% of Wisconsinites enjoy biking for recreation, making it one of our state's most popular outdoor activities. Biking contributes $924 million in tourism annually -- of which $535 million is from visitors.

Click here to learn more about the study.

In addition to directly benefiting the health of our economy, Wisconsin has had some of its top attractions receive nationwide attention. Just last month, Travel Wisconsin highlighted a few Wisconsin places that were mentioned in various publications, for instance:

  • Time Magazine featured Eau Claire's growing music scene in its summer series, "Reasons to Celebrate America."
  • Door County was featured in the Wall Street Journal in an article about the "Classic, All-American Summer Vacation."
  • Sundara Inn & Spa was named one of the "10 Best Destination Spas in the U.S." and "5 Best Resort Hotels in the Midwest" on Travel + Leisure's  World's Best Awards for 2106. The American Club at Kohler was also on the list of the "5 Best Resort Hotels in the Midwest."
  • Coast Living magazine named Port Washington one of the top 10 harbor communities in the United States.
  • Bradford Beach in Milwaukee was voted the third best urban beach in a 10 Best Readers' Choice poll. The city of Milwaukee was also featured on Fodor's Travel, and in the Chicago Tribune for its award-winning restaurants and chefs.

A Comprehensive Approach to Investing in Tourism
In order for Wisconsin to remain competitive in tourism and continue to build recognition nationwide, we must look beyond just the budget of the tourism department itself. If our roads are in disrepair, our lakes are unsafe or unpleasant to enjoy, or our parks are poorly maintained, not only could this cause harm to the health and pocketbooks of the everyday Wisconsinite, but we will see the negative effects spill into our tourism industry as well.

Safe Roads for Both Residents and Visitors to Travel on

In response to a letter Governor Walker sent to his Department of Transportation secretary telling him not to ask for any new money in his budget request for the anticipated 2017-19 state budget. A Wisconsin business owner and tourism leader -- Tom Diehl --expressed his concerns with the governor's reckless transportation record by stating, "99% of the customers who come to Door County or the Dells are driving here. So the infrastructure of roads and the highway system is critical...They want to make sure the area they're going to will be safe and they want to make sure that getting there is safe."

Wisconsin AAA has backed up these safety concerns through conducting surveys. Some of these surveys have found that up to 70% of travelers are concerned about the state of the roadways they will be traveling on.

Preserving our Parks and Wildlife Areas

Enjoying Wisconsin's beautiful parks and bike trails means we must invest in preserving and maintaining them. Despite no other state in the nation having an entirely self-sufficient park system, the governor and legislative Republicans recklessly slashed all of our state's investments in our state parks, opening the door to higher user fees, which could restrict access. Our parks system is made up of 46 state parks, 14 state trails, four recreation areas and two national scenic trails.

According to Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett, research also shows that state parks are one of the top reasons visitors come to Wisconsin. When the governor recommended striping funding from our parks, she urged Wisconsinites to contact their legislators, noting that well-maintained parks are crucial to our tourism economy. 

Investing in our parks not only maintains and enhances Wisconsin's beautiful landscape, but it provides our residents with a fun, safe, and clean place to spend their free time. Cutting funding to our parks makes it harder for residents to enjoy them. Our parks should be accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Learn more about our state parks and wildlife areas and plan a visit at the Department of Natural Resources' website.

Protecting our Shared, Public Waters
As mentioned in a previous Larson Report, our culture and economy are intertwined with our water, making preservation and protection efforts incredibly important. The quality of our waters directly affects recreation, tourism, public health, and property value.

As a state that thrives on recreation and tourism, a decline in the quality of our waters means fewer visitors, not to mention limiting our freedom to be healthy and have a good quality of life. One example is Long Lake, which was once a trophy largemouth bass fishing lake. Long Lake has gone from having cool water depths of 20 feet to now being barely more than a chain of puddles. The good fishing is no more and property values have plummeted.

Read more about what happened at Long Lake, and what is happening to our waters statewide in a previous Larson Report, here. 

With over 100 million people visiting our state annually, protecting our shared resources and growing our tourist industry is of great importance. Looking ahead to the next session, which begins in January 2017, I look forward to working on ways to make Wisconsin a better place to play, live, and visit. This means ensuring we have quality, accessible parks, safe water to drink, pristine lakes and streams for all to enjoy, and safe local roads.

End of Summer Exploration!
As the summer comes to a close, Wisconsin families are getting ready for kids to go back to school and for the crisp fall air to return. For many, this means planning one last family vacation before their schedules are filled with soccer practice, piano lessons, and student council fundraisers.

I hope you are able to go out and discover all Wisconsin has to offer! In fact, Travel Wisconsin has put together a list of "Nine Last Chance Vacations," which includes:

  • Going Tubing on the River -- A full list of rafting and tubing rental locations is included on the Travel Wisconsin website.
  • Going to a Drive in Movie Theater -- Did you know that Wisconsin has ten drive-in theaters?
  • Catching a Baseball Game in Wisconsin -- Enjoying a Brewer game with friends and family is a Wisconsin favorite, but our state is also home to several semi-professional teams!
  • Checking out the Racetrack -- Experience Wisconsin motorsports, including our state's only NASCAR-sanctioned asphalt race track in La Crosse.
  • Visiting the World's Greatest Water Parks -- You'll find a complete listing of Wisconsin's water parks on the Travel Wisconsin website, including every Wisconsin kid's favorite: Noah's Ark.
  • Visiting the Green Bay Packers Training Camp -- Check out the Green Bay Packers as they prepare for their season and stop by the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
  • Visiting the Ocean-like Beaches of the Great Lakes -- Dig your toes into the sand at one of the beaches along Wisconsin's Great Lakes coastline.
  • Hiking Underground -- With the hot weather we've been having, you may enjoy cooling off in one of Wisconsin's caves. Cave of the Mounds in Blue Mounds and Crystal Cave in Spring Valley are some favorites.
  • Enjoying Some of Wisconsin's Best Ice Cream -- It's probably no surprise that the Dairy State has a wide array of locally made ice cream and frozen custard to enjoy, including Milwaukee's Leon's Custard.

To learn more about these fantastic end-of-summer travel ideas, read the full article on the Travel Wisconsin website, here.

For more things to do around the state, CLICK HERE.

Don't forget that my office can provide you with a free Wisconsin Event Guide. Email me at Sen.Larson@Legis.WI.Gov with your name and home address to get your Wisconsin Event Guide today!


Neighborhood Survey

I want to hear from you! Therefore, I created a 2016-2017 Neighborhood Survey asking about various issues that are important to our community and our state. Your input is greatly appreciated and will help me prepare for session to resume in the coming months.

My staff and I will be working hard to deliver as many surveys door-to-door as possible during the next couple months. Additionally, I have also made this survey available online.

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.

Click here to take the survey online.

I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues! As always, please do not hesitate to contact me about any state or community matters important to you


Seeking Legislative Interns!
I currently have openings for  legislative intern positions in my Madison office. A legislative internship is a great opportunity for students and recent graduates to learn more about the legislative process while gaining practical work experience.

Intern responsibilities vary, but include policy research, summarizing proposed legislation, and responding to constituent inquires. All interns also assist with general office operations, including answering the phone.

Applicants must be able to work during normal business hours, and dedicate a minimum of 10 hours each week to the internship. All intern positions are unpaid.

Click here to learn how to apply!



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