Lawmaker refuses to get haircut until bill for deaf community is passed

Lawmaker Jonathan Brostoff isn’t cutting his hair until he gets his bill passed. (Photo: Facebook/Rep.Brostoff)
Lawmaker Jonathan Brostoff isn’t cutting his hair until he gets his bill passed. (Photo: Facebook/Rep.Brostoff)

A Wisconsin lawmaker is making a statement with a bold hairdo, as he awaits the passage of a bill intended to improve the lives of the deaf community.

Assembly Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, D-Wis., from Milwaukee, used to be known for his short, buzzed hair. But now he’s making a name for himself as the Bob Ross of the Wisconsin State Legislature, after refusing to cut his dark brown mane for the past year. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brostoff’s haircut strike is in connection to a bill regarding the need for sign-language interpreters, which he co-authored when he was first elected to the Assembly in 2014. That bill has yet to make it up to the Senate, and the politician told community members that he won’t cut his hair until it does.

“I said, ‘Look, I’m not cutting my hair until we get this done,'” Brostoff told the Wisconsin outlet about his promise to the deaf community. “‘Every time you see me, it’s a visual indicator that we’re going to keep working on this. And for myself, it’s a daily reminder that I’m not going to forget this.'”

The bill addresses multiple aspects where accessibility for the deaf can be improved, which include addressing a shortage of sign-language interpreters, cracking down on those who practice illegally, and recognizing the need to provide high-quality sign language services in medical and legal settings.

Brostoff didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, he told the Journal Sentinel that the personal connection he has to the cause is a result of working as an intern for Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, alongside two deaf interns.

Aside from his commitment to the cause, he also admitted that he’s getting used to his luxuriant coif, since it hasn’t been cut since last February. He does admit that it definitely has its downside.

“It takes longer to dry. I can’t just hop out of the shower and run to my stuff,” he said. “It does actually affect my peripheral vision sometimes.”

Now, Brostoff is hopeful that the bill will be passed in the next couple of months and that he’ll be able to throw a celebration in honor of his overdue haircut.

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