Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or opinions you might
Office Phone: (608) 266-7505
Toll-free Phone: (800) 361-5487
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
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.
Summer Sizzle Jazz Festival
August 6 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Enjoy four stages of continuous music from 18 local and regional groups
at the Historic Third Ward's popular one-day outdoor jazz festival.
Featuring traditional, Latin, swing, smooth and Dixieland-style jazz,
Summer Sizzle packs a style for all musical tastes. You can also stop by
the local food, drink and specialty vendors that will be set up
throughout the day. Admission is free. The four stages are located at
Catalano Square and along Broadway in the Historic Third Ward and
parking is available in one of the nearby structures (212 N. Milwaukee
St. and 225 E. Chicago St.) or a few blocks to the north or south.
African World Festival
African World Festival is a celebration of African heritage and culture
held on the shores of Lake Michigan at Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee.
Known as "The Meeting Place," the African World Festival is not only an
entertaining event but an educational experience. Come and explore the
cultural village, sample a variety of ethnic foods, shop around the
Marketplace, and let the kids play in the Childrenís Village.
CLICK HERE for additional information.
Henry Maier Festival Park (MAP)
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Milwaukee Air &
August 6 and 7
Stop by Milwaukee's Air & Water show to see stunt pilots and
demonstration aircrafts take to the skies over Milwaukee's lakefront.
Vendors will offer a wide variety of food and beverage options at the
event. Air Show merchandise and other items will also be available.
Regular admission is free for all spectators. The Air Show begins daily
at 11 a.m. and ends at approximately 4 p.m. on both Saturday and
Sunday. The Water Show is scheduled daily, beginning at approximately 10
a.m. For more information, please
Bradford Beach (MAP)
2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Bay Viewers: Tell
August 6 and
Visit the Beulah
Brinton House to preserve and share your Bay View stories, photos and
artifacts. Bay View High School students will be available between 10
a.m. and 2 p.m. both Saturdays to record your Bay View stories, photograph
Bay Viewers and document any Bay View artifacts or photos. This is the
perfect opportunity for neighbors to be a part of our community's
history. For more information about the event, please
Beulah Brinton House (MAP)
2590 S. Superior
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Milwaukee Wine Festival
August 12 at 4 p.m. until August 13 at 9 p.m.
Enjoy sampling from more than 200 wines outside along Milwaukee's
lakefront. Also, take in cooking demos by chefs from The Capital Grille
and other eateries, expert-led wine seminars, and food from some great
local restaurants. This event will feature live music as well. A portion
of every ticket will help fund Friends of Art, the Milwaukee Art
Museum's volunteer organization. The festival runs from 4 p.m. to 10
p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $27 in
advance or $35 at the door. Designated drivers pay only $10.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)
700 N. Art Museum Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
This week we look at the costs of playing political games with
unemployment benefits. I have also provided an update on the U.S.
avoiding an immediate economic catastrophe by agreeing to raise the debt
State Senator, District 7
Last month the Senate and Assembly passed different versions of Senate
Bill 147. The simple legislative change proposed in Senate Bill 147
would allow Wisconsin to capture nearly $90 million from the federal
government to extend unemployment benefits to help Wisconsinís displaced
workers while they continue looking for jobs during these tough economic
times. These funds would not need to be repaid to the federal
government. Passing this legislation is crucial to our community as
Milwaukee County faces an 8.4% unemployment rate.
The vote earlier this week was on an amendment, which sought to increase
the burden on Wisconsinís displaced workers by forcing them to
arbitrarily wait one week before obtaining unemployment compensation.
This legislation should have been signed into law last month but has
been at a standstill until this past Monday as a result of Republicans
in the Senate and Assembly failing to work together to reach a
Although Senate Bill 147 with the amendment to remove the one-week delay
passed with a strong bipartisan vote last month, Senate Republicans
flip-flopped this week by voting to reinstate the one-week delay. The
only conclusion one can reach from these disingenuous actions of
Republicans initially voting for the amendment only to vote against the
same amendment later is that they are using our family, friends and
neighbors that have been displaced from their jobs as pawns to sacrifice
in a game of political chess.
Displaced workers statewide have already been harmed by Republicans
choosing to delay action on the bill until this week. I have had
conversations with neighbors who were knocked down by the economic
downturn and are receiving unemployment compensation while they continue
searching for jobs to get back on their feet. Unfortunately, some of
these individuals also saw their benefits expire while waiting for
Republicans to stop dragging their feet, halt their infighting, and
reach an agreement for the people of Wisconsin.
Senate Bill 147 was approved by both the Senate and Assembly and was
signed into law by the governor on Wednesday, August 3.
CLICK HERE to view the bill.
My Democratic colleagues and I
circulated a legislative proposal this week for additional co-sponsors
that, if passed, will help to ensure greater accountability and safety of
our children in all of our schools. The Voucher Accountability and Child
Safety Act would apply the same background check requirements and
employment standards currently at our local neighborhood schools to
teachers and administrators employed by private schools participating in
the voucher program.
While Governor Walker's Budget expanded taxpayer-funded school vouchers
in Wisconsin, including all of Milwaukee County, it did nothing to close
egregious loopholes in the program that leave our children susceptible
to harm. This bill will ensure a safe learning environment for children
at taxpayer-funded voucher schools by requiring reasonable background
checks for teachers and administrators.
Currently, there is no guarantee that taxpayer dollars are not being
utilized to put sex offenders and other potentially dangerous
individuals near innocent children attending voucher schools. Public
schools, on the other hand, establish a standard of safety for children
through the stateís licensure process. While this bill does not require
taxpayer-funded voucher school teachers and administrators to go through
that process, it would guarantee vital background checks in order to
keep our voucher school children safe.
I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in
protecting our children from convicted sex offenders by implementing
these common-sense accountability standards.
To view a copy of the Voucher
Accountability and Child Safety Act, please
Congress and the President were able
to reach a compromise on the debt ceiling this past Tuesday. Although
the impact of this deal on our state has yet to be fully determined, we
have at least diverted the absolute immediate catastrophe that would have resulted
from the U.S. defaulting on its loans. The U.S. House passed the debt
deal with a vote of 269 to 161, while the U.S. Senate voted on the deal
the next day supporting the measure with a vote of 74-26. President Obama signed the deal into law on Tuesday, August 2.
The approved debt deal includes a new
set of deadlines and triggers for increasing the debt ceiling through
2013. Additionally, the deal increased our borrowing authority by
approximately $2.4 trillion, but also requires a spending cut of $2.5
trillion over the next 10 years. Some of these cuts will be decided by a
12-member bipartisan group who have been given the authority to propose
$1.5 trillion in cuts. If Congress fails to approve the group's
recommendations this December, $1.2 trillion in automatic
across-the-board cuts will be made instead.
I will be sure to keep you apprised of
how the recently-adopted debt deal will impact our state and local
communities as more information becomes available in the coming months.
To view a copy of the bill that was
adopted by Congress and signed into law by the President, please
CLICK HERE. You can also find analysis of the debt deal from the
nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office by
The Wisconsin State Fair starts this
week, marking 160 years of family-friendly entertainment and countless
Wisconsin customs. Fairgoers will flock to the State Fair Grounds in
West Allis starting August 4 through August 14 to enjoy and take part in
this proud Wisconsin tradition.
The State Fair attracts over 800,000 fairgoers annually, giving people
the opportunity to enjoy 30 stages of free, live entertainment, pay
tribute to Wisconsinís famous agriculture industry through barn tours
and auctions, admire ribbon-winning fair items such as pies and
textiles, and savor Wisconsinís Official Dessert--the cream puff.
This year, fairgoers can expect to enjoy a selection of unique indulgent
or deep-fried foods both on and off sticks in true fair custom. Among
the new items are the deep-fried beer, deep-fried butter, breaded
deep-fried oysters on a stick, and a bacon sundae.
The State Fair is important to Wisconsinís economy by providing
residents much-needed jobs in these tough economic times. The Fair will
employ more than 1,400 people. Additionally,
surrounding communities benefit economically from the fair by providing
parking to out of town fairgoers and increasing business for
neighborhood restaurants and bars.
For more information on the activities, musical line-ups and food
options for this yearís Wisconsin State Fair, please
Thank you to everyone that
participated in the Redistricting Survey to provide me with valuable
feedback on what is important to our community and state. I asked for
your thoughts on our current redistricting process and what
redistricting process you would like Wisconsin to utilize in the future.
Overall, more than 400 people responded with their perspective on the
three questions that I asked.
As you review the results, please keep in mind that the survey was not
scientific. I invited anyone that subscribes to the Larson Report to
participate and also made the survey available on my Web site.
Survey questions and results are
Question 1 & Results
I __________ Wisconsin's current
redistricting system, which has the Legislature draw the state's Senate
and Assembly district maps.
Oppose = 90%
Support = 7%
No Opinion/Not Sure = 3%
Question 2 & Results
Wisconsin's current redistricting system __________ partisanship and
political gridlock in the state.
Increases = 84%
Decreases = 8%
Does Not Affect = 5%
No Opinion/Not Sure = 3%
Question 3 & Results
I believe Wisconsin should use the
following redistricting model:
Bipartisan Commission = 45%
Nonpartisan Commission = 38%
Legislative (current system) = 8%
Other = 3%
Advisory Commission = 2%
No Opinion/Not Sure = 2%
Back-up Commission = <1%
It is my hope that we can continue working together on this
and other important
issues to improve our communities and make Wisconsin a better place to
live and work for our family, friends and neighbors.
Our community offers a wide variety of
summer activities for families, children and adults. Below is just
one of many activities that you can take part in this summer.
Groovy Movie Nite
Thursdays at 8:15 p.m.
the final days of summer by attending Groovy Movie Nites with the entire
family in downtown South Milwaukee. Games and music will begin at 7:30
p.m., and movies will be shown at 8:15 p.m. following the South
Milwaukee Downtown Market. The schedule for Groovy Movie Nites is listed
August 4: Megamind
August 11: Gnomeo & Juliet
August 18: Kung Fu Panda
For more information about this event,
You can also view a map of the location by