February 6, 2014
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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.
Andy Warhol: 10
Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century
Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art
Date: Now through Sun., May 4
features an unprecedented selection of American paintings, drawings,
sculptures, photographs, textiles, furniture, and decorative arts from
the Milwaukee Art Museum's world-class collection of folk and
self-taught art. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as American
art struggled to find its own voice separate from the classical European
style that dominated the art world, an authentically American artistic
expression was identified in the work of folk and self-taught artists.
CLICK HERE or call (414) 224-3200 for more information.
UW-Milwaukee's 17th Annual Festival of Films in French
Date: Fri., February 7 through Sun., February 16
films will be screened
over the 10-day festival, bringing a rich array of French-language
cinema to Milwaukee. This year's selection highlights four women
filmmakers and marks the centenary of World War I with Jean Renoir's
highly acclaimed "La Grande Illusion" and two other anti-war films, the
dadaist short "Entr'acte" and Abel Gance's silent classic "J'accuse,"
which will be screened with live musical accompaniment, a Festival
tradition. These 14 films will not only take you back in time but also
across the globe from Canada to Senegal and Israel to Malaysia. All
films are free, open to the public, and subtitled in English.
CLICK HERE or call (414)229-4070 for more information.
Body Worlds & The
Cycle of Life
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.
Oak Creek Public Library (MAP)
8620 S. Howell Avenue
Oak Creek, WI 53154
Bay View Winter Blast
Date: Sun., February 16 from Noon to 4 p.m.
Location: Bay View
Description: Every winter, the Bay View Neighborhood Association hosts a warming event for neighbors to get together and have a blast. This is a luau-themed party that will boast a Hawaiian shirt contest, hula hoop and limbo contests, spam carving, and face-painting. A tiki photo booth will also be available to take memorable photos. Live music, delicious food from local restaurants, and booths from numerous community and neighborhood groups are just a part of what to expect at this year's Winter Blast. CLICK HERE for more information about this event.
South Shore Park Pavillion (MAP)
2900 South Shore Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Dear Wisconsin Neighbor,
Students and recent graduates flooded the Capitol this Wednesday to testify in favor of the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill, which is a common sense solution to a growing student debt crisis. Continue reading for more on this and other important issues including increasing voting restrictions and Black History Month.
Higher Ed, Lower Debt Bill Has Hearing
A public hearing was held this Wednesday on the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill, which is authored by Senator Dave Hansen and Representative Cory Mason and co-sponsored by every Democratic legislator. The Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill would do the following for Wisconsinites:
As you can see, this legislation offers common sense solutions for real savings on behalf of Wisconsinites managing student loan debt.
Students and recent graduates flooded
the Capitol to testify in favor of the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill. While
the hearing took place in room 400 Southeast of the Capitol, overflow
rooms had to be opened in order to accommodate the enormous crowd of
supporters. At the hearing, 72 people registered or spoke in favor of
the bill. Further, not a single Wisconsinite that attended
registered or spoke in opposition to the bill at the hearing.
Unfortunately, Wisconsin currently
ranks 10th in the nation for number of college students with debt, with
67% of graduates from four-year schools having loans to repay. According
to the U.S. Federal Reserve System there are 753,000 Wisconsin residents
with federal student loan debt (this does not include those with private
student loan debt). Further, college tuition costs have doubled over the
last 12 years and Wisconsin's student loan borrowers have an average
debt of $22,400. It is estimated that Wisconsin residents paying student
loans from obtaining a bachelor's degree are currently paying an average
of $388 per month for about 18.7 years.
February is Black History Month
In February, Wisconsin and the rest of the nation honor the achievements of African-Americans by celebrating Black History Month. This holiday has a rich history of reflecting on the adversity African- Americans had to overcome and commemorating their accomplishments. The Legislature will be holding a reception in the Assembly parlor on February 18 at noon to commemorate this momentous occasion. It is also customary for the Legislature to adopt a joint resolution honoring the month-long holiday. Senator Nikiya Harris will be introducing this year's joint resolution.
Click here to listen to a radio address by Senator Lena Taylor
celebrating Black History Month.
The 2014 theme of Black History Month
is "Civil Rights in America" to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1964
Civil Rights Act. The perseverance of civil rights activists such as Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits
discrimination in publicly owned facilities and forbids states from
implementing discriminatory voting practices respectively.
Wisconsin, and even our very own
Milwaukee area community, was home to some prominent civil rights
activists and fights for equality. Take Ezekiel Gillespie for example.
Gillespie sued the elections board for denying him the right to register
to vote, and with the 1866 Supreme Court case Gillespie v. Palmer,
Wisconsin became one of the first states to grant African-Americans the
right to vote. Lloyd Barbee was another prominent figure in the
Milwaukee Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. He served in Wisconsin
State Assembly where he introduced the state's Fair Housing bill. Barbee
was a long-time advocate of total school integration and lead efforts to
desegregate Milwaukee Public Schools.
State of the Tribes Address Approaching
Next week, the annual State of the Tribes address will be delivered by Menominee Nation Chair Craig Corn before the Wisconsin Legislature. Some of the issues addressed by the tribes in the past include hunting and fishing, environmental stewardship, education, and health care. The address will be delivered at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 13 in the Assembly Chambers. It is open to the public with seating available in the Assembly Chamber's balconies.
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.
Unfortunately, the people that really lose out under this proposal are Wisconsin's workers who are unable to leave their job to vote absentee during normal business hours. In addition to making it more difficult for our hard-working Wisconsinites to exercise their constitutional right to vote, this bill also infringes on the rights of local government. Who better to know if the municipal clerk should offer extended hours for voters than the office that conducts the elections for those Wisconsinites each Election Day?
Assembly Bill 54 has already passed in
the full Assembly with a vote of 53-39-2 and was then sent to the
Senate. This Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Elections and Urban
Affairs held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 54. The bill has yet to
pass the committee or be voted on by the full Senate. There are
currently no advocacy groups registered in favor of the bill. However,
13 groups are currently registered in opposition to the bill. This
includes the Wisconsin Counties Association, the city of Milwaukee,
Disability Rights Wisconsin, and the League of Women Voters of
Did You Know...?
You are probably familiar with the great features the Milwaukee area has to offer, including world-class museums, beautiful Great Lake views, stellar restaurants and bars, and bountiful outdoor activities. But did you know that the city of Milwaukee recently celebrated its birthday?
On Thursday, January 30, 2014, Milwaukee celebrated its 168th birthday. This means that Milwaukee became an official city two years before Wisconsin was admitted to the Union in 1848.
Community Meeting Recap
you to the neighbors that attended the community meetings in Milwaukee
and South Milwaukee this week. I was encouraged to see so many of our
neighbors stop by to share their thoughts and concerns on a number of
important issues, such as education, environmental protection, and
If you were unable to attend these community meetings, please do not hesitate to contact me directly by phone, email, or letter regarding the issues that are important to you.
Olympic Games Begin This Week
Every two years, the world comes
together to for the Olympic Games where nations compete to determine
which athletes are the best of the best. The Games also aim to promote
its three core values of friendship, excellence, and respect between
nations. Sochi, Russia is set to host the next Olympic Games, which will
boast 85 nations from all over the world taking part in 89 different
athletic events. This highly-anticipated event will open on Friday,
February 7 and run for 17 days.
USA Speed Skating
Despite the many physical, spiritual, and cultural differences of the participating nations, the Olympics bring all of us together through our shared appreciation of competition and sportsmanship. However, unlike many of the Olympic Games of the past, this year's Sochi Games started out mired in human rights related controversy.
Under Russian law, it is a crime to discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender issues in front of minors as such action is considered "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations." In addition to these limits on free speech, Russian authorities have turned a blind eye to human rights violations against LGBT teens and adults in their country. In protest of Russia's backwards behavior and discriminatory law, President Obama appointed openly gay American athletes to the Olympic Delegation. This included figure skating icon Brian Boitano, tennis legend Billie Jean King, and Olympian hockey player Caitlyn Cahow. Further, a number of gay athletes from the United States and beyond are expected to participate in the Olympics defying Russia's discriminatory practices. Such laws should not be accepted in today's society. I am happy to see that our nation is moving forward on increasing equality for all and hope other nations will eventually follow suit.
Six More Weeks of Winter
past Sunday, groundhogs across the country emerged from their burrows to
help us predict the length of our winter season. If the little, furry
critters see their shadow and retreat back into the burrow, it means we
will be stuck with six more weeks of winter. But if they do not see
their shadow, we are in the clear for an early spring.
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.
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