For six generations my family has called Racine home. Racine has shaped who I am.
It is from the shores of Racine I first saw Lake Michigan. It was the first thing I remember seeing that was bigger than my childhood imagination: two blue ribbons of water and sky that seemed to have no end.
I went to school in Racine. Public schools - where I learned not only math, English and science, but also learned how to appreciate diversity - a diversity from which many folks outside of Racine simply do not get to benefit.
Racine is a place that taught me about innovation. Our history is built on ideas that were tested and applied, again and again, until we became one of the most robust manufacturing cities in America.
And of course, it is from Racine I first learned the value of hard work; those here in Racine people are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. And when we do that work, people should be paid a living wage so workers and their families can make it into the middle class.
My wife and I decided to raise our family here because of the great opportunities I had growing up in Racine.
And, as Rebecca and I watch our kids grow up, we think about the kind of city we want for them. It is the same kind of city you want for your children; and your parents wanted for you.
It is a city where we can be happy, healthy, and safe. It is a place that was built by and still welcomes people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. It is a community where your children can attend great public schools that empower them to reach their God-given potential. It is a place that innovates for the future, so that one day when they have families, Racine is still a city they can thrive.
This is our hope for our family and every family in Racine.