Contact: Aaron Collins, 608-266-2254

MADISON – Today Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) welcomed seven new Democratic State Representatives to the Wisconsin State Assembly – Representatives Marisabel Cabrera, Jodi Emerson, Staush Gruszynski, Kalan Haywood, LaKeshia Myers, Shelia Stubbs, and Robyn Vining.

“Each legislative session, incoming members bring a renewed energy to the State Assembly. The seven newly sworn-in Assembly Democrats bring a variety of experiences, represent different areas of Wisconsin, and offer wide-ranging policy expertise,” Rep. Hintz stated. “There are exciting things happening in our caucus, including many ‘firsts’. Representative Shelia Stubbs is the first African American to represent Dane County. Representative Kalan Haywood is the youngest state representative in Wisconsin. And I am proud to state that our caucus has, finally, achieved gender parity.”

“These incoming members represent a new generation of progressive leadership and the face of the Democratic Party moving forward. I have confidence that they will serve their districts well by focusing on the issues that matter: affordable health care, a commitment to public education, and fixing our transportation infrastructure.

“I congratulate each one of these outstanding individuals on beginning this exciting chapter.”

Brief bios of the seven new legislators being sworn in today:

Representative Marisabel Cabrera (9th Assembly District): Born and raised in Milwaukee’s south side, Representative Cabrera remembers her parents constantly emphasizing that the surest way out of poverty is through a good education. Marisabel says she owes all of her success to the quality education she received at public schools. Today, Cabrera is a local entrepreneur, respected immigration attorney, director on the board of Wisconsin’s oldest Latino non-profit organization (Centro Hispano Milwaukee), mayoral appointee to the Fire and Police Commission, elected chairwoman of the Latino Caucus for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and Executive Committee member of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County (DPMC).

Representative Jodi Emerson (91st Assembly District): Representative Emerson got into state politics to fight for affordable and accessible healthcare, encourage the growth of our economy and jobs, restore funding to our education system, work to address social justice issues, and protect our environment. Emerson has played an important role in the progress that Wisconsin has made in the fight against human trafficking. She has successfully worked on several bills that strengthen our laws to protect victims of human trafficking. Representative Emerson will be a strong voice for social justice in the Chippewa Valley and around the state.

Representative Kalan Haywood (16th Assembly District): Representative Haywood was born, raised, and educated in the 16th Assembly District. Haywood served as Milwaukee’s Youth Council President from 2015-2017. He also worked with the City of Milwaukee’s Community Development Block Grant Office where he led the process that allocated funding for programs that focused on youth employment and education. Currently he is the Chair of the Common Council’s Restorative Justice Initiative Advisory Board where he works closely with the Mayor’s Office, the City of Milwaukee’s Police Department, and the Municipal Court to create a Youth Court charged with reducing recidivism, encouraging positive behavior, and empowering young people.

Representative Staush Gruszynski (90th Assembly District):  Representative Gruszynski resides in Green Bay with his wife Colleen and daughter Maggie. He serves on the Brown County Board of Supervisors and over the last eight years, has been employed with Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Wisconsin’s natural resources. Besides serving as an elected official, he has been involved in many civic organizations and causes. He’s currently the President of Green Bay Trout Unlimited and has served on the board of directors for the last six years. He also has been a delegate and chair for Brown County on the Wisconsin Conservation Congress for three terms.

Representative LaKeshia Myers (12th Assembly District): Dr. LaKeshia N. Myers has a strong background in education, most recently with the Milwaukee Public School District. She has served as a School Support Coach and modeling instructional leadership for the district. Previously, Representative Myers served as an Education Director for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.  In this post, she served as the administrator of the Oakview School and as the chief education consultant to the warden at Oakhill Correctional Institution.  A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, Dr. Myers is a 2002 graduate of Rufus King International Baccalaureate High School, a 2006 graduate of Alcorn State University (B.A. in Political Science), a 2009 graduate of Strayer University, (Master of Education), and a 2016 graduate of Argosy University (Doctor of Education).

Representative Shelia Stubbs (77th Assembly District): Representative Stubbs is an advocate, a neighborhood organizer, and a long-time local elected official. Stubbs has helped enact criminal justice reform, created programs to involve young people in social change, championed initiatives to clean up Madison’s lakes and streams, fought for safer neighborhoods where all children thrive, increased funding for services for seniors and people with disabilities, worked to elect strong progressive candidates to office, and collaborated to bring expertise from the UW into the broader community.  A former probation and parole officer, Stubbs earned undergraduate degrees from Tougaloo College (Mississippi) and Mt. Senario College (Ladysmith, WI) and has a MS from Cardinal Stritch University. She and her husband, Bishop Godfrey Stubbs, are the proud parents of a daughter, Aquila.

Representative Robyn Vining (14th Assembly District): Representative Vining is a highly successful entrepreneur and small business owner. She has developed a reputation as one of the most in-demand photographers in Milwaukee. She recently launched Folio MKE – a collaborative workspace/community centered on supporting young female entrepreneurs and coaching them to use their businesses to profit both themselves and the community. Raised by a dedicated public school teacher and a world-class financial planner, Robyn was raised to value a compassionate and pragmatic approach to life.

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