November 3, 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.

Next 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 during the weekend and next week to honor our neighbors who served. You can find the information for these events listed below.

City of Oak Creek Veterans Day Celebration
Date: Saturday, November 5 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Location: Oak Creek

Details: Remember those that served by stopping by Oak Creek Fire Station #3 this Saturday, November 5 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.


Oak Creek Fire Station #3


7000 S 6th St, Oak Creek, WI 53154



Veterans Day Parade
Date: Saturday, November 5 at 11 a.m.
Location: Milwaukee

Details: Attend the 53rd annual Veterans Day Parade and Day of Honor this Saturday in Downtown Milwaukee. The parade kicks-off off at 11a.m. from 4th and Kilbourn and heads east to the War Memorial via Wells Street. There will be a memorial service at the War Memorial immediately following the parade. For more information, please CLICK HERE.

War Memorial Center (MAP)
750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202


Remembering Veterans Day in St. Francis
Date: Saturday, November 5 at 1:30 p.m.
Location: St. Francis

Details: Join seniors at the Howard Village Retirement Community in honoring the armed forces and our community's veterans with a Veterans Day Ceremony this Saturday. This heartfelt program is sure to inspire as  area veterans and special guests come together to celebrate, honor, and remember. The community is welcome. Please RSVP by calling (414) 489-1400.

Howard Village Retirement Community
2500 E. Howard Avenue
St. Francis, WI 53235


Cudahy High School's Annual Veterans Day Assembly
Date: Friday, November 11 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Cudahy
Details: This event has been described as "one of the best in Southeastern Wisconsin." The assembly will take place on Friday, November 11 at 1:30 p.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.

Cudahy High School (MAP)
4950 S. Lake Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110



Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,

Election Day -- Tuesday, November 8 -- is just around the corner! I hope you will join me in having your voice heard in our democracy. Voting is not only a constitutional right, it's important and easy to do! 

As you know, my colleagues and I have been harsh critics of the Wisconsin law, passed in 2011, which requires photo identification (ID) for voting. However, if you are equipped with the right tools and information, you will be ready prepared at the polls!

That said, this week's report will provide some "fast facts" about voting. We will also provide a brief update on some of the latest court rulings that have been issued regarding our state's voter suppression law.


Don't forget to go to to find your polling location and other important voting information.

In Service,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7



Know Your Rights on Election Day

Our most fundamental freedom -- voting -- continues to be in jeopardy. Recent reports show that voters are not receiving accurate information about their voting rights.

We have a duty to our citizens to make every attempt in providing timely, accurate voting information. Since the passage of Wisconsin's strict voter suppression law in 2011, Wisconsinites have been met with confusion and legal ambiguity. We'll discuss the recent court decisions below. First, let's recap the voting law and what is needed to cast your ballot.

On Election Day you WILL NEED to present an acceptable photo ID before you are able to cast your vote at the polls. A valid ID includes a Wisconsin driver license, U.S. passport, military ID a free Wisconsin state ID card, or any other ID shown below (also available by clicking this link).

You can also click here for more information and to verify you have the right type of photo ID for voting.

If you have an acceptable photo ID and are registered at your polling location, you should be set for Election Day!

However, here are some additional voting "fast facts" to keep in mind:

  • Your photo ID DOES NOT need to have your current address, and the name on your ID does not have to exactly match the name on the poll list (for example, "Christopher" with an ID for "Chris" is O.K.).
  • If you are unable to access an acceptable photo ID to use on Election Day, or if a poll worker says your ID is not acceptable, you CAN STILL CAST a provisional ballot at the poll. This ballot will only be counted if you bring an acceptable ID to your clerk's office before 4 p.m. Friday, November 11.
  • If you do not have an acceptable ID that can be used for voting, you can also visit the nearest Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to go through the ID Petition Process (IDPP). Through the IDPP, you will be provided with a document with your photo that you can use for voting. Click here for more information about the IDPP process.
  • There are also limited exceptions to the photo ID requirement. Read about them here.
  • If you are not registered to vote at your current polling location, you CAN register at the polls. You will need to bring proof of residence. Please note, you must be a resident of your current ward for 10 days in order to register. For a list of acceptable proof of residence documents, click here.

  • Finally, please remember that if you are in line before your polling location closes at 8 p.m. you WILL be permitted to vote.


Voter Suppression Law a Betrayal of Shared Wisconsin Values

Across Wisconsin,  including in the courtroom, people are realizing that GOP lip service is not enough. As we see with Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel's office promising that all workers at the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have been trained to tell people they will get credentials for voting within six days, even if they don't have birth certificate, this has become yet another broken promise. In fact, it has even led to DMV workers being ill-prepared to help eligible voters, and in some cases even misguiding potential voters.

The group VoteRiders recorded various interactions with DMV employees across the state of Wisconsin during which applicants were given incorrect information on how to obtain proper identification for voting. According to a shocking Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, a DMV worker in Hudson, WI even told a woman, "You're not guaranteed to get an ID card. Nothing's guaranteed." Eligible voters should be encouraged to participate, not mislead by failed Republican policies.

Click here to read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

These appalling revelations came after a July ruling by U.S. District Judge James Peterson that struck down several voter disenfranchisement provisions passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature since 2011. For instance, Judge Peterson struck down limits to in-person absentee voting and increased residency requirements. In his ruling, Peterson stated, "The Wisconsin experience demonstrates that a preoccupation with mostly phantom election fraud leads to real incidents of disenfranchisement, which undermine rather than enhance confidence in elections, particularly in minority communities... To put it bluntly, Wisconsin's strict version of voter ID law is a cure worse than the disease."

To review all of the provisions that Judge Peterson struck down in his ruling, click here for a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

In order to ensure some form of protection for voters, Judge Peterson changed how the voter suppression law is implemented in Wisconsin. Specifically, the ruling addressed the haphazard system created by Wisconsin Republicans for those being disenfranchised due to having an incorrect birth certificate or other issue preventing them from getting a government-issued photo ID. Judge Peterson referred to this system, known as the ID petition process (IDPP), as a "wretched failure" and noted that the overwhelming majority of individuals facing barriers to getting a photo ID are African American and Latino.

In October, after the discoveries made by VoteRiders, Judge Peterson again demanded that Wisconsin leaders make adequate attempts to reach out to voters struggling to meet the strict requirements under the photo ID law. This ruling mandated that the state develop a "palm card" informing potential voters of the IDPP process, which allows for a temporary receipt that they can use at the polls. Judge Peterson also ordered the DMV to distribute this information to members of the media, and other organizations, to share with Wisconsinites.

Instead of promoting the fundamental right to participate in our democracy, Wisconsin Republicans have made it harder and harder for some to cast their ballots. While I am glad that Judge Peterson has done what he can to limit the amount of damage to our democracy and citizens by the harmful voter suppression law, it is clear we must do more to protect and enhance our neighbors' right to having a voice at the polls.

In early October, some of my Democratic colleagues -- who serve on the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules -- sent a letter to Senate and Assembly leadership urging them to call for an extraordinary session to immediately overturn the voter suppression law. While this request was unsurprisingly not granted by the Republican-controlled Legislature, it is imperative that Wisconsin leaders take this matter as the serious infringement on our citizens' rights that it is and prioritize repealing this unnecessary law immediately. It's past time for those in control of the Legislature to stop pushing out-of-touch policies that betray our shared values and instead pursue responsible public policies that enhance the rights of our neighbors.

For instance, other state's across the country are taking a different approach than Wisconsin by making a commitment to increasing voter access. Some of the things these state's have implemented include promoting more early voting options and automatically registering voters over the age of 18, increasing voter access.

Our elections should be free, fair, and accessible to all eligible voters and I look forward to advancing legislation that will protect and enhance voter participation in Wisconsin when session resumes in January. 


In Case You Missed It
Each week, the Larson Report strives to provide up-to-date, in-depth information to its readers. Between editions, a lot happens in Madison and in our Wisconsin communities. I want to make sure you know the most pressing issues facing our neighborhoods across the state. Below are some of the top stories from the past couple of weeks:
  • 2015 marked the first year that renewable energy surpassed coal as the largest source of global electricity. This is exciting and positive news about the progress we are making across the world in protecting our shared, public resources. Read more about this great news, here.
  • Recently released state numbers show our neighborhood schools continue to struggle with crippling budget shortfalls and a lack of adequate investment for educating our children, as more and more public school dollars are being pocketed by unaccountable voucher schools. See this Facebook post for more information.
  • U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez was in Madison recently to highlight a $1.5 million investment in Wisconsin to expand apprenticeship programs in high-demand fields. This investment will help connect our neighbors with vital job training and provide our local businesses with long-term qualified, skilled applicants. Walker's Wisconsin continues to lag behind the nation in family-supporting jobs. This announcement will help our neighbors access jobs that pay fair wages. Read this post to learn more.
  • Over the past year, there has been an alarming escalation in violence and hate speech aimed at people based on their ethnic, racial, and/or religious backgrounds. The Arab and Muslim communities, and those perceived as Muslims, have unfairly received the brunt of these acts of violence and hate-speech. The Islamophobia, abuse, and discrimination experienced by members of these communities conflicts with our nationís history as a land of immigrants founded on the principle of religious freedom. Acts of violence and hate truly hinders our state from truly moving 'Forward.' That's why Representative Jonathan Brostoff and I have circulated a memo to our colleagues letting them know of our intent to introduce a Joint Resolution when session resumes in January to denounce anti-Muslim hate and bigotry. Click here to read the Joint Resolution.


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