Friday, March 1, 2013

A Little (Or A Lot) More About Me

This week I've started the second major step in my campaign, heading out to the doors to introduce myself to potential voters. If you live near the south end of the district, there's a strong chance you've seen one of the 400+ brochures I've delivered this week or talked to me in person.

This morning I got an email from one of the people who saw the brochure, though, wanting to know a little more about me and my background. I hope he won't mind that I'm sharing my answers to his questions with you.

How long have you lived in Appleton?

It'll be four years in June. I'm a native Wisconsinite (born in Wisconsin Rapids, went to high school in Minocqua). My wife and I stayed in Des Moines for a few years following college, but bought our house here in 2009.

What brought you here?

My wife grew up here, and when we got the opportunity to move back here a few years ago we jumped on it. She's a pharmacist at AMC, and her parents and one of her grandparents are longtime Appletonians.
Do you have kids? How many? What are their interests?
We don't have any kids. We may someday, but I think we both have other things we'd like to do first. For now it's just the two of us and our miniature dachshund, Gorman.

Where did you grow up?
As I mentioned before I was born in Wisconsin Rapids, where my dad still lives. I moved to Minocqua with my mom when I was ten and went to high school there before college at Drake.

Previous employment?

After Drake I signed on with a campaign for Governor of Iowa, starting as a part time volunteer and working my way up the ladder to Communications Director. I later served as a statewide organizer for Common Cause, a non-profit that works on good government issues and owned part of a small business before setting all of that aside to focus on my writing when we moved to Appleton.


No. I have the utmost respect for those who serve our community and our country but my life has never led me down that path.
What else, besides baseball, puts fire in your belly?
Even when I'm not writing for Brew Crew Ball, I do a pretty wide variety of written projects for other venues. I'm always writing something. I'm also a pretty big sports fan all around, and spend a lot of the baseball offseason watching high school (I'm a season pass holder at North) and college basketball. I'm also a big supporter of local agriculture, so you can find me most Saturday mornings at the farmers market, either indoor or outdoor. Finally, I'm a volunteer tutor for the Appleton School District, teaching reading to first graders at Ferber and math to third graders at Huntley.

What about Appleton makes your jump for joy?
Appleton really is a remarkable place to live, as I said in my brochure. I love that it has many of the amenities you'd expect from a larger city, like the PAC, farmers market, etc, but still feels smaller and is quite safe. I think the city is largely well-run and maintained, and that includes the schools. I also think the city has done a great job continuing to move forward and positioning itself to look to the future.

And what irks you about Appleton?
As I've said to countless people at doors over the last few days, I don't think the city does enough to keep citizens informed of what's going on and encourage them to get involved. I think a lot of city government's functions are technically "open" but often not easily accessible. I think conversations that the public should be involved in frequently pass without public knowledge, and I think that's a shame. I think we as a society don't involve enough people in the actual day-to-day process of governing, and we owe it to our citizens to make sure they know what's going on and how to get involved.

I also think it's possible that some of the things that make Appleton great occasionally get taken for granted. We need politicians in office who understand the strengths we have and will work to maintain them.

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