This is a letter to the editor I wrote and was published in the Hudson Star Observer last year. I stand by its sentiments today during the recall election vote.
To Governor Scott Walker,
My name is Daniel Kromer; I am a student at Minnesota State University, Mankato and a permanent resident of Hudson, WI. It was during my time as a student here in Mankato that I decided I wanted to be a social studies teacher; to enliven history, government, and citizenship to the youth of America and to encourage their involvement.
I have dedicated time, effort, and money beyond my classroom education to prepare me for this in the utmost. I ran track and field for four years and cross country for five; where I developed leadership as a captain my senior year. I spent a summer as an unpaid intern in St. Louis where I taught second and third graders in a supplementary summer school program; learning about ethnic, racial, and socio-economic diversity. I racked up credit card debt taking a study tour in Italy; learning the history of democracy and experiencing European perspective. I am the president of our InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter and I have served on our student senate for two years; most notably as one of the four students who walked to the Minnesota state capital (a 100 mile trek) to raise awareness for student issues on the state level.
I do not share my experiences to glorify myself, but to show that I am a caring and committed individual. I am unafraid of self-sacrifice if it means impacting my community, whether big or small, for the better. I did all of those things so that I would be a more experienced, well informed, and productive member of society in teaching and otherwise.
I hope that one day I would return to my native Wisconsin; to teach and share the wisdom I gain through community, state, national, and global experiences. I dream of reentering the home state of Robert La Follette and feeding the next generation of progressive thinkers.
Wisconsin has always been a well balanced state among party politics. The political diversity found from the large cities to the suburbs and on towards the rural areas is vast; sometimes leaning left and other times right. I believe the three things that contribute to this are the reasonable and logical thinking of most citizens of Wisconsin, the debate that accompanies that thinking, and the transparency of our state government.
In the case of your bill restricting the bargaining rights of unions, your refusal to negotiate and be honest with your opposition are in direct antagonism with two of the three things I believe make Wisconsin politics great. For that reason I am fearful to return to Wisconsin as a teacher and as a political and civic educator. I have stood between children and gunfire, confronted the poverty of the St. Louis public school system, and taught students that had no parents, food, or home. However, some evils that I will not burden myself with are your unwillingness to discuss and your apparent jollies at provoking civic unrest. Because of you Mr. Governor, at least one highly dedicated and qualified graduate will not be returning home.
Daniel J. Kromer