June 13, 2013
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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.
Chill on the Hill
Location: Bay View
Stop by this local music concert series on Tuesday nights this summer at
Humboldt Park. Opening acts start at 6 p.m. with main acts running from
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Bay View Neighborhood Association operates
the concert series in partnership with the Milwaukee County Parks, with
the support of numerous local sponsors, including area restaurants,
vendors, and organizations.
CLICK HERE to view the poster for this event, which contains the
summer music line-up.
Description: As a part of their continued commitment to honor our veterans for their heroic service, the Milwaukee Center for the Performing Arts is hosting their 3rd annual Flag Day Celebration. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Join in this very special tribute to the men and women of our military. CLICK HERE for more information.
Peck Pavilion (MAP)
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
929 N. Water Street Milwaukee, WI 53202
Date: Wed., June 19 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Description: Juneteenth Day is the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States and has been a Milwaukee festival since the 1970s. A parade starts off the festivities that include kids games, exhibits, soul food, music, and much more. Local African dance groups and musical groups will be participating in this celebration. Admission is free. This event is located on King Drive between Burleigh and Center. CLICK HERE for more information.
Date: Fri., June 21 through Sun., June 23
The Lakefront Festival of Arts is celebrating the 51st event featuring
over 170 artists around the world. Painters, potters, sculptors,
glassblowers, photographers, and more are all selling art for purchase.
This festival has a wine and beer garden, as well as Lakeside dining
options. Admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum and festival grounds is
$15 and $8 for Milwaukee Art Museum members who provide a valid
membership card. Children 16 and under are free with a paid adult. Art
enthusiasts can also purchase a $20 three-day pass.
CLICK HERE or call (414) 224-3200 for more information.
Location: West Allis
Attend the annual Greek Fest event at the State Fairgrounds. This
festival will feature a variety of entertainment, including live Greek
music, games, authentic dance performances, and rides for the kids
throughout the weekend.
State Fair Park (MAP)
North Parking Lot
640 S. 84th Street
Say Farewell to East Library
June 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
East Library (MAP)
1910 E. North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Enjoy great music, entertainment, food, and family fun at the 12th
annual Summer Soulstice festival. Family fun entertainment includes
Bernie Brewer and the Racing Sausages, creating pottery to take home,
musicians, jugglers, balloon artists, and much more. Local restaurants
and vendors will have food available for purchase and area bands will be
performing throughout the day. This event will take place on E. North
Avenue between N. Oakland and N. Prospect.
CLICK HERE for more information.
This week, Republicans silenced Wisconsin women by halting debate on passage of an extreme bill after about 25 minutes. Continue reading for more information about how this bill will affect women's health care in Wisconsin. Other important issues, including how Wisconsin ranks nationally, non-fiscal budget items, and LGBT Pride Month are also discussed.
Republicans Silence Wisconsin Women, Pass Extreme Bill
Yesterday, Senate Republicans trampled
on our democracy by gaveling down debate on passage of a highly
controversial anti-woman bill, Senate Bill 206, after a mere 25 minutes
or so. With 33 Senators, this left only enough time for one of the many
opponents of the bill to voice the thoughts and concerns of those they
represent. Therefore, the majority of Wisconsinites were excluded from
the decision-making process of legislation that will have a devastating
impact on Wisconsin women.
Clearly, recovering from a rape in and
of itself is difficult enough, without the complications of an unwanted,
unplanned pregnancy. It is our job as legislators to stand up for and
support these victims, not to shame them should they make the personal
choice to terminate their pregnancy.
Encouraging Unqualified Individuals
to Perform Invasive Medical Procedures
In addition to forcing women to have an unnecessary and invasive medical procedure, Republicans are also requiring these women to cover the costs on their own. This means that women with or without insurance will likely be on the hook for covering the costs of all or part of the ultrasound procedure. According to a new mother who testified at the public hearing on Senate Bill 206, her ultrasound cost $1,200. Not a lot of people have this type of money just laying around. For women, especially those without health insurance, this may price them out of certain legal family planning options, which may even be required for lifesaving reasons or to end an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy that resulted from sexual assault.
While Senate Republicans may have callously silenced the voices of women on Wednesday, their voices will not and cannot be silenced forever. This debate is not over. My colleagues and I will continue standing up for the rights of Wisconsin women to make decisions and choices about their own body, rather than allowing the Legislature to play doctor.
How Wisconsin Ranks
While many other states are starting to see improvement in their overall economic health, Wisconsin continues to lag behind. The photo below illustrates just how Wisconsin is faring in job growth compared to the U.S. as a whole.
The rankings are also not in Wisconsin's favor. Ranking after ranking lists Wisconsin among the bottom states. Below is a summary of where Wisconsin ranks with regard to job creation and economic development:
Given that legislative Republicans have routinely chosen to prioritize tea party politics and tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations over areas proven to create jobs, such as education, job training, and public transit, it is no wonder we are floundering. Further, Wisconsin's job creation agency, WEDC, has been mired by controversy including authorizing illegal loans and tax credits, losing track of millions of dollars in loans, and spending taxpayer money on such questionable items as alcohol and iTunes gift cards. Such problems have made it impossible for this public-private agency to fulfill its promise--to create jobs and increase economic development--to Wisconsin and its taxpayers.
My colleagues and I will continue to push for passage of policies that we know create jobs. We will continue to fight for full restoration of the record $1.6 billion cut from our public schools in the previous budget. Further, we will continue advocating for increased investment in our job training programs. We will also work hard to increase funding for public transit to help people get to school or their jobs. Finally, we will strive to reign in our out-of-control jobs agency with much needed accountability and transparency measures so they can get back to work. Without these improvements and investments, Wisconsin will continue falling behind as will be confirmed by future rankings.
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.
Allowing bounty hunters to operate in our Wisconsin borders is an unpopular idea with law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors due to the negative impact they can have on public safety. Not only can citizens be subject to ill treatment at the hands of these bounty hunters, but bounty hunters will also be able to dictate and influence the release of individuals charged with a crime who may be a danger to our society. Unfortunately, it is fair to assume that money, not public interest, will dictate bail of individuals charged with a crime.
Surprisingly, despite the fact that this proposal received widespread opposition from legislators and Wisconsinites during debate of the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget, Republicans decided to sneak it in during the middle of the night in the hopes that the public would be none the wiser. This provision is now a part of the Republican budget and will likely remain in the document unless it is removed by the Republican-run Senate or Assembly via an amendment.
This was not the only nonfiscal provision that found its way into the budget without seeing the light of day. A more in-depth list of such adopted proposals can be found below.
Preventing Lead Paint Victims from Receiving Justice in Court (pg. 268, #7)
Since lead paint was banned from
residential use in 1978, identifying the specific manufacturer of the
paint responsible for a specific injury is difficult or often
impossible. Therefore, in lead paint lawsuits the burden of proof falls
on each lead paint company to prove it could not have been responsible
for the damage, as each is assumed to have contributed to the risk faced
by each victim. Legislation passed during the 2011 January Special
Session--2011 Wisconsin Act 2--rejected this logic and instead
maintained that a victim can only bring a complaint against a single
defendant, which means an injured individual must prove which specific
company manufactured the lead paint. This budget motion goes even
further than Act 2, as it could potentially void all pending and future
lawsuits filed against lead paint manufacturers, usually on behalf of
poisoned Wisconsin children.
Wisconsin children are uniquely at risk for lead poisoning, which can result in a lifetime of medical complications. One-fourth of Wisconsin residences were built before 1950, meaning they have an increased likelihood of containing lead paint. In fact, from 1996 to 2006, more than 40,000 children were diagnosed with lead poisoning in Wisconsin.
Not only is lead paint a significant
threat to Wisconsin's children but the responsibility placed on injured
individuals by this bill would make it nearly impossible for these young
victims to obtain justice in court. Further, there are additional
concerns that such a provision may be unconstitutional, and would most
certainly result in legal challenges.
Damaging High Capacity Well Changes (pg. 496, #4)
This budget amendment prevents
citizens from challenging the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources'
approval of high-capacity wells based on the cumulative environmental
impact the water withdrawal would have on drinking water wells and area
lakes and streams. This move shows a complete disregard for the
well-being of our highly valued ground and surface waters. First,
implementation of this amendment could result in environmental issues,
such as wells running dry due to overpumping of aquifers. Further, it
could also have a negative impact on the health of Wisconsinites as
water for consumption could be increasingly contaminated. Finally, this
proposals removes current accountability and transparency measures that
are in place allowing citizens to hold their government in check.
Anglers, farmers, families, and those living in our rural areas should
be deeply concerned with the negative impacts of this proposal.
Destroying the Center for Investigative Journalism (pg. 687, #27)
Currently, the University of Wisconsin--Madison houses the Center for Investigative Journalism on their campus in the School of Journalism's building. This center has proven pivotal in training our next generation of journalists for their future careers by providing them with internship opportunities. Further, it aims to serve the public by exposing stories that businesses, individuals, or the government would rather keep hidden. Such stories are crucial to ensuring that the public in not kept in the dark on key matters.
The work done by this center has even earned it awards and received publication in major news outlets including Bloomberg, the Associated Press, and Forbes. Having the center on campus allows center staff to collaborate closely with UW students on a daily basis. Both the involvement of UW faculty and the presence of the center on campus are critical to providing students with the opportunity to learn the ethics, values, and logistics of reporting for the public good.
Under the provision, the Center for Investigative Journalism would not be allowed on campus, or in any facilities owned or leased by the Board of Regents. In addition, UW employees would be prohibited from helping students as a part of their duties as a UW employee. Unfortunately, Republicans shocked everyone by including this provision, which had never been mention until its adoption. This provision is not only bad for our next generation of Wisconsin workers, but it is also a disservice to the public.
Did You Know...?
You may be aware that a new magic
filled movie, titled Now You See Me, is out in theaters
statewide. But did you know that the most famous magician of all time,
Harry Houdini, grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin?
June is LGBT Pride Month
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is held during the month of June to honor
the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which were a tipping point for
the Gay Rights Movement in the United States. Throughout the month,
celebrations are held across the country including pride parades,
picnics, parties, and workshops. The purpose of this commemorative month
is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
individuals have had on history and to inspire support for the pursuit
of marriage equality for the LGBT community.
Summer Activities in Our Community
Our community offers a wide variety of summer activities for families, children, and adults alike. Below are just a few activities that you can take part in this summer.
Every summer, Milwaukee and the surrounding communities boast endless festivals. While some of these festivals are geared towards celebrating art or memorializing a historic event, others are aimed at celebrating a specific culture or local neighborhood. There is a festival for everyone, so please stop by with friends, family, and neighbors. Upcoming festivals can be found in the sidebar of this Larson Report.
Milwaukee Trolley Loop
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