April 20, 2017




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.



Silver City Neighborhood Cleanup & Rummage Sale
Saturday, April 22, 9am-12pm cleanup, 10am-4pm rummage sale
Location: Milwaukee
Description: Help clean up litter! Gloves and trash bags provided. Discard your bulky garbage, a dumpster will be available on the corner of 31st and W Madison St. Have a rummage sale, get rid of any unwanted items with a rummage sale.
CLICK HERE for a Facebook event page with more information.


Climate Change 101
Date: Saturday, April 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Franklin
Description: Climate change is real and we are already seeing it's impact at Wehr Nature Center. Join naturalist, Bev Bryant, to explore the scientific evidence and discuss the impacts on our local community. We will learn about the importance of phenology in recording changes to our climate, and go on a short walk to record spring natural history events. Bring your questions and curiosity to this interactive session!
Fees: $12 for Non-Residents; $10 for Milwaukee County Residents;$7 for Friends of Wehr
$3 Regular parking fee in effect. FREE parking for FOW Members
Pre-registration required 2 days prior to program.
Please call 414-425-8550 to register.

Wehr Nature Center

9701 W College Ave
Franklin, WI 53132



1st Southside Ride of the Season!

Date: Sunday, April 23 at 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Milwaukee


It's the first ride of the season! Brush off those bikes and get the whole family out! The ride will start at South Shore Park and will be a 2.5 mile route ending at Anodyne. After the April ride this event will be held every 2nd Sunday of the month, always meeting at South Shore, always at 10:30 and the routes will never exceed three miles. CLICK HERE for a Facebook event page with more information.


South Shore Park Pavilion

2900 S Shore Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53207


City of Cudahy 2017 Arbor Day Celebration
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 12:00 pm
Location: Cudahy

In a combined celebration of Arbor Day and Earth Day, come help in a clean-up of Sheridan Park by picking up litter and planting trees at Cudahy High School! Every little bit of effort to keep our community safe and clean is appreciated.
CLICK HERE to view an event flyer.

Department of Public Works

5050 South Lake Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110



21st Annual Beer Tasting
and Live Auction Event

Date: Wednesday, May 3 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Bay View
Sample exciting and inventive beers from Wisconsin's many craft breweries. The event will feature dinner and a live auction. All proceeds will provide enrichment programs for families and seniors and supply the Bay View Community Center's food pantry.
To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

The South Shore Yacht Club
2300 E Nock Street Milwaukee, WI 53207


Annual Bay View Tragedy Commemoration
Date: Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m.
Location: Bay View
Description: The event pays tribute to those lost in the tragedy of May 5, 1886, when the State Militia shot into a crowd of some 1,500 workers marching in an eight-hour-day rally, killing seven in front of the old Bay View Rolling Mills, then Milwaukee's largest manufacturing plant. The Bay View Tragedy played a significant role in Wisconsin's labor movement and the struggle of Wisconsin's workers to fight for their rights and improve their employment conditions.


Bay View Rolling Mills State Historical Marker Site
Northeast Corner of South Superior and
East Russell
Milwaukee, WI 53207


Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,


Hope you are enjoying Spring! To those of you who celebrate Easter and Passover, I hope they were an enjoyable time for you and your family.

Our community hosted a number of great egg hunts, Easter breakfasts, and other family-friendly festivities and I hope you were able to get out and enjoy some of them.

One Wisconsin festivity that gained some attention was the governor's Annual Easter Egg Hunt. If you missed the news, the event was cancelled due to a nationwide manhunt of a potentially dangerous criminal. While the individual was safely apprehended in time for the governor's celebration, this alarming chain of events provides an opportunity for Wisconsin elected leaders to look at our current policies in an effort to keep our kids and communities safe. More on this below.

Also, don't forget that Earth Day is this Saturday. Check out the previous edition of the Larson Report for Earth Day events around town.  


In Service,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7


Jeopardizing the Safety of our Children and Communities

The opportunity to live in a safe and secure community is something that should be available to each and every one of us.

Two weeks ago Wisconsin communities were paralyzed after a man stole a cache of weapons and ammunition from a Janesville gun store and could not be located by police.

For several days schools, churches, and other public spaces were closed down due to the threat of violence from the heavily armed fugitive. Thankfully, last week, after a 10-day manhunt, law enforcement officers were able to take the individual into custody, without any serious harm to our neighbors. 

As easy as it was for this man to rob a gun store, its even easier for a person to legally buy a gun without a background check. The unfortunate reality is that too many of us are at the risk of being a victim of gun violence. As such, this public health crisis deserves immediate action in order to ensure the safety of our loved ones.

In another recent, tragic event, less than a month ago, two bank employees, an attorney, and a police officer were killed in a deadly shooting rampage in northern Wisconsin.

It is wrong for Wisconsin elected officials to continue sitting on their hands while our neighbors all over our state are killed or critically injured at the hand of gun violence. We must unite and stand up to the special interests that continue to block common sense solutions to preventing gun deaths. We also need to shut down the backward legislative measures offered by my Republican colleagues, and pushed by gun manufacturers.

Gun Violence is a Public Health Crisis
Americans are 25 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other developed countries. In fact, toddlers in the U.S. have shot and killed more people that terrorists.

Further, a Wisconsin Council on Children and Families report published last year showed that child gun-related deaths in Wisconsin had increased by 31% from 2008-10 and 2012-14.

This is unacceptable and strips away prosperity and opportunity in our communities.

See the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families report, here. 

Unfortunately, rather than facing this alarming crisis, Republicans unveiled an out-of-touch scheme to put more guns in the hands of untrained individuals and going so far as to make it easier to bring guns into our kids' schools.

This legislative idea would make it harder for law enforcement to identify people prohibited from having and concealing a firearm -- such as criminals or dangerous domestic abusers who are carrying guns illegally in public. Additionally, this bill defies logic and the safety of our children by going against a common sense approach that ensures there is a clear line that says guns are not allowed on school grounds. Instead, this bill takes an irresponsible approach of creating confusion and mandating that our schools take specific steps to keep guns away from our children.

Listen to my segment about this proposal on Wisconsin Public Radio, here.

Specifically, the Wisconsin Permitless Carry Bill (Senate Bill 169) would repeal the requirement to obtain a concealed carry permit in order to carry a concealed gun in public.

The proposed bill also dangerously lowers the bar for carrying hidden handguns in public, allowing criminals, teenagers, and the dangerously mentally ill to carry concealed firearms with no required safety training. Further, the bill significantly reduces the effectiveness of school gun free zones.

Here are just some of the ways this bill would take Wisconsin in the wrong direction:

  • Legalizing Permitless Concealed Carry -- This proposal would legalize carrying concealed weapons for anyone who legally owns a firearm, makes the current concealed carry permit optional, and would offer an optional no-training permit for concealed carry.

  • Eliminating Concealed Carry Training -- This proposal eliminates the need to get any training before carrying concealed weapons.

  • Arming Wisconsin Teens -- While federal law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing a handgun from a registered firearm dealer, 18-21 year olds can legally own handguns in Wisconsin. This law allows 18-21 year olds or anyone else who can legally own a firearm to carry it concealed without a permit or training.

  • Making it Easier for the Dangerously Mentally Ill to Have Guns in Public -- Currently concealed carry permits are denied to those suffering from severe mental illness, however, firearms can be owned and carried concealed without a permit under this proposal, with no regard to mental health.

  • Eliminating the State Gun Free School Zones Law -- This bill would mandate schools "post" if they want firearms kept off school grounds or out of their buildings, and reduces the penalty for illegally carrying a firearm in that school to a misdemeanor or no more than $1000 fine. Creates a no-training concealed carry permit that gets around federal firearm restrictions protecting school zone. (Non-partisan Legislative council memo 3-6-17).

  • Eliminating Gun Free Spaces -- This bill scraps a law prohibiting carrying a firearm in public places like stadiums, police stations, mental health facilities, etc.

Senate Bill 169 has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. It has not received a public hearing yet.

Read a Cap Times article about the bill, here.

Wisconsinites Support Stronger Gun Laws
Wisconsin should be focusing on making our communities safer with laws that are effective and have widespread public support. In fact, 88% of Americans support requiring safety training and a clean criminal record in order to carry a concealed handgun in public.

Additionally, 85% of Wisconsin voters support having stronger background check laws. In the 19 states and Washington, D.C., who have universal background checks, 47% fewer women are killed by their intimate partners, and 53% fewer law enforcement officers are shot and killed in the line of duty. Additionally, the majority of Wisconsin voters -- 65% -- oppose allowing guns near our schools. With 26,252 gun-related deaths nationally in 2015, this proposal takes Wisconsin in the wrong direction. Republicans are rejecting common sense and logic by ignoring public safety and the needs of our community.

We have the solutions and public support to make our communities safer. Unfortunately, Republicans are not willing to stand up to gun profiteers looking to grab a dollar at any cost, even our kids' safety. In contrast, my Democratic colleagues and I have introduced legislation to increase community safety.

This session, I have signed on as a co-sponsor to the following bills:

  • Universal Background Checks  (Senate Bill 34)
    In Wisconsin, federally licensed dealers are required to conduct background checks on all firearm sales, but private sellers are not. Eight out of 10 Wisconsin residents, including gun owners, support a law requiring background checks for
    all gun purchases. Police organizations and law enforcement leaders across the nation support
    closing the background check loophole. This bill requires that, with some exceptions, all firearms sales be done through a federally
    licensed dealer and thus be subject to a background check.

  • Straw Purchases (Senate Bill 17)
    Straw purchasing is when someone knowingly purchases a firearm with the intent to transfer it to someone who could not pass a background check. In order to keep guns out of the hands of criminal felons who are forbidden to have them, this bill makes it a felony not only to straw purchase a gun for such a felon, but
    also to make it a felony to intentionally possess a firearm for someone forbidden to do so.

  • 48-hour Cooling Off Period (Assembly Bill 74)
    Two years ago Republicans ignored the will of the public and sided with special interest groups by repealing Wisconsin's 48-hour cooling-off waiting period on purchasing handguns. The 48-hour waiting period was created as cooling-off period to reduce emotionally related, violent gun crimes. Just last year, Caroline Nosal was tragically gunned down by a co-worker who had purchased a handgun within 48 hours of Caroline's murder.  Assembly Bill 74 would reinstate this critical cooling off timeframe to prevent future tragedies.

Gun violence devastates our communities and hurts us all. I will continue to work with my legislative colleagues to move Wisconsin in the right direction.


Take Action: Send me your Water Stories!

As mentioned last week, we live in perilous times where climate change, invasive species, overuse, pollution, and privatization are growing threats to our waters here at home and across the nation and world.

The Save Our Water Tour is an opportunity to highlight some of those threats and explore ideas and solution to protect the quality of our waters.

Since I know some of you will be unable to attend one of the listening sessions, I want to make sure you have an opportunity to submit your water quality concerns and stories. Stories like that of Jim from Menomonie, who bought a house on Wisconsin's Lake Tainter in the winter, but soon found it almost uninhabitable in the summer months. He was excited to live next to a lake where he could canoe and fish with his family, but the fumes coming from the green, grimy lake were unbearable. He said he had to travel to another lake so he could enjoy being outside, away from the polluted lake in his backyard. Eventually, he and his family gave up their dream, moving away from the lake because the stench coming from it was so overpowering during the summer.

Do you have a story like Jim's? Share it with me at Sen.Larson@Legis.WI.Gov.


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 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:
  • Investing in Education for All Wisconsin Kids
    Each of our kids deserves an opportunity to reach their full potential. Which is why I circulated for co-sponsorship legislation to increase funding reimbursements for special education last week.
    In the governor's proposed budget, state aid that supports the education of students with disabilities remains frozen. This will result in a continuing slide in reimbursement rates for special education costs. The bill circulated by Senators LaTonya Johnson, Janet Bewley, and I along with State Rep. David Bowen and Rep. Eric Genrich will bring us back to reimbursing districts at 33%.

    The end of the 2017-19 budget will mark the tenth consecutive year that special education aid will have held flat. We must do more to support all of our children and begin to reinvest in special education because it is the right thing to do for our kids and our state.

    I am proud we have the support of disability advocacy groups for this legislation, including The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations and the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD). To view BPDD's press release about the bill, click here.
  • Take a Stand Against Hate
    My thoughts are with our neighbor as she recovers from a hateful, brutal attack.

    We must continue to stand up against the misguided hate and violence being fueled by a loud minority. We must change the course of history unfolding before our eyes.
    Beyond the hateful rhetoric spewed by Trump and his followers, real families are in imminent danger.
    In January, I introduced the Resist Hate Joint Resolution with Rep. Jonathan Brostoff. Hundreds of you showed up at the press conference unveiling the legislation to show solidarity with your Muslim neighbors and friends as well as signed the Resist Hate petition. Despite your calls, the Senate Majority Leader has not scheduled this joint resolution for a vote in the Senate.
    We can wait no longer. We must, as a state, send a message that hate and violence will not be tolerated. Call the Senate Majority Leader at 608-266-5660 and demand Senate Joint Resolution 9 be scheduled for a vote. Sign the Resist Hate petition, here.

  • Celebrating Young Professionals
    April 22 to April 29 is young professionals week! Young Professionals Week (YPWeek) brings together young professionals and key community leaders to stir meaningful discovery, adventure, and conversation on issues that matter to young professionals.
    Millennials face a unique set of circumstances as they begin to navigate education, the workforce, and social environment. YPWeek chooses purposeful locations to integrate and connect young professionals and employers. Chequamegon Bay, Door County, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Fox Cities, Green Bay, Hayward, Kenosha, La Crosse, Madison, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marshfield, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Platteville, Portage, Price County, Racine, Sheboygan, Stevens Point, Superior, Waukesha, Wausau, and Wisconsin Rapids all have events dedicated to YPWeek.

    One much-anticipated event is the Bubbler Awards, which kicks off the week. Every year, NEWaukee shines a light on the companies who make great strides to accommodate the interests and needs of a shifting workforce. NEWaukee is a structural architecture firm that focuses on retaining Wisconsin's young, bright professionals in the state. NEWaukee has been a pivotal advisor and ally to YPWeek. Some of the 2017 Bubbler Award recipients for Best Places to Work for Young Professionals in Wisconsin include Milwaukee-based Granular Marketing, Penrod, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP as well as companies located elsewhere like Greenheck, Nordic, and Skyward.

    Our Milwaukee community has tons to offer young professionals and visitors. Activities for YPWeek within the metro Milwaukee area span from yoga, urban hiking, social events, and seminars. I look forward to seeing community members out engaging with other like-minded young professionals. To find a YPWeek event near you, click here.

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