May 13, 2011



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



Mailing Address:

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












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.



Rebuilding Together with WCREW

May 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Join the Wisconsin Commercial Real Estate Women and Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee charitable committee for a day of cleaning, gardening, painting and other light work for several deserving families in Milwaukee. For more information, please CLICK HERE.


City of Cudahy Bike Auction & Rummage Sale

May 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Stop by this bike auction and rummage sale hosted by the Cudahy Historical Society and Cudahy Police Department. Paddle sales begin at 9 a.m. with the auction to begin at 11 am. The rummage sale will take place in the Annex. The Cudahy Historical Society will also be selling lunch.

Cudahy Depot and Annex Building (MAP)

4647 S. Kinnickinnic

Cudahy, WI 53110
(414) 481-6416



10th Annual Battle Of The Badges
May 14 at 6 p.m.
Attend the 10th annual Battle of the Badges basketball game between the Cudahy Police and Fire Departments this Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. All proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. Since 2002, the Battle of the Badges and BadgeBall has raised more than $24,000 for charity.

Cudahy High School (MAP)

4950 South Lake Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110


Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

May 14, Times Vary
Leave nonperishable food items in a bag next to your mailbox for your letter carrier to collect. Last year, over 900,000 pounds of food were collected in Milwaukee County. Help our community at a time when food pantries are critically low. CLICK HERE for more information.



Member Swap Day
May 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Members of the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Discovery World Museum or Milwaukee Art Museum can visit all three free of charge this Sunday! For more information, please CLICK HERE.


Betty Brinn Children's Museum (MAP)

929 E. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 390-5437

Discovery World Museum (MAP)

500 N. Harbor Drive  Milwaukee, WI 53202 

(414) 765-9966


Milwaukee Art Museum (MAP)

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

Second Annual Relay For Life of Oak Creek High School

May 20-May 21 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Join the fight against cancer by participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Oak Creek High School. The event begins on  Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m. and continues through Saturday, May 21 at 6 a.m. This event is hosted by the Oak Creek High School Student Council and will celebrate those who have had cancer, remember loved ones lost and provide an opportunity to fight back against the disease. CLICK HERE for more information or to register for the event.


Oak Creek High School (MAP)
340 East Puetz Road
Oak Creek, WI 53154
(262) 523-5532














































































































































Dear Friend,

The Legislature is moving at a reckless speed on several major issues that will impact our community. I have included updates on several of these bills, including voter restriction legislation and the selling of MPS neighborhood schools.


As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or opinions you may have about our community or our state.


Chris Larson
State Senator, District 7




Web Site Now Available!

My State Senate Web site is now available! On this site you will be able to track legislation, view community and state updates, and access local resources. The Web site also provides another way for you to communicate with me directly about any questions, comments or concerns you may have about our community or state.


I will continue to update this site frequently and appreciate any feedback you might have to make the site as user-friendly as possible.


To visit my new Web site, please CLICK HERE.



Republicans Refuse to Invest in Education, Health Care and Transit

This Wednesday, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a memo stating that Wisconsin would receive over $600 million in additional revenue over the next three years than was previously estimated.


These additional funds come at a time when our communities are taking massive cuts to vital services including our local schools, life-saving health care programs and public transit.


Unfortunately, the Republican co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee, Sen. Darling and Rep. Vos, have stated that they will not be using this windfall to alleviate the devastating cuts to existing services.


This recent revelation further illustrates that Governor Walker has cynically manufactured an economic crisis in our state in order to move his extreme political agenda through the Legislature at an alarming rate. This action will only ensure that Wisconsin continues to slide in the wrong direction.




Passage of Senate Bill 20 -- Continuing the Attack on Our Community Schools

Senate Bill 20 passed the Senate this week along party lines with a vote of 19-14. Under this bill the Milwaukee Common Council could lease or sell Milwaukee Public School buildings if they determine these buildings are being underutilized.


There were two major problems with Senate Bill 20 that will have a negative impact on our local schools. First, Senate Bill 20 failed to define the term "underutilized," leaving the task of defining this crucial term up to the Milwaukee Common Council alone and excluding the impacted schools from the rule-making process. I introduced an amendment to instead require that the City of Milwaukee work in conjuncture with MPS to devise a working definition, however, this amendment was tabled by Republican Senate members.


Second under Senate Bill 20, after a building is determined to be underutilized by the Milwaukee Common Council, MPS would still be on the hook for covering all maintenance costs of the building. Our public schools have already endured massive cuts as a result of Governor Walker's budget. It is not fair to also require them to cover the financial burden of maintaining facilities that are owned by the City of Milwaukee, only to eventually sell the building to a competing non-traditional or voucher school.


I am supportive of the main goal of this legislation, which is to relieve Milwaukee and MPS of some of these unused buildings in order to save money. For several months I have worked with Republican and Democratic offices to devise a compromise that works to achieve this aim, while also addressing the two concerns previously mention. Unfortunately, Republican Senators refused to support the amendments introduced to alleviate these concerns. Therefore, I was unable to support Senate Bill 20 when it was voted on by the Senate.




Voter Suppression Legislation Before the Senate on Tuesday

This past Wednesday, the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 7, one of the most restrictive voter suppression bills in the nation. Assembly Democrats introduced more than 50 amendments to try and improve the bill so that it will not disenfranchise eligible Wisconsin voters, all of which were immediately tabled by Republican majority members.


The Senate is expected to take up this legislation on Tuesday, May 17.


Assembly Bill 7 will negatively impact many of our neighbors by imposing new barriers, such as obtaining photo identification that will discourage the elderly, students, new residents, and people with disabilities from participation in our elections. Currently 23% of all elderly Wisconsinites over the age of 65 do not possess the identification needed to vote under these new restrictions.


In addition, the limitations on DMV hours and operations will also severely hinder the ability for individuals to obtain the identification they will now be required to present at the polls. Three Wisconsin counties offer no DMV locations, over half of Wisconsin's 91 DMVs are open only on a part-time basis, 26% of our state's DMVs are open only one day a month or less and only one of Wisconsin's DMV centers offers weekend hours of operation.


Without substantial changes to Assembly Bill 7 and the facilities that issue IDs, eligible voters statewide will be disenfranchised when trying to participate in future elections.


CLICK HERE to view a copy of Assembly Bill 7.




Guns Priority, Not Jobs

Two bills were introduced this week that would allow Wisconsinites to carry concealed weapons in public places such as parks, daycare centers and shopping malls. Neither bill requires any training.


Wisconsin is currently one of the top 10 safest states in the nation and has also continued to see a decrease in violent crime. Our state already permits individuals to openly carry.


Instead of focusing on jobs, Republican legislators have instead chosen to continue their trend of introducing politically divisive bills rather than focusing on what our neighbors feel is of the utmost importance in moving our state forward.




May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

The Senate and the Assembly passed Assembly Joint Resolution 35 this past Wednesday, which declares May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.


Lyme disease is an inflammatory illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is spread by infected deer ticks when feeding on human blood. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Lyme disease cases totaled 3,495 in 2010 compared with 2,587 cases in 2009, a 35% increase.


Early symptoms of Lyme disease may occur three to 30 days after the bite of an infected tick, which can include: a rash, fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. In some people the rash may not occur. The disease can be easily treated with antibiotics when detected early. However, if left untreated, Lyme disease can result in debilitating arthritis and serious heart and nervous system complications.


DHS is urging Wisconsinites to take precautions against tick bites, especially between May and August as warm weather triggers more deer tick activity. People can take these steps to avoid tick bites and reduce the chance of getting Lyme disease:

  • Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter since ticks prefer these areas Also, stay to the center of a trail to avoid contact with grass and brush.

  • Use effective tick repellants and apply according to the label instructions. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults use repellants with 20-30% DEET on exposed skin and clothing to prevent tick bites.

  • Wear clothes that will help shield you from ticks such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Also, tuck your pants into the top of your socks or boots, to create a "tick barrier" and wear light-colored clothing to make ticks easier to spot.

  • Landscape homes and recreational areas to reduce the number of ticks by creating tick-safe zones using woodchips or gravel along the border between lawn and wooded area. Continue to remove leaf litter and clear tall grass and brush around the house throughout the summer.

  • Check frequently for ticks, and remove them promptly. Deer ticks are small and may be difficult to find, so tick checks must be done on all parts of the body carefully and thoroughly. Pay special attention to areas where ticks tend to hide, such as the head, scalp and joints.

  • Remove attached ticks slowly and gently, using a pair of thin-bladed tweezers applied as close to the skin as possible.

  • Protect pets from tick bites by checking dogs or cats for ticks before allowing them inside. While a vaccine can prevent Lyme disease in pets, it will not stop the animal from carrying infected ticks into the home.

CLICK HERE for additional information about Lyme Disease.



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.


Urban Ecology Summer Youth Camp

The Urban Ecology Center offers summer camps that allow kids to explore their own interests in nature and science through outdoor recreation and adventure activities. Campers may canoe, rock climb, kayak, hike, bike and fish while learning about the natural world during an action-packed week of camp. Activities will be tailored to the interests of each group.


Before & After Care activities are offered for some of our camps. With this option you can drop off your children early or pick them up late. At Riverside Park drop off is as early as 7:30 a.m. and pick up is as late as 5:30 p.m. At Washington Park you can drop off is as early as 8 a.m. and pick up is as late as 5 p.m. Staff members will supervise games, reading time, play and activities.

Additionally, the Urban Ecology Center offers need-based scholarships for children to attend camp. To qualify for a scholarship, families must be eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch program.

CLICK HERE or call (414) 964-8505, ext.125 for more information about the Urban Ecology Center's summer camps.

Warnimont Dog Exercise Area
For an experience both you and your dog can enjoy, visit the Warnimont Dog Exercise Area this summer. Its tree canopy-covered trails make it a cool place to be as the weather heats up.

Annual permits for you and your dog are available for $25 to Milwaukee County residents and $15 for seniors and people with disabilities. The fee for additional dogs or a daily permit is $5. CLICK HERE for the permit application as well as park rules.


You can also grab a cup of coffee at the FIXX TOO coffee
kiosk located at the park entrance, which is open from 2 p.m. to dusk Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to dusk on weekends. The kiosk will be open on weekday mornings once school is out (around June 10). CLICK HERE for details.



Donate Used Books, Music and Movies

The Friends of the Oak Creek Public Library are seeking donations for their annual book sale. They will be accepting adult and children's hardcover and paperback books, CD's, DVD's, video cassettes and audio cassettes now through July 31. Label your materials "Friends Book Sale" and drop them off at the library.


Oak Creek Public Library (MAP)

8620 S. Howell Avenue
Oak Creek, WI 53154
(414) 764-4400



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