August 1, 2013
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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.
Location: St. Francis
Soulstice Theatre is proud to present the musical version of the Emmy
Award-winning 1970s Saturday morning cartoon series by George Newall and
Tom Yohe. Schoolhouse Rock! taught history, grammar, math,
science, and politics through clever, catchy songs. Ticket prices are
$20 for adults, $18 for students/seniors, and $12 for children under 10.
They are available online or at the door.
CLICK HERE or call (414) 481-2800 for more information or to
Description: Stop by this community market offering fresh produce from local farmers. The market runs each Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the area located just south of S. 6th Street and W. Howard Avenue. CLICK HERE for more information.
This annual event will feature professional stand up, improvisation, and
sketch comedy from across the country.
CLICK HERE or call (414) 278-0765 for more information.
Milwaukee Air and
Description: This year's show features the return of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, who are celebrating their 60th anniversary. Other exciting military acts include U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, 128th Air Refueling Wing KC-135, C-130 Hercules, AV-8B Sea Harrier, and others. Civilian acts include the Geico Aerial Skytypers T-6 Team, the Red Bull Aerobatic Helicopter, Firebirds X-Treme Aerobatic Team with Bill Stein, AeroStars Aerobatic Team, Michael Goulian Airshows, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University featuring Matt Champman, and many more. As Wisconsin's number one air show, the Milwaukee Air & Water Show provides a wonderful source of entertainment for the entire family. CLICK HERE for more information.
Since 1982, African World Festival has been sharing the culture and
heritage of all people of African descent. The festival includes a
variety of ethnic food, shops around the marketplace, and activities for
children. This year's entertainment features Immortal, Joe Jordan, Angie
Stone, Charlie Wilson, Willie Clayton, Sir Charles Jones, Taj Weeks,
James Fortune, and more. Admission is $12 in advance and $17 at the
CLICK HERE for more information.
Visions on the Lake
"Visions on the Lake" is a free, one-day community event that will
showcase local jazz musicians at the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage
at Henry Maier Festival Park. Created in partnership between Milwaukee
World Festival, Inc. and Milwaukee Jazz Vision, this afternoon event
will give music fans the opportunity to kick back, relax, and enjoy the
sounds of live jazz along the shores of Lake Michigan. Food and
beverages will be available for purchase from select vendors. Milwaukee
Jazz Vision is an organization of business and music industry
professionals, musicians, teachers, students, and listeners working
together with the goal of advancing jazz music in the Greater
CLICK HERE for more information.
The Florentine Opera: Live at Peck Pavilion
Tues., August 13 at
The Florentine Opera Company reflects the highest musical and theatrical
standards, while supporting community and educational programs. As a
leader in Wisconsin's art community and the nation's sixth oldest opera
company, the Florentine Opera seeks to establish a significant presence
in the cultural, educational and civic life of the state of Wisconsin
and beyond. Tickets for this event playing at the Peck Pavilion start at
CLICK HERE for more information.
Peck Pavilion (MAP)
Celebrate the 33rd birthday of Irish Fest. Gaelic poetry readings,
theater events, historical displays, book sales, entertainment, and more
will be featured. More than 100 acts on 16 stages will be performing
such as Sprag Session, Tallymore, Makem & Spain Brothers, Cassie &
Maggie MacDonald, and Finbar MacCarthy. Contemporary groups such as Red
Hot Chili Pipers, Tom Sweeney, and Gaelic Storm will also be performing.
Admission is $5 on Thursday and from 4 until 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
Otherwise admission is $17 for adults, $12 for seniors (60 or over), and
free for children 12 years or younger.
CLICK HERE or call (414) 273-3378 for more information.
Join me and other community members
this weekend at the one year commemoration of the shooting at the Sikh
Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. I will be participating in their
run/walk and hope to see you there. In addition to providing information
about this event, this week's newsletter discusses the recent Buy Local,
Buy Wisconsin fund raid, the sale of state property, changes at WEDC,
and ALEC resuming its activities. Continue reading for more about these
and other important community and state issues.
|Join Me at Sikh Temple Commemoration|
On August 5, 2012, our community's
sense of safety was devastated by violence when a lone gunman entered
the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek and opened fire. As we
approach the one year anniversary of this tragedy, our community
continues to show its ability to endure even the most tragic of
circumstances and to push forward together with a new closeness and
unification among diverse communities. In order to both remember those
lost on August 5, 2012, and to celebrate how our community has come
together, the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek will be holding the
first annual Oak Creek Sikh Memorial Commemoration, which will begin on
Friday, August 2 and run through Monday, August 5, 2013.
Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Fund Raid
In the past two budgets, Governor
Walker has attempted to eliminate the popular Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin
program. In each of these cases, legislative Republicans have swooped in
to save this successful, proven program in order to receive praise from
Wisconsinites. Little did the public know that this act was all for
Click here for more information about buying local from the Department
of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
Start the Bidding at $1 for Donors
A provision contained in the recently
enacted Republican budget allows the Department of Administration, with
marginal Building Commission oversight, to sell or lease our state
property without a competitive bidding process. The definition of state property is broad and encompasses UW
dorms, state power plants, state prisons, and even state highways.
Recently, it has been brought to light that this provision may have been added to reward a specific Republican donor. According to a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, one of Wisconsin's largest real estate developers, contacted Governor Walker outlining a number of state buildings he wanted to buy. Included among the properties are the State Crime Lab, the main office building for the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Administration building, which the developer said could be leased back to the state afterwards. Campaign finance records maintained by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign show that the person seeking to buy state property has made political contributions of about $85,000 to Governor Walker and other conservative candidates.
It makes sense that developers
would be interested in such a business venture as they would likely make a
considerable amount of money at the expense of taxpayers. This can be
seen first-hand in Arizona, where Governor Jan Brewer and the
Republican-controlled Legislature sold the state's Capitol building for
$81 million and then rented the building from its private owner. In
2012, Brewer reversed course asking the Legislature for $105 million to
buy it back after realizing that they were on the losing end of the
deal. This reckless decision would end up costing Arizona taxpayers well
over $24 million. If we continue down the same path as Arizona, we may
find ourselves in a similar position--paying rent on the Wisconsin
Capitol building to wealthy political donors.
Small Steps at WEDC
Just last week, members of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Board of Directors adopted a common sense proposal to require private-sector level accountability at WEDC by authorizing the Board to hire and fire top WEDC officials. The same day the WEDC Board approved this measure, the governor finally signed into law just one of the many changes Democrats have called for to make WEDC more transparent and accountable. The law the governor signed, sponsored by Senate and Assembly Democrats, requires the WEDC Board members and staff to notify counsel if a conflict of interest arises with a company bidding, negotiating, or entering into business with WEDC. While these efforts were a good first step, they are not enough to fix the troubled agency.
A public-private entity, funded by Wisconsin taxpayers and tasked solely with fostering private-sector job growth, WEDC has been wrought with scandal from inception. From losing track of taxpayer-funded loans to wasting taxpayer dollars on Badger Football tickets, WEDC has failed Wisconsin's middle-class families. Despite the continuous and embarrassing problems plaguing WEDC, Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Reed Hall, was given a roughly 50% raise earlier this year as his salary increased from $120,000 to $185,000.
When WEDC was first created, Senate
Democrats introduced many amendments to put common sense oversight and
ethics standards in place to safeguard Wisconsin taxpayer dollars.
Unfortunately, Republicans opted to pursue changes at WEDC that only
inches Wisconsin forward in the fight to turn our economy around, when
we could be making leaps and bounds with the 'Middle-Class Jobs Now'
package that Democrats presented in January. Senate Republicans opted to
forgo major changes at WEDC and are instead focused on divisive social
issues that do nothing to help Wisconsin's working, middle-class
ALEC Still Operating in the Shadows
On August 7 through August 9, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will be holding a conference in Chicago marking its 40th anniversary.
Founded in 1973, ALEC is a national association that provides model legislation to dues-paying member legislators for introduction in their home states. ALEC pursues an extreme agenda, favoring corporate power and privatization over the interests of individuals. Its efforts are largely bankrolled by Tea Party conservative foundations and member corporations--corporations that reap the benefits of ALEC's initiatives.
During its 40 years, ALEC has long held undue influence in Wisconsin politics. Former Governor Tommy Thompson was significantly involved with ALEC, and his school voucher program is indicative of the organization's interests and influence. In fact, ALEC officials dubbed Wisconsin a testing ground for their ideological pursuits. However, little can compare to the impact ALEC has had in Wisconsin over the past couple of years. A watershed of special interest and anti-democratic legislation has been unleashed on the state by ALEC. The nonpartisan Center for Media and Democracy identified about 20 ALEC proposals introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature during the previous legislative session, including ALEC influences in the concealed carry and voter suppression acts, and legislative attacks on collective bargaining. All this was accomplished without the widespread knowledge of Wisconsin citizens.
ALEC has recently come under fire for efforts to help legislators serving as ALEC coordinators evade Wisconsin's Open Records Law, in an effort to keep their legislative pursuits secret from the public. Unfortunately, recent efforts to increase accountability and transparency were rejected by legislative Republicans. During the previous legislative session, Mark Pocan and I introduced the ALEC Accountability Act, which aimed to decrease the influence of ALEC and like organizations that draft and advocate for model legislation. In essence, the ALEC Accountability Act would have ensured that organizations that function similar to lobby groups are subjected to the same regulations as actual registered lobby groups. Citizens have the right to know the outside influences on their Legislature, and this bill would have made that possible.
Under this proposed law, organizations that pay for lawmakers' attendance at conferences would have been required to disclose the recipients of their funds as well as their corporate and individual backers. Additionally, the act would have prevented state office accounts from paying for membership in organizations like ALEC. Unfortunately, such legislation was blocked by legislative Republicans. As a result of this and their failure to comply with existing Open Records Laws, Wisconsinites will remain in the dark on what is discussed at the upcoming ALEC convention, and how the extreme, model proposals pursued will affect us when they reach the state of Wisconsin.
|Wisconsin State Fair is Here|
Today marks the first day of the 162nd
Wisconsin State Fair. About 900,000 attendees from across the state will
flock to Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis where many of the great
things Wisconsin has to offer are put on display over the course of 11
days. For over 160 years, the State Fair has been the place for
individuals of every age and walk of life to come together and share in
some of Wisconsin's best food and family-friendly entertainment.
I often have neighbors contact me
looking for my perspective on various local and state issues. I very
much appreciate our neighbors' questions and want to dedicate a portion
of my newsletter to common questions that I hear to maintain an open
dialogue. Please continue reading for this week's question.
The "Find My iPhone" app is recommended for iPhone users. If you misplace your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, or if your device is stolen, the app will let you use another iOS device to find it and protect your data. Simply install this free app on another iOS device, open it, and sign in with your Apple ID. Find My iPhone will help you locate your missing device on a map, play a sound, display a message, remotely lock your device, or erase all the data on it.
Click here for more information about this app.
If your phone is stolen and attempts to track the phone are unsuccessful, these apps also offer a last resort "kill switch." Using this tool will shut down the phone and get rid of all your sensitive information on the device.
Should you have your phone or another electronic device stolen, feel free to contact the non-emergency number for your local police department. Here are the non-emergency numbers for our community:
Cudahy: (414) 769-2260
Franklin: (414) 425-7500
Milwaukee: (414) 933-4444
Oak Creek: (414) 762-8200
South Milwaukee: (414) 768-8060
St. Francis: (414) 481-2232
Did You Know...?
You may be aware that the 2013 Wisconsin State Fair has begun. But did you know that 89% of fairgoers reside in Wisconsin with 50% of those living in the Metro Milwaukee area?
The biggest draw at the fair is likely the food. According to recent statistics, the fair saw:
|Packers Prepare for 93rd Season|
On July 26, our Green Bay Packers
began training camp at St. Norbert's College in De Pere for the 56th
consecutive summer. This 2013 season marks the Packers 93rd season in
the NFL and eighth under head coach Mike McCarthy. As always, fans are
welcome to watch our beloved Packers, and admission is free. Tuesday,
August 27 will be the last day for fans to attend these practices.
The Packers are coming off an
excellent 2012 season. Aaron Rodgers played exceptionally well, throwing
for 4,295 yards and 39 touchdowns. He also led the league for the second
year in passer rating. The Packers finished the regular season with an
We lost a few good players at the end of the 2012 season. Donald Driver,
the Packers all time receiving yard record holder retired after his 14th
season with the team. Additionally, Greg Jennings, a powerful wide
receiver, and Desmond Bishop, an inside tackle, will be playing for the
Minnesota Vikings in the upcoming season.
While there are multiple players that will be missed, the Packers had another great draft this year, bringing in exciting, new players. In 2012, the Packers used all but two of their draft picks on defensive players, but this season they were able to draft multiple talented players for both the offense and defense. In the first round, the Packers drafted Datone Jones, a defensive end who played at the University of California--Los Angeles. Then, in the second round, Eddie Lacy, a running back that played for Alabama was drafted. Because of these picks, the team should be equipped to play aggressively on both sides of the ball during the 2013 season. This year's team has all the necessary components to win the franchise's fifth Super Bowl and 14th Championship. Go, Pack, go!
Take the 2013-2014 Neighborhood Survey
I created a survey for the 2013-2014
Legislative Session asking about various issues that are important to
our community and our state. The input of neighbors is greatly
appreciated. My staff and I will be working hard to deliver as many
surveys door to door as possible before winter arrives. In addition, I
have also made this survey available online.
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.
Milwaukee County Free Days
The Milwaukee area is home to a
plethora of museums, some of which can even be visited free of charge.
Check out our local museums this summer on their specified Milwaukee
County free days to really take in the culture our community has to
offer. Below is a list of participating museums:
Click here or call (414) 278-2702 for more information.
*Free the first Thursday of every
month (includes all special exhibits)
Mitchell Park Horticultural
*Free every Monday from 9 a.m. until Noon (excludes major holidays)
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