LARSON REPORT

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

 

 

August 19, 2011

     

CONTACT ME


Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or opinions you might have.

Office Phone: (608) 266-7505
Toll-free Phone: (800) 361-5487

Email:
Sen.Larson@legis.wi.gov

 

Mailing Address:

State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707

 

Web Site: SenatorChrisLarson.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS
 

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. 

 

Irish Fest
August 18 at 5 p.m. through August 21 at 10 p.m.
For more than three decades, Milwaukee's Irish festival offers an experience that can only be rivaled by visiting the Emerald Isle. Attendees can enjoy musical performances, traditional Irish dance, authentic cuisine, a dog show, Gaelic poetry readings, theater events, and more. The festival is open Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $5 on Thursday. Friday through Sunday, adults are $15, seniors (60 and up) pay $10, and kids 12 and under are free. CLICK HERE for more information including an entertainment line-up and admission deals.

Henry Maier Festival Park (MAP)
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 273-3378

 

 

Milwaukee Art Museum After Dark: Backyard BBQ
August 19 from 5 p.m. until midnight
Wrap up your summer by attending After Dark's backyard cookout. This event will feature barbeque, a beer tasting, live bluegrass music and more. Tickets are $12 at the door, $6 in advance or free for members. For more information, please CLICK HERE.

Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)
700 N. Art Museum Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 224-3200
 


Third Ward Sidewalk Sale
August 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Stroll the historic streets, peruse the neighborhood boutiques, and enjoy the culinary treats offered throughout the Historic Third Ward's one-day sale. Shop at over a dozen Third Ward boutiques and restaurants and enjoy tremendous summer savings. CLICK HERE for more information, including a list of participating retailers.

 

 

Mexican Fiesta
August 26 through August 28

Celebrate Milwaukee's Mexican festival this summer. Mexican Fiesta will offer a variety of music, the "Sanctuary of Our Lady of Zapopan," and a cultural village. Tickets for Mexican Fiesta are $11 in advance, and $13 at the gate. Kids 3-10 years old can get in for only $1. CLICK HERE for more information about the annual Mexican Fiesta event.

Henry Maier Festival Park (MAP)
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 273-3378
 

 

Eat Local Resource Fair  August 27th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Get ready for the two-week Eat Local Challenge that begins on September 1 by learning some new tips to help you eat locally all year Ė even during winter months. The Eat Local Resource Fair will also provide you with the opportunity to buy food directly from local food producers, see cooking demos, and pick up menu and recipe ideas. CLICK HERE for more information about the Eat Local Resource Fair as well as the Eat Local Challenge.

 

Urban Ecology Center (MAP)

1500 E. Park Place
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 964-8505

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Friend,

With the summer elections behind us, calls for bipartisanship are in the air. I have included information on how to move our state forward by pursuing a truly bipartisan agenda, rather than just demanding it for political fodder.

Sincerely,

Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7

 

 

 

Governor Calls for Bipartisanship, but is He Serious?

Since first being elected to office, I have been committed to working in a bipartisan way with Republicans. I continue that commitment and, for the sake of Wisconsin's future, I do hope that the we can reverse the divisive rhetoric and policies that have prevented us from moving forward together.
 

Two newly-elected senators will be officially sworn in this weekend in their home towns. Sen. Jen Schilling (D-La Crosse) and Sen. Jessica King (D-Oshkosh) were elected on Tuesday, August 9, doubling the number of recalled officials in Wisconsin overnight. Their recent victory narrows the partisan majority to a razor thin margin, prompting Governor Walker to call on members on both sides of the aisle to work together in the spirit of bipartisanship.

 

Previously Governor Walker said before a Congressional Panel that bipartisanship is not a good thing. Furthermore, his only efforts to work in a bipartisan manner with my Democratic colleagues and I turned out to be a ruse during his attack on worker's rights this past February and March.

 

However, following the election of Sen. King and Sen. Schilling, Governor Walker signaled he may reverse course. It is my hope that these are not hollow words. Wisconsin desperately needs the leadership of a governor who can unite us and move Wisconsin forward for all. Historically our governors have worked to bring about compromise and collaboration, forging innovation and success for our badger state. Now, more than ever, we need to return to those days in order to pull ourselves out of the economic slump we are mired in.

Eight Months of Bitter Walker Partisanship
It is important to review the last eight months in Wisconsin, so that we can avoid the mistakes Walker's administration made as they rushed an extremist agenda through the Legislature. Here are some of the most concerning examples of partisan extremism:

  • Cut $1.6 billion in funding for public education, while also cutting funds for higher education

  • Eliminated accountability and consolidated power through administrative rules

  • Spent $2.3 billion on special interests, corporate giveaways and loopholes while raising taxes and fees on working families and seniors

  • Eliminated worker's rights

  • Reduced job retraining opportunities

  • Added a waiting period for unemployment compensation on workers who just lost their job

  • Killed wind energy jobs across the state

  • Locked out the public from the Capitol

  • Landed the state government in court over open meetings violations

  • Undermined local control by passing extreme legislation related to wetlands, redistricting, highways and sick-leave

  • Rejected federal grants to support transportation and health care that then went to other states

  • Defunded women's health care programs

  • Removed consumer protection by changing our victim protection laws

Genuine Wisconsin Bipartisanship
If the governor is sincere about embracing bipartisanship to move Wisconsin forward, his path is common-sense clear. Here are just a few things to get him started:

  • Allow the public to evaluate the success or failure of state programs

  • Promote transparency in state agencies and state practices

  • Reject efforts to destabilize public education and privatize Wisconsin's neighborhood schools

  • Listen to and address the concerns of the public and legislators

  • Adhere to open meetings laws and provide adequate public notice

  • Focus on an economic recovery plan that helps all, not just a privileged few

  • Find common ground to move our economy forward

The extraordinary events that transpired over the last eight months, concluding with the success of Democrats in the recent recall elections, sends an undeniable message that balance, integrity and responsiveness are demanded of our elected officials, none more so than our governor.
 


 

Bill to Aid Displaced Workers Introduced

My Democratic colleagues and I introduced legislation this week to remove the one-week waiting period for newly-displaced workers needing to collect unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

 

Earlier in the month, Republicans placed partisan ideology above the interests of Wisconsin 's displaced workers by voting to increase the burden on these neighbors by forcing them to arbitrarily wait one week before obtaining unemployment compensation. As a result, tens of thousands of Wisconsinites who were knocked down by the economic crisis will not receive the help they need, when they need it the most.

 

The legislation proposed by my colleagues and I would delete the one-week waiting period, allowing displaced workers to receive unemployment compensation immediately after losing their job so they can continue to pay their mortgage and feed their family. This legislation is crucial to our community as 8.4% of our neighbors, family and friends in Milwaukee County are currently unemployed. Should this legislation pass, Wisconsinís displaced workers would be able to receive much-needed support during these tough economic times helping them to get back on their feet.

 

CLICK HERE to view a copy of this recently-introduced bill.

 

 

 

Walker Administration Declines Funds to Fight Drug and Alcohol Abuse

This week I signed a letter to Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith expressing our disappointment for Governor Walker's administration declining to pursue several federal health grants this year. These grants would have helped fight drug and alcohol abuse and expanded health care access across Wisconsin. Additionally, the letter urges Secretary Smith to support future prevention and health care grants that will expand our health care safety net and decrease dependence on drugs and alcohol statewide.

Wisconsin currently has the highest rates of drunken driving and binge drinking in the nation. Unfortunately, because Secretary Smith did not apply for two federal health grants our state lost out on $8.6 million to combat this pervasive problem. One of the federal grants would have helped to expand delivery of substance abuse intervention services by laying the groundwork for Wisconsinís alcohol and drug screening, intervention, and treatment referral services. The second federal grant would have enhanced our stateís substance abuse prevention infrastructure.

Making quality health care available to Wisconsin citizens is a priority of mine. This includes supporting accessible and affordable programs that prevent and expand treatment for substance abuse across the state for our family, friends and neighbors.

It is my hope that our request for Secretary Smith to aggressively pursue future federal health funding for Wisconsin is given serious consideration so that we can properly address substance abuse problems plaguing Wisconsin communities and families.

 

To view a copy of this letter, please CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

Neighborhood Meeting on Protecting Your Voting Rights

Sunday, August 21 at 7 p.m.

Join me and representatives from the Government Accountability Board, Milwaukee County League of Women Voters, and the American Civil Liberties Union at the Grassroots North Shore neighborhood meeting to discuss how protect your constitutional voting rights after the passage of voter suppression legislation.

 

Governor Walker and his rubberstamp legislators recently implemented one of the most restrictive ID requirements in the country for individuals looking to exercise their voting rights. Attend this neighborhood meeting to get facts and questions answered about this egregious law. Do not hesitate to contact me for more information about this upcoming event.


North Shore Presbyterian Church (MAP)

4048 N. Bartlett Avenue
Shorewood, WI 53211

 

 

 

Community Meeting on the Proposed Hoan Bridge Bike Lane

Tuesday, August 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

I am hosting a neighborhood meeting on the Hoan Bridge reconstruction project with Reps. Richards and Sinicki, members of the Milwaukee County Board and Milwaukee Common Council, and state transportation officials. This meeting is devoted to talking about a possible Hoan Bridge bicycle and pedestrian lane.

The Hoan Bridge is vital to our neighbors as it is the transit artery connecting south side residents to the rest of their community, including downtown Milwaukee and the entire interstate freeway system.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) is currently studying the feasibility of creating a bicycle and pedestrian lane on the Hoan Bridge. DOT expects to complete its study sometime this fall, so now is the time to learn more about DOT's study and make your voice heard about adding a bike and pedestrian lane to the Hoan Bridge.

For up-to-date information about the Hoan Bridge project, please CLICK HERE to visit DOT's recently-launched Web site devoted to the project. You can also CLICK HERE to view a PDF document from DOT that outlines the Hoan Bridge rehabilitation project. This document provides additional information on the timing and scope of the project, along with contact information for the project personnel from the DOT.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or thoughts you have on the Hoan Bridge project. I hope to see you on August 23rd.

 

Beulah Brinton Cafeteria Room (MAP)
2555 South Bay Street
Bay View, WI 53207



 

Summer Activities in Our Community

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.

 

Last Chance at the Pool

Summer is coming to a close, so take advantage of this final opportunity to swim outside in Milwaukee County's outdoor pools. The last day pools will be open is Sunday, August 21 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also bring your dog over between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday for a leisurely doggie dip before the pools are drained for the season. For more information about these events, please CLICK HERE or call 257-PARK.

 


 

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