Every 4th of July, between parades and fireworks, I almost always find myself thinking about what it means to be an American.
History books teach us a lot about our nation’s founding, that the brave men and women who fought for our independence did so not out of hate, but out of a fierce love for their people. Our founding mothers and fathers wanted more than anything the chance to lead their communities with the values of their new nation: freedom, independence, and a fair shot for everyone to make their own future.
Of course, our nation hasn’t always been on the right side of history. It took centuries for our nation’s leaders to enshrine into law equality and justice for all people. And we’re still trying to make that reality as well as trying to make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone.
242 years later, we still have a lot of work to do. I can’t remember a time in my life when our nation was so divided and faced so much turmoil.
Here in Wisconsin, families are hurting. Far too many are living paycheck to paycheck, earning wages far below what they deserve. They see their loved ones struggle with addiction while health care costs continue to soar. Parents worry over their children whose schools can barely keep the lights on. Some families stay awake at night knowing their legal status may one day turn their entire life upside down.