October 27, 2011
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.
Compost Your Leaves with Kompost Kids
Open House at the
Grant Park Fall Weed-Outs
Help preserve the natural areas and wildlife habitats in our parks by joining the Friends of Grant Park in removing various invasive species. Volunteers will work together to weed-out buckthorn and invasive honeysuckle. Feel free to bring eye protection or pruning shears if you have either. To participate, meet at the Area 1 parking lot (by the tennis courts) in Grant Park. Fall 2011 weed-out dates and times are listed below:
Please RSVP to Don Lawson at (414) 764-0612 so that he can secure sufficient supplies.
Grant Park (MAP)
100 E. Hawthorne
Salvation Army Fall Rummage and Bake Sale
Oak Creek Salvation Army (MAP)
8853 S. Howell Avenue
Oak Creek, WI
Legislation that prioritizes polluters over people and a bill that keeps Wisconsin's youth uninformed about reproductive health are moving forward in the Legislature. Continue reading for more information.
Republicans Prioritize Polluters Over People
The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Environment, of which I am a member, held a public hearing this past Wednesday on legislation that will prioritize polluters over people by undoing important environmental protections that keep our air clean and our water safe for drinking and recreation.
Over 200 citizens came to testify that maintaining Wisconsin's strong commitment to stewardship is vital to our state's economic well-being and health. The success of many of our state's businesses, including those in agriculture and tourism, heavily rely on the vitality of our natural resources. Protecting our water supply and air quality are also important to safeguard the health of our families. Without adequate protections, our families will be left vulnerable to illnesses caused by harmful contaminants.
If passed, Special Session Senate Bill 24 would have a detrimental impact on communities across Wisconsin. Below is a list of some of the most egregious offenses found in this legislation that threaten our natural resources and families:
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 as stewards of this great state. We should be working to pass legislation that protects the health of our families, communities and businesses rather than undoing that which safeguards Wisconsin's precious lands and valuable natural resources for today and tomorrow.
To view a copy of Special Session
Senate Bill 24, please
Divisive Youth Disinformation Bill Moves Forward
Republicans in the Senate Education
Committee rushed to overturn the Healthy Youth Act, ignoring public
input and refusing to compromise. This new legislative proposal seeks to
deny Wisconsin's young adults vital education information regarding
contraceptives and sexually transmitted disease prevention.
Statistics show that comprehensive sex education is valued by the vast majority of Wisconsinites. According to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, approximately 87% of Wisconsin voters support requiring comprehensive sex education instruction that includes information about both abstinence and contraception.
Statistics also show that comprehensive sex education programs, like the Healthy Youth Act, has made a positive impact on our community. According to the Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee's teen birth rate dropped from 52 per 1,000 teens in 2006 to 35.68 per 1,000 in 2010.
The Legislature should be focusing on ensuring that all Wisconsinites, including our young adults, have equal and adequate access to vital information on health care issues, including sexual health, rather than keeping them in the dark.
To view a copy of this legislation, please CLICK HERE.
Increasing Legislative Transparency
am supporting legislation that will increase
transparency in the Legislature by making open record retention laws
applicable to legislators. Currently staff at state agencies are not
allowed to dispose of any form of records, including emails, without the
consent of the Public Records Board. State agencies are also obligated
to keep their records on file for a specified amount of time. This
process does not currently apply to legislators, who are instead
required to present records if a reasonable request for information is
submitted, but are exempt by the board from the requirement to retain
records for any disclosed amount of time.
This legislation is a move in the right direction towards ensuring that the doors to government remain open to our neighbors. I will continue to support this and other legislation aimed at creating a more transparent and accountable government.
To view a copy of this bill, please
Recognizing October as Farm to School Month
week I co-sponsored a resolution recognizing October as Farm to School
Month. Farm to School programs connect our neighborhood schools to local
farms by using locally-grown foods to feed our school’s youth with
nutritious food. Research has shown that children in Farm to School
programs eat 20% more fruits and vegetables than children in
non-participating schools. Teaching children about healthy eating
habits, agriculture, and nutrition encourages them to make smarter food
choices, which in-turn decreases the their likelihood of experiencing
To view a copy of this resolution, please CLICK HERE.
Mock Election Shows Long Lines to Vote
The Madison City Clerk’s Office held a simulation earlier this month to determine exactly how much extra time voters will need to spend in line at the polls when once the new voter restrictions are fully implemented in 2012. Such restrictions include:
The mock election found that with two election officials at the poll book table to check IDs (the traditional polling place set-up), the wait to vote was significantly longer than traditional voting. Things that were found to shorten lines for voters included:
I encourage those involved in conducting elections to hold mock elections similar to the one in Madison to work out any kinks and decrease wait times prior to these new restrictions taking effect. This will help clerks feel more comfortable with their expanded responsibilities and limit confusion for voters on Election Day.
Protecting Our Water Quality
The Great Lakes Caucus met earlier this week to discuss issues of importance to communities like ours that border the great lakes. Some of the issues that were discussed included restoring the Kinnickinnic River, invasive species, and reducing mercury contamination. For more information about the Great Lakes, please CLICK HERE to visit the Wisconsin DNR's Web site.
I also had the opportunity to tour the
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), which provides water
reclamation and flood management services for about 1.1 million
customers in 28 communities in the Greater Milwaukee Area. I appreciate
being able to learn more about our local MMSD and their efforts to
preserve our environment and protect our drinking water.
CLICK HERE for additional information about MMSD.
DOT Releases Hoan Bridge Study
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) released their feasibility study on including a bike and pedestrian lane as part of the Hoan Bridge reconstruction project just a few hours ago. The study includes different construction plans and cost estimates, which can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.
The DOT will be holding a public hearing on these proposals on Monday, November 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the DOT downtown office building located at 1001 West St. Paul Avenue in Milwaukee.
I look forward to learning more about these various bike lane options and hearing what neighbors have to say. In choosing a final project proposal, it is important to keep in mind what the best fit is for the scope and cost of the project, and also what option will ensure safe travel for everybody.
Reminder: Sign Petition to Bike the Hoan
Join thousands of our neighbors in
supporting the creation of a bike lane on the Hoan Bridge by signing the
Petition to Bike the Hoan. Help us reach our goal of obtaining 1,000
additional signatures by November 1.
You can also feel free to encourage your family, friends and neighbors to show their support by circulating the link for the online petition throughout your community.
The proposed project would be the last major piece to complete a trail network, which runs from Downtown Chicago through Milwaukee and up to Sheboygan. Growing support from the business community illustrates that this final link is an economic tool that could assist our local and state economy.
Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or thoughts you have on the Hoan Bridge project, including the proposed bicycle and pedestrian lane.
Celebrate Halloween in Our Community
Halloween is fast approaching. This holiday guarantees a fun time for children and adults alike as they dress up in costumes and trick-or-treat around the neighborhood. This year, Halloween falls on a Monday, so most trick-or-treating will take place over the 29th or 30th of October. I am including some trick- or-treat safety tips to ensure that you and your family remain safe as you take part in the Halloween festivities:
I am also including a list of Halloween
events taking place in our community that I hope you will be
able to attend and enjoy on this festive day:
Operation Pumpkin MKE 2011
Drive or walk by St. Paul Avenue to view hundreds of lit up Jack O'Lanterns featuring interesting carving creations made by your fellow neighbors. CLICK HERE for additional event information.
Milwaukee Ballet’s Dracula
Attend this Halloween’s most thrilling
adventure as Dracula returns to Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Ballet
Company’s talent is highlighted in this monstrous production combining
this well-known story with dark and towering scenery, period costumes,
dramatic lighting effects and a chilling score performed live by the
Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra.
CLICK HERE for showtime and ticket
Dia de los Muertos Parade
Riverside Theater Haunted History
Marian Center for Non-Profits (MAP)
3211 S. Lake Drive
St. Francis, WI 53235
Ghouls & Spirits Adult
See You in the Neighborhood
I created a new survey that I will be distributing to neighbors asking them about various issues that are important to them, our community and our state. I have started distributing the survey door-to-door throughout our community and will continue doing so for about the next month. To return the survey, simply fold it, tape it, and put a stamp on it.
CLICK HERE to download and print a copy of this survey, which you can return to my office via mail, email or fax upon completion. I will also be putting an electronic copy of this survey on my Web site within the next week.
I look forward to hearing your views on these important issues. Hope to see you in the neighborhood soon!
Know Your Voting Rights
Scott Walker and Republican legislators recently enacted some of the most restrictive ID requirements for voters in the country. While they have been working to silence Wisconsin's voters, I have been working hard to keep Wisconsin's voters informed of their rights. I have created a simple handout answering some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding Wisconsin's new voter restrictions.
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