May 30, 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.
Description: All aboard the Milwaukee Trolley Loop. Operating Thursday through Saturday each week, this transit option gives visitors a connection to attractions and summer activities throughout Westown, East Town and the Historic Third Ward. Two trolleys will service the route to offer 20-minute headways at designated stops. One complete loop is 40 minutes. Fare is $1 per person, round trip. CLICK HERE or call 414-562-RIDE for more information.
2013 Neighborhood Rummage
Description: The Airport Gardens Neighborhood Association wants to invite you to their annual neighborhood rummage sale. This is one of the biggest neighborhood rummage sales in Wisconsin with 99 homes participating in this year's event. Maps will be distributed on the day of the event. Park your car and walk around. This is a great opportunity to not only find some treasures but also meet other neighbors in the area. CLICK HERE for more information on their Facebook page.
Spring on Brady
Description: Visit Brady Street as they celebrate Spring as well as their Annual Art Walk with friends from Art Milwaukee. Shop at amazing sidewalk sales and dine and drink at various restaurants and their springtime deals. Nearly 20 merchants will be hosting live artists from painting, sketching, pottery, and even puppy artistry. CLICK HERE for more information including a list of artists and vendors.
Family Fun Night:
Puff & Other Fables
Location: Oak Creek
Join local children's author and storyteller Mary Ellen LaPorte for an
evening of tales, songs, and activities. Light refreshments will be
provided. This program is geared toward children ages 5-10, but all ages
are welcome. No registration is required and this event is free and open
to the public.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Oak Creek Public Library (MAP)
8620 S. Howell Avenue
Oak Creek, WI 53712
Description: Take advantage of this eight-day smorgasbord highlighting over 40 destination eateries with prix-fixe menus at $10 for lunch and $20 or $30 for dinner. Reservations are strongly encouraged. CLICK HERE for more information, including a list of participating restaurants and their menus.
Jazz in the Park
Jazz in the Park is an outdoor, free, summer music series featuring a
line-up of jazz, big band, funk, R&B, reggae, blues, and more.
Performers come from across town or across the country. Music starts at
6 p.m., but stop by early for Jazz in the Park Happy Hour and get great
drink specials. All proceeds from sales help offset the high costs of
production and ensure continued success of the summer festival.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Date: Fri., June 7 through Sun., June 9
Attend this annual festival that was founded in 1988 by the LGBT
community. Every year, PrideFest attracts thousands of people and
families, both gay and straight. With permanent stages, food buildings,
vendor pavilions, and support from Milwaukee World Festivals, PrideFest
kicks-off Milwaukee's festival season. Admission is $16 for a single-day
ticket at the gate or $13 online. A weekend pass is $30.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Henry Maier Festival
Locust Street Festival
Date: Sun., June 9 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Description: Join our neighbors at the Locust Street Festival in Riverwest for its 37th year. There will be music and dancing in the street with over 30 bands on six outdoor stages, over 100 unique vendors, a scrabble tournament, and the famous 1.8-mile beer run/walk. Admission is free. The festival will be held at Locust Street between Holton Street and Humboldt Boulevard. CLICK HERE for more information.
Wisconsin is still waiting to see what the Republican budget will hold related to voucher expansion. Continue reading for more information on these and other important topics including changes to unemployment compensation, public transit, and the opening of my new, shared district office.
|Remove Voucher Expansion from Budget|
governor's proposed budget has already come under significant fire from
both sides of the aisle for its failure to make an investment in our
neighborhood public schools and reverse the record cuts that were made
to education in the last budget, which topped $1.6 billion. Republicans
in the Senate and Assembly are in the process of striking a deal
regarding how to amend the governor's budget proposal on education.
However, indications are that despite the failed voucher experiment,
they are ready to take the program statewide. The Joint Finance
Committee is scheduled to address the governor's proposed K-12 education
budget, and any legislative amendments, next week.
Over the past 20 years, Wisconsin has spent $1.5 billion on a voucher experiment that has failed the students of Milwaukee. Meanwhile, there are public schools where teachers are tasked with managing 30, 35, or 40 kids in one class, where the art rooms are always dark, where the textbooks are out-of-date and falling apart, and where they keep a piano in the cafeteria because the part-time music teacher no longer has a classroom. Imagine how many new textbooks could have been purchased or how many educational programs could have been created or maintained if we had invested $1.5 billion into Milwaukee's public schools instead of giving that money away to fly-by-night, unaccountable educational institutions.
During the 2009-2010 Legislative Session, Republicans introduced legislation, Assembly Bill (AB) 919, to increase school district revenue by $275 per pupil. These are the same legislators who boast about Wisconsin being in much better fiscal shape this session than it was during 2010, when they authored AB 919. The failures of the voucher program can no longer be ignored. It is time we learn from the lessons of Milwaukee and that Republicans work to fulfill the promises they made in 2010 with AB 919.
Wisconsin's next engineers, teachers,
and doctors are in our K-12 classrooms right now. Their success is our
success. Therefore, I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will
join me in calling for the complete removal of voucher expansion from
Put Blame Where Blame is Due, Not on Workers
Once again Republican Joint Finance Committee (JFC) members have used the budget to force an extreme, anti-middle class policy on the state of Wisconsin. Yesterday, JFC approved a provision making it more difficult for Wisconsinites who have lost their jobs to access our unemployment safety net.
For roughly 80 years, the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council (UI Council), made up of employer and employee representatives, has set this policy. However, Republicans pushed through the aforementioned anti-worker measures without any public hearing or scrutiny, and without the support of the UI Council. Refusing to respect recommendations of the longstanding UI Council for the third time in two years, Republicans in JFC unilaterally decided to defiantly pass policies that will raise taxes on construction and manufacturing companies and hurt Wisconsin workers affected by Wisconsin's stagnant job growth.
Democrats Push for Transit Funding
2012 report titled Transportation and the New Generation released
by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group earlier this year
reveals that for the first time since World War II, Americans are
driving less. As a result, our state now faces the challenge of
supporting growing public transit use despite massive cuts to public
As a result, local governments were forced to shift funding, raise fares, change or eliminate routes, and reduce vital services. Many of these changes were seen by riders in our own community. In 2012, the Milwaukee County Transit System was forced to increase fares for TransitPlus users by 75 cents, raising the cost of each bus ticket to $4. The system also had to eliminate some bus service routes.
The governor sought to continue the
trend of sacrificing public transit and local roads in order to expand
underutilized highways this session, as well. For his 2013-2015 budget, Governor Walker
recommended maintaining the cuts from the last budget by providing a 0%
funding increase to public transit. Republicans on the Joint Finance
Committee (JFC) intended on approving this transit cut. Fortunately,
after continued pressure from Democratic members of JFC, a deal was
reached to increase mass transit aids by 4%, or around $5 million,
beginning in 2014. While this increase is not enough to restore the cuts
made by Republicans last time around, it is a step in the right
direction towards strengthening our transit options.
Milwaukee Office Now Open!
Senator Nikiya Harris and I are excited to announce
that our new, shared district office in Milwaukee is officially open!
Our shared district office is part of an ongoing effort to make our
community a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
you will find the contact information for the district office staff
members should you have any questions or need assistance on behalf of our offices.
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.
Many legislators were surprised to see this provision sneak its way into the budget as there was bipartisan opposition to the stand alone rent-to-own bill last session. Fortunately, after months of urging by my colleagues and me, some Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee finally relented and joined Democrats in removing this measure that preys on those seeking to join the middle class.
I was happy to see this abhorrent
provision removed from the budget and hope this is a permanent change
and that this provision will not be quietly reinserted. This provision still exists as its own stand-alone bill, which could still make
its way through the Legislature.
Did You Know...?
You may be aware that with summer approaching, fishing season is upon us. But did you know that Wisconsin was the first state to prohibit the sale and distribution of DDT, a powerful chemical pesticide toxic to fish, mammals, and birds. This legislative change made in 1970 has played a significant role in safeguarding our wildlife for generations of anglers to come.
Free Fishing Weekend is Here
Wisconsin has a strong angling tradition. Not only is Wisconsin home to miles of streams and rivers that are more than long enough to circle the globe at the equator, but we also border a number of Great Lakes, host countless fishing tournaments, and even boast a weekly fish fry each Friday in communities across the state. As a result of our culture and traditions, angling is an activity highly valued by Wisconsinites.
In honor of National Fishing Week, which falls in the first week of June, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be offering a great opportunity for Wisconsinites to fish anywhere in the state for free this weekend. Continue reading for more details.
Fish Anywhere in Wisconsin for Free
Click here for more information about borrowing equipment.
No-Call List Deadline Tomorrow
The deadline for the Wisconsin No-Call
List is fast approaching, so be sure to register or re-register your
phone number before the Friday, May 31 deadline. The list is updated
four times per calendar year (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October
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