LARSON REPORT

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER



 

April 10, 2014

     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTACT ME


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

Email:
Sen.Larson@legis.wi.gov

 

Mailing Address:

State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707

 

Web Site:

SenatorChrisLarson.com

 

Find Me on Facebook and Twitter:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS
 

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. 

 

 

Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life
Date: Now through Sun., June 15

Location: Milwaukee

Description: BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life is the latest exhibition from physician and pioneering anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens. At BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life, you will see the body throughout the human life cycle and across the arc of aging. More than 200 real human specimens preserved through Dr. von Hagens' invention reveal the human body in all its stages, across youth, growth, maturity, and advanced age, and in all its conditions, from health to distress to disease. CLICK HERE or call (414) 278-2702 for more information.

Milwaukee Public Museum (MAP)
800 W. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

 

 

South Milwaukee Public Library Book Sale

Date: Sat., April 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: South Milwaukee

Description: Do you have books you want to get rid of but do not know what to do with them? Consider donating them to the Friends of South Milwaukee Public Library for their used book sale. The book sale will take place on Saturday, April 12 at the library. Proceeds benefit the library by providing funding for special equipment, programs, and more. CLICK HERE for more information.
 

South Milwaukee Public Library (MAP)

1907 10th Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53712

 

 

Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy Presents
Alice in Wonderland
Date: Sat., April 12 and Sun., April 13

Location: South Milwaukee

Description: "Alice in Wonderland" features students from the Milwaukee Ballet Academy. This family-friendly performance is by students, for children of all ages and those who are children at heart. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (MAP)

901 15th Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI 53172

 

 

Young Professionals Week

Date: Sat., April 12 through Sat., April 19

Location: Milwaukee

Description: Young Professionals Week is almost here. YPWeek is a week-long platform for discovery, adventure, and meaningful conversations about the issues that matter. Milwaukee is home to many organizations and community assets that engage, develop, and retain the local young professional community. Each year, NEWaukee partners with over 50 different local organizations to create a springboard for idea and goal sharing among Milwaukee's millennial workforce. With the platform of Young Professional Week, NEWaukee and local partners create a national audience for idea sharing, an increased sense of connectivity, and an investment in our local community among Milwaukee's millennial workforce. CLICK HERE to learn more about the events that will be happening across Milwaukee as a part of YPWeek.

 

 

DNR Spring Hearing

Date: Mon., April 14 at 7 p.m.

Location: 72 hearings with one per county

Description: Every spring, each person in Wisconsin has the opportunity to help direct how the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages our natural resources. The DNR holds a hearing with survey questions and resolutions that are voted on by all who attend. The hearing happens at the same time in each county across our state and is scheduled to convene on Monday, April 14, 2014, at 7 p.m. Additionally, the DNR will provide a brief overview of the status of the deer herd and some upcoming changes to the deer season that are a result of the implementation of the Deer Trustee Report. In conjunction with the hearing, Wisconsin's Conservation Congress holds a brief meeting to elect officers who help carry the voice of conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts to the Natural Resources Board through out the year. The Conservation Congress is unique to Wisconsin and reflects both our rich tradition of conservation and our commitment to grassroots democracy. Meeting results, along with written comments on the evening's questions and DNR recommendations, are used to advise the state Natural Resources Board. Votes are non-binding and are presented to the Natural Resources Board as advisories. If you are interested in outdoor recreation, conservation, or our heritage of being citizen stewards of our natural resources, I encourage you to attend and provide your input to this important process. CLICK HERE for more information about this event.
 

 

10th Annual Eggs-travaganza
Date: Sat., April 19 at 9 a.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Description: All are welcome to join the fun at the 10th Annual Eggs-travaganza scheduled for the Saturday, April 19 at 9 a.m. in the children's play area of Riverside Park. Bring your containers, cameras, smiles, kids, and grandkids for this annual egg hunt. Several thousand eggs are "hidden" for the hunt, including traditional colored eggs, plastic filled eggs, and special ceramic eggs and eggs d'art created by the artists at Murray Hill Pottery. Eggs-travaganza is sponsored by Murray Hill Pottery Works, the Upper East Side Business Improvement District, Walgreens, and the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association. Want to be a good neighbor and help out? Pick up eggs to color before the event or help hide the eggs. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Riverside Park (MAP)

1500 E. Park Place

Milwaukee, WI 53211

 

 

The Crossings

Date: Thurs., May 1 and Fri., May 2

Location: Various Milwaukee Intersections

Description: Join me at this unique event that boasts a street performance aimed at making Milwaukee a city that sees and stops for pedestrians. You will also be invited to join in a mass street crossing (will follow all traffic laws). These events will take place at the following times and locations:

 

Site 1--Intersection of KK, Logan, and Russell on May 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Site 2--Intersection of KK and St. Francis on May 2 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

 

Site 3--Intersection of Packard and Ramsey on May 2 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

CLICK HERE for more information about this event.

 

 

Milwaukee Museum Mile Day

Date: Sun., May 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Milwaukee

Description: Five arts and culture museums, located on Milwaukee's historic East Side and in close proximity to one another along the Lake Michigan shoreline, have created the Milwaukee Museum Mile. This joint effort among the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, the Charles Allis Art Museum, Museum of Wisconsin Art at St. John's On The Lake, the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, and the North Point Lighthouse at Lake Park, creates a simple and more affordable way for visitors to access and enjoy multiple museum experiences. To celebrate their third birthday, the Milwaukee Museum Mile will hold an event on Sunday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On this day, all five locations will offer free or reduced admission. Further, each museum will offer free docent-led tours and light refreshments. Free activities for children will also be available, including a Milwaukee Museum Mile scavenger hunt. A free, continuous shuttle bus will be available for travel between locations. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

 

DOT Listening Session

Date: Tues., May 20 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Location: West Allis

Description: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be holding nine listening sessions across the state to help determine their next budget. Their Milwaukee area meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 20 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in West Allis.

 

MATC West Allis Campus (MAP)

1200 South 71st Street

Room 117

West Allis, WI 53214

 

 

Wisconsin's Free Fun Weekend

Date: Sat., June 7 and Sun., June 8

Location: Wisconsin

Description: On these days, the following activities will be free and open to the public: state parks, fishing, state trails, and ATV riding on public trails. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

 

Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,

 

Unfortunately, this will be the last Larson Report distributed until after Election Day on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, per Wisconsin State Statutes. This final report provides fast facts about the 2013-2014 Legislative Session, explains why the Larson Report is being temporarily halted, contains a link to the newsletter recently mailed community wide, and lists upcoming community listening sessions. Continue reading for more on this and other important issues.


Sincerely,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7

 

 

Fast Facts From the 2013-2014 Session

The Legislature has concluded for the year barring the call of a special session. Here are some fast facts about what happened in Wisconsin during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session.

 

JOBS & ECONOMY

 

  • Current state policies are limiting the freedom of Wisconsinites to achieve the American Dream, which in turn harms our communities.

  • The nation is seeing a job growth rate (2.1%) nearly double Wisconsin's rate (1.2%).

  • Wisconsin is also losing jobs faster than nearly all other states. In February 2014, Wisconsin ranked second for job losses nationally, losing an estimated 9,500 jobs.

 

EDUCATION

 

  • Our children's success or failure dictates whether Wisconsin will succeed or fail. Therefore, it is crucial that we prioritize investing in neighborhood schools and our children, as they are Wisconsin's future workforce.

  • 210 of Wisconsin's 424 school districts, or about 50%, saw a further decrease in investments this year than in the previous school year.

  • By failing to implement accountability and transparency measures on voucher schools, Wisconsin is allowing bad actors to both rob our children of millions of dollars and break their promise to educate our children.

  • In a report released this month, data collected by DPI showed that Milwaukee Public School students outperformed Milwaukee voucher students in reading and math during these past four school years. CLICK HERE to learn more about this recent comparison of public and voucher schools.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

  • We have a moral obligation to our neighbors and community to increase access to affordable health care for everyone.

  • Had Wisconsin opted to accept federal investment to strengthen our BadgerCare program, nearly 85,000 more Wisconsinites would be insured, taxpayers would have saved $119 million over the biennium, and we could have created over 10,000 Wisconsin jobs. Unfortunately, much to the surprise of Wisconsinites, Republicans rejected this opportunity.

  • According to the U.S. Supreme Court, women have a constitutional right to privacy, as well as the freedom to make decisions related to their own body. However, this session legislative Republicans passed restrictive measures, such as the forced transvaginal ultrasound bill, that aim to trample on this freedom.
     

ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY

 

  • The only way to ensure that the investments each and everyone of us make--towards our community and state--are not squandered is by increasing the ability for us to track where the money is going. This means increasing accountability and transparency measures.

  • Reforms at Governor Walker's scandal-ridden Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) should be priority number one. Problems at WEDC include circumventing our fair and competitive bidding process, ignoring federal and state laws, losing track of over $50 million in loans, and failing to track agency credit cards.

  • Their reported problems are likely impeding much-needed job growth, leaving Wisconsin ranked 35th in the nation for job creation. Yet legislative Republicans continue to irresponsibly ignore WEDC's problems.

  • Wisconsin's current redistricting process is not working, and placing politicians over people.

  • In fact, the 2010 redistricting process controlled by the Republican majority resulted in legal and constitutional violations. Therefore, it is time for Wisconsin to adopt the widely supported redistricting process that has maps drawn up by a nonpartisan commission.

 

LIMITING FREEDOMS

 

  • This session, Republican legislators prioritized bills that limit the freedom of Wisconsinites to vote.

  • Included in this slew of bills is Senate Bill 324, which penalizes local municipalities that seek to provide greater access to the polls for qualified voters.

 

TAXES & COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS

 

  • Governor Walker and Republican legislators betrayed our trust by prioritizing the rich over the rest of us this session.

  • Republicans exempted themselves from state statutes requiring them to balance the budget, which allowed them to waste our investments to the tune of at least $750 million. Further, special sessions had to be repeatedly called to fix the fiscal holes they dug.

 

SHARED PUBLIC LANDS

 

  • Reversing our conservation policies threatens long-term damage to the shared public lands we have fought to maintain for Wisconsin's future generations, yet this is exactly what happened this session.

  • This session, Republican legislators passed laws to prevent citizens from challenging the approval of high-capacity wells that can harm the quality of our pristine waters. They also decreased the investment in our shared public lands despite nearly 90% of Wisconsin voters agreeing that even in tight fiscal times, this program should be a priority.

  • Finally, a $28 million federal investment in our shared public lands was jeopardized when our trust was betrayed in order for Republicans to offer a $500,000 sweetheart deal to United Sportsmen.

 

 

Larson Report Distribution Halted Until After Election Day

Wisconsin State Statute 11.33 stipulates that a state senator who is up for re-election may not distribute 50 or more pieces of substantially identical written or email communications from their Senate office between the first day for circulation of nomination papers and Election Day. Therefore, beginning April 15, 2014, I will no longer be able to distribute the Larson Report until after Tuesday, November 4, 2014. I will also be precluded from delivering mass email updates of any kind during that time frame.

 

However, in an effort to keep you up-to-date on the latest in state news and community happenings, I will continue posting regularly to Facebook and Twitter. I encourage you to follow me on Twitter @SenChrisLarson and connect with me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SenatorChrisLarson.

 

Some of the articles that will be posted on social media between April 15 and Election Day include:

 

  • Neighborhood Business News--Acknowledges new, growing, or award-winning businesses in our community.

  • Ask Chris--Response to a particular neighbor's question or a frequently asked question I hear often.

  • Did You Know--Fun fact about our community or state.

  • Community Events--Information about upcoming events located in our community.

  • Town Halls--Details on town hall style events hosted by me or other state, municipal, or neighborhood groups.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me to offer suggestions for any of these social media posts, or regarding any questions you might have about this temporary change to the Larson Report. The normal weekly distribution of the Larson Report will resume when legislative activities pick up again in January 2015.

 

Additionally, please keep in mind that per Wisconsin State Statute, I cannot address campaign related questions or questions regarding campaign related activities of a particular political party from my Milwaukee and Madison state offices. These offices are reserved solely for the purposes of conducting official legislative business and assisting with neighbor casework. Therefore, should you have questions or concerns regarding a particular political party or candidate, I request that you refer these to those organizations or campaigns directly.

 

 

Reaching Out to Neighbors

It is a privilege to have the opportunity to represent you and our neighbors in the Wisconsin State Senate!

 

Our beloved state continues to face a number of challenges. This includes getting our neighbors back to work by creating jobs, restoring investments to our local K-12 schools that faced drastic cuts in the last two budgets, and increasing access to health care by accepting federal health care dollars.

 

The current 2013-2014 Legislative Session has concluded for the year, unless a special session is called. I put together a comprehensive newsletter to update you on my involvement in our community, some of the important things that happened this session, and how we can address the challenges facing our state. This newsletter will be distributed community wide via mail and will also be posted on my Web site, www.SenatorChrisLarson.com.

 

 

 

 

Click here or on the photo above to view the Spring 2014 Neighborhood News district wide newsletter.

 

As always, I would like to hear your thoughts on important issues. Therefore, I have included in a survey in the newsletter. If you would like to save a stamp, then I encourage you to complete the survey online.

 

Click here to take the latest Neighborhood News survey.


I am here to serve you, so please feel free to contact me with your opinions pertaining to our community and state government.

 

 

Join Me at Upcoming Listening Sessions

Hearing your thoughts and concerns is important to me. While serving you, I have held town hall meetings, listening sessions, coffee and conversations, business tours, and in-district meetings. I advertise these by posting on my Web site, Facebook and Twitter, via neighborhood groups, with media alerts, and through direct emails.

Below are a few of the upcoming events that I invite you to attend if you are interested in talking to me about issues facing our community or state, or if you want to listen to the concerns and thoughts of our fellow neighbors.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office for additional information. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Bay View High School
2751 S. Lenox Street
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Thursday, April 24, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis Library
4230 S. Nicholson Avenue
St. Francis, WI 53235

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Cudahy Library
3500 Library Avenue
Cudahy, WI 53110

Thursday, May 1, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
MATC, Oak Creek Campus
6665 S. Howell Avenue
Lecture Hall A
Oak Creek, WI 53154

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Gordon Park Pavilion
2828 N. Humboldt Blvd. (at Locust St.)
Milwaukee, WI 53212

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
South Milwaukee Library
1907 10th Avenue
South Milwaukee, WI 53172

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Riverside High School
1615 E. Locust Street
Milwaukee, WI 53211
 

 

Neighborhood Business News

Neighborhood businesses are doing a lot of great things to improve our community for family, friends, and neighbors. Therefore, I feature a biweekly article in the newsletter that acknowledges new, growing, or award-winning businesses in our community. Continue reading to learn more about this week's featured business.

 

Connecting Milwaukee's neighborhoods is imperative for our community's growth and prosperity. One Milwaukee institution that embodies this principle is the Urban Ecology Center, whose mission is to "foster ecological understanding as inspiration for change, neighborhood by neighborhood." One of the organization's team members, Judy Krause, Director of Finance and Operations, was proudly named one of Milwaukee's "40 under 40" this year by the Milwaukee Business Journal for her work at the Urban Ecology Center.

When asked about her award, Judy recalled, "I was incredibly surprised to hear I was named as one of the 40. I know it is a competitive award and there are so many people doing amazing work around Milwaukee. I am honored and humbled to be included. It inspires me to keep working to make Milwaukee great!"

Judy is also on the Board of Directors of Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail, provides advice to small nonprofits on financial issues, and is a former Boy Scout leader and coach. She, along with the Urban Ecology Center, helps to connect neighborhoods and children to each other and the Wisconsin outdoors through numerous engaging learning and volunteer opportunities.

"I have found an incredible community of co-workers, volunteers, members, donors and visitors," said Judy. "People get involved for a variety of reasons, but every person helps make the Center's work impactful...the shouts of kids when they slide into our building, or taste sap from maple trees for the first time, or learn about energy by sliding down the hill help remind me what this work is all about."

Judy encourages the community to make an impact and "get involved in the life of a child and be a positive role model for him/her. And come visit one of the Urban Ecology Center's three Milwaukee branches--there's a lot to explore!"

I commend Judy for her efforts to make Milwaukee great through her work at the Urban Ecology Center, connecting the community to our shared public lands throughout the city.

Click here to learn more about the Urban Ecology Center and participate in one of its many programs.

 

 

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: Equal Pay Day took place this Tuesday. Can you tell me what Wisconsin has done to decrease the gender wage gap?


A: As you mentioned, Tuesday, April 8 we recognized Equal Pay Day. This is an important day of awareness for all Americans as it brings attention to the hardworking American women earning less than their male counterparts. Equal Pay Day was intentionally placed on a Tuesday to represent the fact that women must work a week and into Tuesday of the next week to earn the amount men make in just one week of work, as women receive only 77 cents for every dollar a man is paid.

 

When hard working Wisconsin women are not compensated fairly, all Wisconsinites are affected as this gap in pay limits the freedom of families to live out their American dream. The majority of Wisconsin women are either primary or co-breadwinners in their family. Therefore, as long as our sisters, wives, and daughters are making an average of $10,000 less than men each year, Wisconsin's middle class will continue to suffer.

So what has Wisconsin done to ensure women are paid equally for equal work? Unfortunately, the Republican-controlled Legislature has actually sent Wisconsin backwards in recent years. In 2009, Wisconsin led the nation by passing the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, legislation to give gender discrimination victims an avenue on the state level to recoup damages and deter bad actors from such undesirable actions. Before the Act, Wisconsin ranked 36th in the country when it came to closing the gender pay gap. Just a year after the law passed, Wisconsin's ranking improved by 12 spots, moving to 24th in the nation.

Shocking the state, legislative Republicans rejected Wisconsin's tradition of fairness by voting to roll back equal protection laws for Wisconsin's working women by passing 2011 Wisconsin Act 219 last session. The adoption of this proposal eliminates equal protection laws for Wisconsin's women and limits their ability to seek justice for discrimination. This bill not only halted much needed steps towards equal pay for equal work, but also erased prior advances that have been made. As a result, the freedom of Wisconsin's women and their families has been restricted.

My Democratic colleagues and I officially introduced legislation to correct the mistake Republicans made last session and re-adopt the Equal Pay Enforcement Act. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans voted against taking up this fairness legislation. Therefore, the bill will have to be reintroduced next session in order to become law.
 

 

Did You Know...?

You may know that Equal Pay Day took place earlier this week. But did you know that Wisconsin's population is comprised of more women than men?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 50.4% of Wisconsinites are women. This is relatively close to the national trend, which shows that 50.8% of people living in the U.S. are women.

 

 

Take the 2013-2014 Neighborhood Survey

I created a survey for the 2013-2014 Legislative Session asking about various issues that are important to our community and our state. The input of neighbors is greatly appreciated. My staff and I will be working hard to deliver as many surveys door to door as possible. In addition, 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 save a stamp and take the survey online.

I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues!

 

 

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