In the early 1900s, my grandfather came to this country as a young man. Although he was bright and fairly well-educated, he never became fluent enough in English to get a job that made full use of his abilities. My dad and his siblings grew up with enough to eat, but not much else. With the opportunities afforded them especially in the area of education my father and his brothers were able to become solid middle-class citizens and contribute to our society. One of my fondest memories of my dad was watching with him when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon from the Lunar Module, which was a project my dad had worked on.
When I was applying for college, the top universities in the nation were trying to become more of a meritocracy. I was able to earn admission to Yale despite the fact that no one in my family had ever gone there, I attended public school instead of a prep school, and I wasn’t from what was thought of as the typical Ivy League background. I’m also proud to say that my class was the first one to admit women.
I’m worried that this country is losing its optimistic nature, and that the kind of opportunities that were afforded to my family will no longer be available to all. I believe deeply in the idea of community, that we have a social responsibility to each other, buoying each other up to build a better society. We can do this and still remain fiscally prudent. Too many people today have forgotten all the help they got in reaching their current position and are just in for themselves. I’m running to do my small part to help Ohio remain a place where everyone, not just a small minority, can strive to make their dreams come true.