Ask me why I'm running for Executive Council and I can give you a long list of reasons like rail, renewable energy, and access to health care for all. I can talk about my long walk for democracy and the ideals of public service I was raised with in New Hampshire.
But sitting here today holding these two precious bundles of joy, no reason can compare to this: my kids.
A week ago, my wife Sindiso and I welcomed our little boy and girl into this world. With the gift of parenthood come plenty of responsibilities, from burping and diapering all the way to working for a world in which they can thrive.
It's tempting to think of thriving in individual terms: will my children get the best healthcare, nutrition, education, and future employment? Will they enjoy an even wider horizon of opportunity than their mother and I have had?
But thriving is not simply an individual affair. As Sindiso's South African culture teaches, our humanity is inextricably entwined. When children on the other side of town are born without the things they need to thrive, our entire community is robbed of their potential and made to pay for struggles later in life. Investing in all our kids is good for them, good for us, good for society. It's the right thing to do.
Which brings me to public service.
I refuse to leave my children a world where a little boy's zip code, the color of his skin, or who he 'picked' for parents matter more for his future success than the content of his character. I refuse to leave them a world where moms still get paid less than dads, where depression and addiction are tearing families apart, and where women and men alike can work a full-time job and still be poor. I refuse to leave them a world where anger and fear trump reason and respect in politics.
Instead, I choose to do all I can to give them a future in New Hampshire that is connected by broadband and rail; powered by sun, water, and wind; empowered by great public schools from pre-K through college; protected by affordable healthcare and living-wage jobs; and nurtured by functioning families and inclusive communities.
A future where politics is nothing more and nothing less than public service.
I will never be able to meet these challenges alone. That's where we come in. Politics is the way I know to continue that never-ending fight for "liberty and justice for all," but it's not the only way. So many of you are doing the work already in ways that are often overlooked. Thank you.
Let's build that future together -- for all our kids.