December 1, 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.

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival

Date: November 17 through January 1
Location: Milwaukee
Description: This six-week festival will spread holiday spirit with animated light displays in Cathedral Square Park, Pere Marquette Park, and Zeidler Union Square, as well as hundreds of events. Marvel at the spectacular sights aboard the convenient Jingle Bus, a Coach U.S.A. bus that takes visitors on a 40-minute tour. For $1 per person, visitors can relish in the holiday spirit while admiring a festive panorama. The tour is narrated by Milwaukee Downtown's Public Service Ambassadors who will acquaint riders with key attractions and landmarks. Tours operate Thursdays through Sundays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. from the Shops of Grand Avenue. CLICK HERE to learn more.


Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market

Date: Now through April 8, 2017
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Formerly known as the "Milwaukee County Winter Famers Market," the "Milwaukee Winter Famers Market" takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday in the Greenhouse Annex at the Mitchell Park Domes. In its 8th year, the almost 50 weekly vendors gather each Saturday to promote fresh, local food, varying from fruit and vegetables, to various meats and poultry, to freshly baked goods, to our community. CLICK HERE for more information.

Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory

524 S. Layton Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53215

Milwaukee Gingerbread House Display
Date: December 2, 2016 through December 15, 2016
Location: Milwaukee
Description: At the Milwaukee Public Market, enjoy more than 40 elaborate and decorative gingerbread houses created and designed by Milwaukee Area Technical College students. The houses will be judged by industry professionals; however, visitors have the chance to bid on houses and vote for a "people's choice" scholarship winner, with the award ceremony taking place on December 15 at 6 p.m. You may attend the display during the Milwaukee Public Market's regular hours. See this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article for more information.

Milwaukee Public Market

400 N. Water St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

A Christmas Carol

Date: November 29, 2016 through December 24, 2016
Location: Milwaukee
Description: The Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents a brand new version of A Christmas Carol, the famous Milwaukee family tradition for over 40 years. This new version features the same traditional story, with the same characters with a family friendly adaptation written by Rep Artistic Director, Mark Clements. This is a perfect opportunity to relax and get into the Christmas Spirit as the cast brings you on a journey through Christmas Past, Present, and Future. CLICK HERE for more information, including how to purchase tickets.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater

108 E. Wells St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202


Bay View Annual Tree Lighting with Santa's Arrival

Date: December 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Location: Bay View

Description: Enjoy Christmas carols by St. Thomas More High School Choir and an outdoor sing-a-long with children, family, and guests at this annual event! Tree lighting with Santa's Arrival is at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to anyone.


Immaculate Conception Catholic Church


1023 E Russell Ave

Milwaukee, WI 53207



Christmas in the Ward
Date: Friday, December 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, December from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: The 28th annual Christmas in the Ward takes place on the 2nd and 3rd of December this year. With events ranging from musical performances to the opportunity to meet Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their reindeer, this old fashioned Christmas celebration is one that you will not want to miss out on. CLICK HERE for a schedule of events.

Catalano Square

147 N. Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202


St. Francis Christmas Parade
Date: December 3, 2016
Location: St. Francis
Description: Enjoy the annual parade, with Santa and his elves making their own appearance this Saturday! St. Francis/Cudahy Project concern food pantry will also be accepting non-perishable food items along the parade route. After the parade, head over to the St. Francis Civic Center to ring in the Holidays with refreshments and a chance to meet Santa, along with the lighting of the tree. CLICK HERE for more information, including the parade route.

St. Francis Civic Center

3400 E. Howard Ave.
Saint Francis, WI 53235

Santa Hustle Milwaukee 5k
Date: December 3 at Noon
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Run or walk with hundreds of other Santa's through Veterans Park this Saturday at 12 p.m.! All participants will receive a free Santa hat and hooded dri-fit long sleeve event shirt. Make sure to stop along the course as there will be stops for candy, cookies, festive music, and much more. CLICK HERE to register for this event.

Veterans Park


1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202



Community-Wide Hanukkah Celebration

Date: Monday, December 19 from 4:00-6:30 p.m.

Location: Whitefish Bay

Description: Join the Milwaukee Jewish Federation for their FREE community-wide Hanukkah Celebration! It's fun for all ages with plenty of food and activities including building a giant Lego Menorah! All members of the community are welcome at this event, which this year is being hosted by the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center. CLICK HERE for more information.


Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center


6255 N Santa Monica Blvd.

Whitefish Bay, WI 53217


Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,


I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and had some time to relax and enjoy catching up with family and friends.

Like many, I am starting to think about the New Year and ways to start 2017 off fresh. I spent some time over the holiday going through old electronics that my family no longer needs. I know I'm not the only one thinking about opportunities to reuse and recycle items lying around the house, therefore, below you will find information on how to properly dispose of unwanted electronics.

Additionally, I wanted to take an opportunity to update you on important -- likely detrimental-- health care changes being discussed by our president-elect and some Wisconsin Republicans. 

In Service,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7



Wisconsin's Health Care Forecast
"BadgerCare provided needed coverage for my friend following a job layoff. His wife did not have access to insurance through her employer. Shortly thereafter, he found another job that provided benefits for their family."

My neighbor, Mary, wrote this to me a couple years ago when she asked me to support strengthening Wisconsin's Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare. Here in Wisconsin, we look out for our neighbors. We want to see them succeed and live a life full of freedom and opportunity. I know that's what Mary wanted for her neighbor when he was laid off from work and needed health care coverage. 

In uncertain economic times, we are all better protected if we have access to health care despite income or employment status. The majority of our neighbors agree. In fact, in November 2014, voters in 19 counties across the state asked Governor Walker and the Republican Legislature to accept available federal funds to strengthen our BadgerCare program.

Read more about the November 2014 referendum, here.

Having programs like BadgerCare benefits everyone, not just those directly receiving services. Ensuring health care access for each of our neighbors, regardless of their income, is important as it keeps them from being uninsured and ending up going to costly emergency rooms for their care or forgoing treatment until an illness becomes a chronic condition. This keeps others from absorbing inflated costs and helps to keep all health care costs down.

Unfortunately, as we start to find out the president-elect's cabinet picks, neighbors across the country are filling with fear about how the new  administration will negatively impact their quality of life. These are very real fears, as President-elect Trump and other Republican leaders, including Wisconsin's own Paul Ryan, are already scheming to dismantle the successful, 50-year-old Medicaid program.

Read this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about the Republican push to dismantle our health care programs.

Block Grants: A Betrayal of Our Values
The state-federal Medicaid program covers one-in-five of our neighbors at any given moment. The Republican plan ends Medicaid as we know it and irresponsibly threatens access to basic health care services, abandoning you or your loved ones when you need it most. This is not only an issue of moral responsibility, but an economic one as well. In order to have a prosperous economy, we must have a healthy, productive workforce. This opportunity is under threat by the GOP's schemes.

As you may know, some of our federal tax dollars are returned to states in order to help fund public services like education, law enforcement, and health care.

For decades, Republicans have been intent on changing the way funds are distributed from the federal government to states, specifically for lifesaving programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and food assistance (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). Trump, Walker, Ryan and others are pushing to move us away from years of thoughtfully crafted categorical grants to dangerously ambiguous block grants.

Block grants, in general terms, are lumps of funds given to a state with a broad scope and little oversight.

This proposal is out-of-touch and comes with many drawbacks. For instance, the funding for BadgerCare would no longer be carefully connected to the actual cost of providing health care or how many individuals are in need of care through the program. Therefore, if the cost to cover individuals exceeds the amount given through the grant (which can be due to a variety of factors, like an economic recession, dwindling number of employers offering health care plans, or a natural disaster) the state (we) would have to pick up the tab or be forced to cut or deny people in need from the program.

Further, the Republican funding choice would likely result in a reduction in the amount states receive back from the federal government. That said, even if Wisconsin leaders want to continue it's commitment to ensuring coverage for kids, seniors, and our neighbors with disabilities, the state would be forced to raise taxes or drastically cut services. For these reasons, according to a report released by the Commonwealth Fund, a switch to fixed-funding block grants would likely result in reduced eligibility and anemic benefits. 

The advantage of using our current funding method is that the state and federal government can work together to thoughtfully invest in the health and wellbeing of our neighbors and balances needed checks with state-to-state flexibility. On the other hand, no matter which way you slice it, Republicans are advocating for health care to be taken away from many of our neighbors, and they want you to look the other way.

To be clear, block grant funding is not a new bad idea. Instead, it is a tired method of kicking people off of the program and/or cut the critical services people need to remain healthy. States already have significant flexibility in how they run their Medicaid programs in areas like service coverage, reimbursement to health care providers, and eligibility. In fact, it's that very flexibility that has traditionally helped make our own BadgerCare program a national model.

Throwing some pocket change at states, rather than making wise investments in the health of our neighbors is irresponsible and goes against Wisconsin's proud tradition of expanding access to high-quality health care. We all do better when we all do better and being our healthiest self is an important part of the equation.

Chipping away at programs that have been proven to effectively and efficiently help our neighbors in need is a betrayal of our Wisconsin values. I am committed to doing all I can to ensure programs that Wisconsin families depend on remain strong.

For more information about Medicaid block grants and why they are back for families, see this FamiliesUSA fact sheet.

Community Event to Discuss Health Care Changes
As changes to our vital health care programs continue to be discussed, I will keep you updated via Facebook and the newsletter. I also want to let you know about an important event coming up that is being hosted by Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Join them for a discussion on what the Trump administration is able to do to change the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and Medicare and how it will impact our families. Details for the event are below.

From ObamaCare to TrumpCare: How Bad Can It Get?
Date: December 06, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Candela Banquet
2537 W National Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53204
CLICK HERE for more information.



Recycling Unwanted Electronics
With the New Year quickly approaching, there are plenty of opportunities to start fresh by reducing, reusing, and recycling unwanted electronics.

As electronics become more and more advanced, it is important to be cognizant of how we can properly rid ourselves of unwanted pieces of technology. By recycling our electronics, we are able to protect our environment, conserve valuable raw materials, and save space in our landfills.

If you are looking for more information on which items cannot be put into the trash, or sent to landfills or incinerators, click here to view a brochure from E-Cycle Wisconsin.

My office also has physical copies of this brochure available. If you would like a copy, please email your name and address to: Sen.Larson@Legis.WI.Gov

Recycling Centers

Listed below are a few of the resources and locations throughout our community that will accept those unwanted electronic items you may be looking to get rid of!

Elite Energy Distribution
Address: 1000 W Bruce St, Milwaukee, WI
Phone: (866) 461-8216
Accepts: Cell phones, computers and computer accessories (mice, keyboards, external hard drives, etc.), copiers, fax machines, printers, scanners, TVs, etc.

Self-Help Recycling Centers in Milwaukee**
Address: 6660 N Industrial Rd & 3879 W Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee, WI
Phone: (414) 286-2489
Accepts: Cell phones, computers and computer accessories (mice, external hard drives, speakers, flash drives, external modems and routers), fax machines, printers, scanners, TVís (maximum of 3), etc.
**Must provide proof of city of Milwaukee residency

Computer Protection
Most electronic recycling locations that dispose of computers also provide data destruction services. Just deleting files from your desktop will not clear them from your computer, so to protect your information, it is in your best interest to destroy your data. When recycling computers, tablets, printers, and other electronics, be sure to ask your recycler about their data destruction practices. Most follow the trusted standards and methods for data destruction provided by the U.S. Department of Defense.

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:
  • The holidays are an important time to become more aware of the drinking and driving habits in Wisconsin, as almost 40% of individuals who drink consume more alcohol during the holiday season.
    Recently, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) released their yearly report of state drunk driving ratings. Unfortunately, because the party in power has neglected to move forward on implementing effective laws to curb drunk driving Wisconsin is rated with just two out of five stars. This rating reflects that our roads are more dangerous for our friends and neighbors to travel on. MADD notes that improving our state's ignition interlock device (IID) laws would vastly improve our rating. Last session, I introduced the Drunk Driving Prevention Act, which would have required all drivers convicted of an OWI to install an IID. Read this Facebook post for more.

  • Last week, a court ruled Republican legislative maps unconstitutional, affirming their abuse of power as going too far in shutting out our neighbors' voices in elections.
    Attempts to suppress the public's voice by politically gerrymandering districts in order to weaken the voting power of targeted groups is a betrayal of our fundamental freedoms and values. See my Facebook post about this topic.

  • New parking regulations will soon be going into effect soon for the Bay View area. A neighborhood meeting on this topic will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 19, 2017, at the South Shore Pavilion. See Alderman Tony Zielinki's video, here, for more information.
  • With the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security both concluding that the Russian government was responsible for maliciously hacking the Democratic National Committee, and that Russian hackers attacked U.S. voter registration information data, many of our Wisconsin neighbors have growing concerns over the results of the recent presidential election. A desire to confirm the integrity of our elections has prompted Presidential candidate Jill Stein to file and pay for a recount in Wisconsin. See this Facebook post for more on this, including ways we can ensure our votes are being counted properly.
  • It should come as no surprise that Walker's administration is continuing their dismal record of dangerously neglecting their responsibility to protect our shared, public lands and waters. The latest news from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), however, should alarm every hunter, angler, conservationist, and outdoor enthusiast across our state. The DNR recently unveiled a scheme to eliminate the Bureau of Science, thereby burying the work of the few remaining scientists. Many of you probably remember that we've already seen Walker and his out-of-touch friends in the Legislature eliminate half of the research and science positions last session. We simply cannot afford to continue the stifling and killing of research on habitat loss, wildlife diseases, pollution, the effects of climate change, and the growing dangers to our shared water. See this Wisconsin State Journal article for more.



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