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Make Things Better Right Now

Updated: Jan 8

Things can get better right now if we choose to make it so. I’m not talking about immediate sweeping change. I’m talking about deciding to focus on our shared goals and our shared humanity. I’m talking about respect and cooperation and hard work. Let’s put our special interests aside for the time being and concentrate on our shared interests as the people of Wisconsin.

 

Easily said, but now what?

 

I woke up on the morning of Wednesday, November 9, 2016, to the news that Donald Trump won the election. I spent the entire Trump administration trying to make sense of what happened and trying to understand the course we were taking in politics and across society. On January 6, 2021, I watched the real-time coverage of the attack on the U.S. Capitol in fear and amazement puzzled by what was happening and trying to understand. As the months and years have unfolded since that day so many of us have been asking questions, pointing fingers and stating our positions to defend our territory and dismantle the defenses of those maintaining the opposing view.

 

While we have been so very busy positioning and countering, we have been neglecting connections with those we have assigned to the category of “other” and have been losing our identities as neighbors.


This troubles me as much, if not more, than the social and political issues of a grander scale. The difference is, I have some power here. I can make the decision to be aware, to be welcoming and to be a neighbor.

 

When I want to know, I read. I read the internet, and that helps when I’m standing in line or waiting for an appointment, but the all that 30-second wisdom hasn’t been super helpful. I have found two books that have helped me shape a plan. First, I read I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times. Then I read, Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Politics and Why Our Future Depends on It.

 

And now I’m here. I want to be your candidate. I want the privilege of working with you, neighbor. I want the privilege of working with folks I don’t necessarily agree with. And I want the privilege of building solutions that we can all live with. Let’s start by recognizing what we have in common and move on to making things better.

January 3, 2024

 

Guzmán, Mónica. I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times. BenBella Books, Inc., 2022.


Maxmin, Chloe. Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Rural Politics and Why Our Future Depends on It. Beacon Press, 2023.

 

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