Chris Larson listening sessions scheduled in April

March 31, 2014

District 7 State Senator Chris Larson will hold listening sessions at Bay View Middle & High School Tuesday, April 22, 5 to 6:30pm in the auditorium, 2571 S. Lenox Street; Thursday, April 24, 5 to 6:30pm at St. Francis Library, 4230 S. Nicholson Ave., St. Francis; and Wednesday, April 30, from 5 to 6:30pm at Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Ave., Cudahy.

Senator Chris Larson advocating increasing use of IID devices to strengthen drunk driver law

December 5, 2011

Source: Senator Chris Larson

December 5, 2011

Like many in Wisconsin, I understand the tragic cost of the drunk driving epidemic that has touched all corners of our state. Too often drunk drivers cause accidents that kill or injure our family, friends and neighbors, shattering lives and tearing the fabric of our communities. We must do more to end these preventable tragedies and safeguard our loved ones.

In the past, the solution has simply been to take away the driver’s licenses of convicted drunk drivers. However, we know this does not do enough to prevent them from driving. DOT estimates for 2010 show that over 32,000 people were convicted of driving drunk in Wisconsin and nearly 32 percent of these were repeat offenders.

It is time that we do more to stop the fatalities, injuries and property loss caused by drunk drivers, which is why Rep. Tony Staskunas (D–West Allis) and I have introduced bipartisan legislation recently to strengthen our state’s drunk driving laws through increased use of ignition interlock devices (IIDs). This imperative legislation strengthens our lax drunk driving laws by stipulating that all first-time convicted drunk drivers have an IID placed in their vehicle.

An IID is a device installed in a vehicle’s dashboard that functions like a breathalyzer – the driver breathes into the affixed tube, their blood alcohol content (BAC) is measured, and their vehicle does not start if their BAC registers above .02. IIDs force offenders to change their behavior by separating drinking from driving. With the installation of IIDs, offenders must learn to make responsible choices such as limiting how much they drink before driving, or finding a designated driver, taking a cab, or using public transit if they choose to drink. This life-saving technology has been proven to reduce drunk driving recidivism by 67 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Legislature expanded the use of IIDs to first-time offenders with blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or higher and all repeat offenders during the 2009-2010 Legislative Session. Unfortunately, over the past year we have learned of cases around the state where first-time OWI offenders successfully plea bargain their BAC level below .15 in an effort to avoid the installation IIDs. The legislation we are introducing is another step in the right direction towards making our streets safer for all Wisconsinites by expanding IID installation to all first-time convicted drunk drivers.

We are now in the holiday season, which tends to be one of the most dangerous times of the year for alcohol-related driving offenses. This should be a time of celebration with family and friends, not tarnished by a tragedy resulting from drunk driving.

There is growing public support for strengthening Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws through greater monitoring, treatment and enforcement. Our family, friends and neighbors cannot afford to wait any longer for stronger drunk driving laws. Wisconsin’s drivers and passengers deserve greater peace-of-mind while on the road.

Respectfully submitted by,
Senator Chris Larson
7th Senate District
3261 S. Herman Street
Milwaukee, WI  53207

State Senator Chris Larson’s committee appointments announced

January 3, 2011

Press Release,  1/3/2011 from Senator Larson’s Office

Sen. Chris Larson (D- Milwaukee) was sworn into office at the State Capitol on Monday, as State Senator

of the 7th Senate District. This will be Sen. Larson’s first term serving in the Wisconsin State Legislature.

“I am honored that the people of the 7th Senate District have chosen me to represent them in the Legislature,” said

Larson. “I look forward to the opportunity to fight for what is in the best interest of our community and important to

our neighbors.”

Sen. Larson will work to not only strengthen Wisconsin’s economy by fostering job creation and tackling the budget

deficit, but also fight to protect the vital services that many Wisconsinites rely on daily. “The constituents of the 7th

Senate District continue to express concern over the state of our economy, but are equally worried about the negative

impact massive cuts could have on services in their communities,” said Larson. “Therefore, we need to ensure that

job creation and addressing the deficit remain top priorities as we go into the next legislative session, while

diligently protecting social services such as education, public transportation and public safety. Cutting these crucial

services further will only prolong the impacts of this recession in our community.”

Sen. Larson also hopes to promote and support existing resources, industries and businesses that make Wisconsin a

wonderful place to live and visit. “Wisconsin has a lot of great things to offer residents and visitors alike, and I feel a

sense of responsibility to encourage even more growth in our tourism industry,” said Larson. “Our state provides its

citizens the opportunity to experience big-city living or life in a small town, is home to gorgeous natural resources

such as trails, parks, lakes and rivers, and offers exciting entertainment and cultural events. Many of these great

features, including Humboldt Park, Bradford Beach, the Urban Ecology Center, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, can be found within our own community. We need to make sure that

residents and potential visitors are aware of these amazing opportunities and encourage them to explore Wisconsin


Sen. Larson has been appointed to serve on the Senate Committee on Education, Senate Committee on Natural

Resources and Environment, Senate Committee on Insurance and Housing, and the Joint Committee on Information

Policy and Technology.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done this session and I am ready to tackle the upcoming challenges on behalf

of the people in my district,” said Larson.

Prior to working in the Legislature, Sen. Larson served as a Milwaukee County Supervisor and small business

manager. He currently resides in Bay View with his wife Jessica.

Chris Larson wins Wisconsin, State Senate, District Nine seat; Richards, Sinicki retain seats

November 3, 2010

Larson , Chris Dem 37,164    57%
Ripp , Jess GOP 27,779                43%
State Senate – District 7 – General
Precincts Reporting – 100%
Sinicki , Christine (i) Dem 10,844    53%
McGartland , Molly GOP 9,502                   47%
State Assembly – District 20 – General
Precincts Reporting – 100%
Richards , Jon (i) Dem 15,122    69%
Burns , Krista GOP 9,502                     31%
State Assembly – District 19 – General
Precincts Reporting – 100%

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Supervisors Dimitrijevic and Larson to host county budget listening session Nov. 3

October 20, 2010


Milwaukee County Supervisors Marina Dimitrijevic and Chris Larson are hosting a Listening Session on November 3 to discuss the 2011 Milwaukee County Budget.

“The County Board is currently working on an extremely difficult budget for 2011, and I need to hear from the residents of the 4th District. The County Executive has proposed mass transit cuts, eliminating the proposed indoor aquatic center at Pulaski Park, and a controversial wage and benefit dream plan that creates a $25 million budget hole. This irresponsible way of budgeting endangers all County programs and services by not having a truthful budget discussion. This is likely the worst budget in Milwaukee County’s history,” Supervisor Dimitrijevic said. “There are no easy solutions. I need to hear from my neighbors to make effective decisions as we move through this budget process. Supervisors Larson and I believe in meeting directly with our constituents to have an honest, community conversation about Milwaukee County’s fiscal situation and the 2011 budget.”

“I look forward to hearing from constituents on what their thoughts are on the 2011 County Budget,” Supervisor Larson added. “With multi-million dollar deficits built in to this budget by the County Executive, there are tough decisions ahead concerning our parks, transit, public safety, courts, the airport, and every aspect of County government. It’s important to hear from everyone before I vote.”

Who: Supervisors Marina Dimitrijevic and Chris Larson

What: Listening Session on 2011 County Budget

When: Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Where: South Shore Park Pavilion, 2900 S. Shore Drive, Milwaukee, WI

Budget priorities for 2011

October 1, 2010

With the 2011 county budget before us, it is crucial that your voice be heard on the things that matter most to you. If you have an opinion, please let me know so we can have the most impact before 2011 starts.

Here are my budget priorities.

Honest staffing in all departments: I have a resolution moving forward in our Parks Committee that will ensure that all staffing levels are set at realistic levels. It has become a common trick by the administration to under-staff departments, force those who remain to work overtime, then use the additional funds to claim a surplus. While this may work well on paper, it has led to chronic problems with the quality of work done and deferred maintenance throughout the county.

Supporting transit and job access: We have seen too many cuts to our bus system, and it’s time to reverse this trend. Over the last eight years, we have seen a 20 percent reduction in routes, a 50 percent increase in fares, and over 40,000 jobs become inaccessible. I will not only vote against any reductions in service or cutting of routes, but I will also continue to work to restore service and continue the push for dedicated funding.

Protecting the long-term investments in Milwaukee County: Any dollars generated from land sales should go toward a trust instead of for one-time operating costs. It is a scary situation when the county could sell parkland held for 100 years, and there is nothing preventing that money from being used to plug a temporary budget hole.

The budget process concludes in early November. Last year, I wrote more amendments to the budget than any other supervisor. I look forward to working again to represent your interests in making sure we have an honest, sustainable budget for our community.

Chris Larson is supervisor of Milwaukee County’s 14th District, which encompasses southern parts of Bay View, the airport, and other parts of Milwaukee’s southeast side. He can be reached at or (414) 278-4252.

Plale/Larson debate Sept. 2 in Humboldt Park

August 29, 2010

The Bay View Neighborhood Association will host a debate between the Democratic candidates for Wisconsin’s Seventh State Senate District, incumbent Senator Jeff Plale and challenger and local County Supervisor Chris Larson.

The debate is Thursday, Sept. 2 at 7pm at the Humboldt Park Pavilion, 3000 S. Howell Ave. Open to the public, the debate will be moderated by Bob Schneider, BVNA president. Those in attendance will be encouraged to submit questions for the candidates.

Transit update

August 1, 2010

Recently, the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) has received some good news and some bad news.

The good news: riding the bus is getting even more eco-friendly. This month, we will start adding 90 new Clean Diesel Near-Zero Emission vehicles. Half of the payment for the new fleet comes from stimulus dollars the County Board and I fought to secure. Next year, we will add 35 more new buses. These state-of-the-art buses were badly needed due to the 33-percent increase in bus breakdowns from 2008. Manufactured by New Flyer, they are equipped with the Cummins After Treatment System, which features several environmental benefits including the reduction of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, achievement of near-zero emissions, and industry-best fuel economy. With a flashier exterior and brighter interior, they’re also a lot cooler looking than the old models. If you haven’t spotted one rolling down the street yet, you’ll see what I mean soon enough.

The bad news: Two-thirds of our fleet will still be obsolete, and the current draft of MCTS’s budget for 2011 cuts all-night service, weekend service, and freeway flyers. Plus, the budget includes another fare hike of 25 cents each way, continuing the downward death spiral MCTS has found itself in over the last eight years. If Scott Walker presents his budget next month as is, we will see over 100,000 jobs become inaccessible. The number is already at over 40,000 due to the 20-percent reduction in recent years and most recently Route 8, which had served Quad Graphics employees before it was cut. Even with the new buses, MCTS has fallen far short of the funding needed to run a healthy system. This is largely due to improper budgeting and the fact that Milwaukee County is the last major system in the nation without a dedicated funding source, such as a dedicated sales tax.

Stay tuned on the future of transit in Milwaukee County. Rising gas prices, environmental concerns, and access to jobs are all reasons public transportation is a vital service to our community.

Chris Larson is supervisor of Milwaukee County’s 14th District, which encompasses southern parts of Bay View, the airport, and other parts of Milwaukee’s southeast side. He can be reached at or (414) 278-4252.

Promoting the aerotropolis

July 1, 2010

By Chris Larson, District 14 County Supervisor

As promised at the beginning of the year, this month I will be introducing legislation to further advance economic development around the Mitchell Airport.

Upon passage, Milwaukee County will join seven other municipalities to form a nonprofit organization that will be able to better market the unique opportunities provided by Milwaukee’s low-cost airport, low traffic, and low shipping costs.

Milwaukee has a great opportunity to show off our stark contrast to Chicago’s higher cost of doing business combined with its long shipping delays by road and air. If we can work successfully together as a region, the surge of new airlines offering low fares as they fight to get market dominance at Mitchell Airport will only be a precursor to new companies moving here to take advantage of our growing shipping industry.

Community Gardens

The community gardens on Sixth Street opened up 80 plots last month at Sixth and Howard. I’m proud my legislation passed and to see this county land being put to good use after it has been vacant and unused for decades. UW-Extension, the Garden District Neighborhood Association, Alderman Witkowski, Simon Landscaping, and the neighbors worked together to get this started. If it is a success, we plan on expanding even more plots next year to put more land to good use. If you’re interested in getting a plot for next spring, please contact my office.

Upcoming Events

In addition to Fourth of July, Frolics, and Chill on the Hill, there are a couple of other great events coming up in our parks.

On Saturday, July 3, Tour de Fat will be holding a day-long event at Humboldt Park from 9am to 4pm. A bicycle parade will leave in the morning to ride around Bay View, returning to the park for festivities and a beer garden. The event is family-friendly and costumes are encouraged. The $5 suggested donation will go to the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, July 27, the Park People will be doing the first ever Run for the Parks, a 5k run through Humboldt Park at 5:30pm. The run proceeds will support renovations at the Humboldt Park Band Shell. Afterward, you can stick around for Chill on the Hill. Sign up or get more info at

Chris Larson is supervisor of Milwaukee County’s 14th District, which encompasses southern parts of Bay View, the airport, and other parts of Milwaukee’s southeast side. He can be reached at or (414) 278-4252.

Big improvements in Humboldt Park Pavilion

June 2, 2010

By Chris Larson, District 14 County Supervisor

For years, deferred maintenance has been plaguing our park system. When the state failed to enact the new dedicated sales tax, it was obvious that some other solution would have to be found if we were going to renovate Humboldt Park Pavilion.

For months, I discussed and worked with several other leaders in Bay View and I’m proud to report that big changes are in the works.

Two months ago, I sat down with representatives from Bay View High School, Humboldt Park Watch, Bay View Neighborhood Association, and Milwaukee County Parks to figure out what could be completed quickly. The goal was originally to get the Humboldt Band Shell bathrooms renovated. We learned that there wasn’t enough money for this project this time around, so we’ll have to wait a year or two.

In the meantime, we are getting started on improvements to the pavilion. The Parks Department has helped with a power washing and some scrubbing. After that, a good coat of paint at the entrance and in the hallways applied by volunteers and students from Bay View High made a real impact.

The two big projects you’ll next notice are the kitchen being renovated and some big improvements in the bathrooms. These are being carried out through the hard work of the students at Bay View High School and through the generous donation of materials from Home Depot. The changes are many, and significant, so be sure to stop in and see them for yourself this summer.

Many thanks go out to our neighbors who really made this happen: Teri Crain and Dale Nook of BVNA, Julie Zettel of Humboldt Park Watch, and Mark Bajurny and Dan Hennessey of Bay View High. With their dedication and the generosity of Home Depot, we’ll have a much better pavilion soon.

To book your next event at Humboldt Park Pavilion, call (414) 257-8005.

In other news, community gardens are available for rental north of Howard Avenue and east of Sixth Street. There are only a few plots left so please book yours today by contacting UW-Extension at (414) 256-4606. If you don’t get in this year, you can always book for next season.

Chris Larson is supervisor of Milwaukee County’s 14th District, which encompasses southern parts of Bay View, the airport, and other parts of Milwaukee’s southeast side. He can be reached at or (414) 278-4252.

Mass transit sesquicentennial

May 1, 2010

By Chris Larson, District 14 County Supervisor

On May 30, 1860, River & Lake Shore City Railway Company operated the first horse-drawn streetcar in Milwaukee along a single track on N. Water Street from Erie to E. Juneau Street-at five cents a ride. In May 2010, Milwaukee County kicks off six months celebrating mass transit as Milwaukee’s economic backbone for 150 years.

On Friday, May 7, rides on Route 15 will be free all day in honor of the first transit route, which operated a portion of the current route. Northwestern Mutual is sponsoring the rides, which last from when the bus pulls out in the morning until the last ride after 1am.

Across the county, we will celebrate Milwaukee’s oldest line by highlighting 15 landmark stops on Route 15. The “15 on the 15” will be done in coordination with MCTS, neighborhood groups, and several other supervisors to celebrate this vital route in our transit system. Last year, Route 15 provided 7,858 rides each weekday to people through the heart of Bay View on a daily basis.

“The 15 on the 15”

  1. Bayshore Town Center
  2. Whitefish Bay Silver Spring shopping district
  3. Estabrook Park
  4. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  5. Milwaukee’s Central Library
  6. Milwaukee City Hall
  7. Historic Third Ward
  8. Walker’s Point neighborhood
  9. Allen Bradley clock tower
  10. Kinnickinnic business district
  11. Church of the Immaculate Conception
  12. Bay View neighborhood
  13. Bucyrus International’s Heritage Building
  14. Cudahy Historical Society Train Depot and Immigrant Park
  15. Grant Park

We will be highlighting the great shops of Bay View as well as areas from Grant Park to Bayshore with many stops in between. We will have the full list of the 15 stops available at our office as well as at cafes around Bay View. There will also be a celebration at the Downtown Transit Center, 909 E. Michigan St., at 1pm on May 7.

Our transit system gets people to and from work; provides rides to people home from bars; gets people to and from shopping locations; and moves students and young professionals who may not want the hassle and stress of parking, car insurance, permits, tickets, etc. Our buses now offer bike racks, monthly passes, and will next year go even more “green” with paperless smart cards and cleaner buses. If you haven’t ridden the bus lately, May 7 is a great chance to try it for free.

Chris Larson is supervisor of Milwaukee County’s 14th District, which encompasses southern parts of Bay View, the airport, and other parts of Milwaukee’s southeast side. He can be reached at or (414) 278-4252.

Why it’s only going to get worse

April 1, 2010

By Chris Larson, District 14 County Supervisor

From the first moments of this year, County Executive Scott Walker’s 2010 budget put us in a deficit. Because of this deficit, a county ordinance allows for the executive to do anything he chooses in the name of “corrective action.” With this provision in hand, Walker unilaterally laid off 75 county workers last month, just one day after he announced an additional 10 furlough days for some employees (for a total of 22 days).

These new cuts, combined with the furloughs already in the budget, will affect every service that the county provides: parks will not be maintained, deep-well and wading pools will be closed, sheriff’s deputies will be furloughed, the courts will reduce their caseload, and the airport will suffer service cuts. The cuts at Mitchell Airport are the most interesting.

By every indication available, business at the airport has been booming. We have three major airlines competing for business, record passenger counts, and a flush budget. The increase in usage comes despite a challenging economy and decreases in passengers experienced by airports nationwide. If anything, more help is needed at the airport to keep up. Yet, the county executive announced 10 airport layoffs. What’s worse is that these layoffs won’t save you or the county a dime. Federal Aviation Administration regulations forbid our airport from using local tax dollars. Mitchell International is entirely funded by user fees from airlines and passengers.

The 10 employees fired lost their jobs without justification. Now, it’s more likely that your call to complain about airplane noise will not be answered and no action will be taken.

What could have been done to prevent this? Back in September during budget deliberations, we could have had an honest discussion about the labor contracts that had been negotiated over the previous 18 months. Instead, all of it was scrapped and traded in for crossing our fingers and hoping things worked out with the economy. Obviously, this hasn’t happened. The only option left now for Walker is to continue to cut the services that you rely on the county to provide.

Chris Larson is supervisor of Milwaukee County’s 14th District, which encompasses southern parts of Bay View, the airport, and other parts of Milwaukee’s southeast side. He can be reached at or (414) 278-4252.

Next Page »