This was a week of doing things I've never done. Yesterday, I had the honor to welcome President Obama to Wisconsin as he landed at the 128th Refueling Wing in Milwaukee. Regardless of party, politics, or policy, it is a privilege to greet the leader of the free world on behalf of all Wisconsinites.
On Wednesday, I rang the closing bell at NASDAQ on behalf of Fight Colorectal Cancer, one of the leading groups boosting awareness of this disease. I was especially glad to do so alongside Kevin Conroy, CEO of Exact Sciences, a Wisconsin-based company traded on the NASDAQ; they developed a great and important NON-INVASIVE screening method to detect colon cancer. (And notice at the top of the photo that the NASDAQ, Exact Sciences, and DowJones were all up the day I came to ring the bell -- I'm just saying...).
While in New York, I also had the chance to stop by Fox News and talk with Neil Cavuto. It's always fascinating to me that, after I go on a cable network, our office gets emails from folks across Wisconsin and sometimes from across America commenting on my comments! Keep your ideas coming!
In all events, though it was good and important to visit the Big Apple to speak on behalf of colorectal cancer survivors, tour a renowned and successful homelessness initiative, and look into a fascinating 6-year high school/associates degree program, there's no greater joy than the feeling of coming home.
Breaking the Cycle
When we take your tax dollars to help people in need, we owe it to you to do more than slap a bandaid on problems; you work hard, and your dollars need to be spent on solutions. The best solutions are the ones that break the cycle of poverty so both children and adults are set on a better path. One place that has an impressive record of success doing that is Housing Ministries of American Baptists in Wisconsin. As their name suggests, this faith-based non-profit is on the front lines of providing affordable housing. But more than that, they provide hope, the real hope that comes with job training, after-school mentoring, and a community that cares.
Cristo Rey High School is another institution dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty, especially for young people on Milwaukee's south side. Students here work hard at school, but they also work hard at jobs in local businesses. (Their paychecks go directly to defray the costs of their private school tuition.) I was impressed by the students I met this week--respectful, confident, and career-focused. This is CRHS's first year of operation in Milwaukee, bringing a proven national model to our state. I'm very excited for the impact they're going to make on these students and their Milwaukee neighborhoods.