I was born in Milwaukee, grew up in Wauwatosa. Like many of my generation, I went off to college, came back to Wisconsin, went off again. I have lived in Boulder CO, Montreal, and then the D.C. area for 24 years. Always, always, I kept coming back - for baseball games, to visit my parents, for family reunions, to enjoy my hometown, to get fed from the geography of Wisconsin.
My state, my city, has problems. They are deep-seated and rooted in a kind of rugged individualism that is no longer appropriate for the urgent times in which we live. Seems to me that we are headed into a backwater now. 'Open for business' is a slogan that veils a troubling agenda, one nurturing an anti-solidarity, a 'me for myself only' ethics, a politics of fear and resentment.
Our problems will not be addressed in a meaningful way by this anti-spirit.
The world is changing all around us - ecologically, socially, demographically, economically, culturally. We can continue to fight change and hope for some reversion to a past that no longer exists, or we can be courageous and carve out new paths for this region.
I love my city and state. I come from ancestors that helped build it, that helped forge its culture. We face enormous challenges. I want to reflect on them here. Hope you will join me.