April 15, 2011
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.
Spring Beach, Park and Neighborhood Clean-up
April 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Join our neighbors in
helping to keep our parks and neighborhoods beautiful. Registration and
coffee will begin at 8:30 a.m. and go until 9 at both South Shore and
Humboldt Parks. Crews will then head out to Bay View's parks, beaches
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Murray Hill Hunger Clean-up
April 16 from 9
a.m. to noon.
UWM Spaights Plaza in the UWM Union (MAP)
2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
South Milwaukee Downtown Redevelopment Community Charrette
April 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Join the City of South Milwaukee, the Community Development Authority and UWM's Graduate Urban Planning Program to discuss and plan the revitalization of South Milwaukee's downtown area. CLICK HERE to view the flyer for the event.
South Milwaukee Public
Egg Hunting at the
Gallery Night and
Computer Recycling Drive
responsible and provide an opportunity to neighbors with disabilities by
bringing your old computer to the parking lot of IndependenceFirst.
Donations will be safely and properly recycled or refurbished for use in
the community with those who would not otherwise be able to afford a
computer. For more information, please
540 S. 1st Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Crime Scene Investigations: Lake Michigan
UWM Physics Building (MAP)
1900 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
As usual, please feel
free to contact me with any questions, concerns or opinions you may have
about our community or our state.
Impact of the Budget on Our Environment and Community
Wisconsin has a long tradition of protecting our natural resources, as they are not just a part of our landscape, but a part of who we are. All of us are stewards of this great state, therefore we should all be concerned with several provisions in the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget that leave our state's natural resources and remaining wild areas vulnerable.
The governor proposes the elimination of statewide recycling funding to local governments that support curbside recycling efforts. Recycling programs reduce the amount of waste that end up in our state landfills. According to Recycle More Wisconsin, current recycling programs keep 1.69 million tons of materials out of Wisconsin's landfills, supports 97,000 jobs and contributes $5.4 billion to our state's economy. Eliminating this funding shifts the entire burden to our local communities.
No More Preservation:
The governor's budget will also have a significant impact on our highly valued Stewardship Program. This program has been widely supported across Wisconsin since its founding decades ago. The biennial budget will eliminate the "payments in lieu of taxes" provision and the conservation easement tool. With the removal of these key provisions, local governments will face an increased financial burden when trying to acquire, maintain and protect recreational lands, wildlife habitats and other natural areas in their communities.
The governor has also proposed repealing Wisconsin's water quality laws that reduce phosphorus and other pollutants from entering our lakes, rivers and ground water supply. Without these regulations to protect water quality across Wisconsin, toxic chemicals, fertilizer and pesticides could make their way into our waterways and drinking water. This can significantly harm the health of our families, which depend on clean drinking water and rely on safe lakes and rivers.
Return to Fossil Fuel:
Under the current budget proposal, the Office of Energy Independence would be eliminated. This department provides long-term planning and development of fuels, technologies and business practices in Wisconsin to reduce our state's dependence on foreign energy resources. The budget also eliminates the Renewable Grants and Loan Program and the Green to Gold Program. The former provides incentives for Wisconsin businesses to develop renewable technologies including biofuels, while the latter helps Wisconsin's industries lower their energy costs and encourages job creation and growth.
It is crucial that our state continues to support such programs so we remain competitive in the alternative energy industries and further diversify our energy portfolio. Wisconsin currently sends $16 billion annually out-of-state and overseas to cover our energy costs. Instead we should be looking to invest in alternative energy industries, which will keep more money in Wisconsin, ensure our state is competitive with its neighbors and bring much-needed green jobs to Wisconsin.
Public Transportation Stuck in Reverse:
The governor's budget slashes funding for local transit and eliminates the dedicated public transportation fund. The governor is seeking to have transit funding directly compete against education, health care and other state programs.
Providing adequate funding for public
transit, bicycle and pedestrian travel is
crucial to the health of our communities. Having a wide array of
transportation options reduces traffic congestion, improves air quality
and provides options for individuals that cannot drive, especially the
disabled and elderly populations. Public transportation is also a
key component to creating and maintaining jobs in our community.
More information about these important environmental and transit changes can be found in the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau's summary of the governor's 2011-2013 Biennial Budget. To view this document, please CLICK HERE.
Spotlight: The Urban Ecology Center
The Urban Ecology Center is a neighborhood-based, nonprofit community center that focuses on environmental education within Milwaukee County.
The Urban Ecology Center has become an integral force in our community by being active stewardship advocates. They work to make our public lands accessible, safe and vibrant through through environmental research and by encouraging community participation in events, such as river clean-ups, to preserve our local parks and other outdoor spaces. The Urban Ecology Center also offers a wide variety of nature-based activities so that community members can further enjoy the valued natural resources our neighborhoods have to offer. Some of the unique opportunities they provide including: hiking, rock climbing canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and family and youth programs.
Another big part of the Urban Ecology Center's mission is encouraging and educating our neighbors on how to protect and preserve the environment. The center accomplishes this goal through their Neighborhood Environmental Education Project that serves K-12 students and teachers, and by offering numerous adult lectures, workshops and discussions. Some of the topics discussed at these events include: local environmental issues, native species, ways to be more environmentally friendly and the advantages of strengthening our local, sustainable food system.
For more information on the Urban
Ecology Center, please
CLICK HERE. The Urban Ecology Center will also be hosting a number
of Earth Day events at their two Milwaukee-area locations.
CLICK HERE to view their calendar of events for the remainder of
Access, integrity and accountability in our elections are key principles in safeguarding our democracy. I stand with Rep. Tammy Baldwin and others that have requested that the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder conduct a federal investigation to independently verify the results of the April 2011 Supreme Court race. I will be sure to keep you updated on the status of this request.
Community Meeting on Voter I.D. and Same Day Voter Registration
Monday, April 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Attend a community meeting on Monday, April 18 at UW-Milwaukee to discuss voter I.D. legislation and its impact on seniors, students, minorities and transient populations. The effects of ending same-day registration will also be discussed. Rep. Richards, Rep. Pasch and I will be in attendance and available for questions. Please do not hesitate to contact my office for additional information.
UW-Milwaukee's Wisconsin Room (MAP)
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Town Hall on Health Care Budget Provisions
Tuesday, April 19 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Many of our neighbors have expressed serious concern over the cuts proposed to vital statewide health care programs, including SeniorCare, FamilyCare, BadgerCare and Medicaid. Therefore, the Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Caucus is holding a town hall meeting on Tuesday, April 19 to discuss health care-related provisions in the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget. This will be a non-partisan forum and all Milwaukee-area legislators will be invited to participate in the discussion with our community members. Please do not hesitate to contact my office for additional information.
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Suggestions for Summer Activities
Spring is almost over and our neighbors will soon be seeking out summer youth and family activities in our community. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to pass these along to me via phone or email so that I can share these ideas with our neighbors in future newsletters.
Notice: Spam Filters
If you stop receiving the Larson Report and did not request to unsubscribe, please contact my office to alert me of the problem. The Larson Report sometimes bounces back as a result of strict spam filters. Resultantly, these individuals are removed from the newsletter distribution list and their email addresses are marked as undeliverable. Our email server has also experienced technical difficulties on a couple of occasions due to the sheer volume of incoming and outgoing communications related to the Biennial Budget and the Budget Adjustment Bill.
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