Letter from Rep. Danou: What do you want your community to look like?This past summer I spent time talking to constituents in communities across our region at different events, festivities and parades.
By: Rep. Chris Danou , Pierce County Herald
This past summer I spent time talking to constituents in communities across our region at different events, festivities and parades. It didn’t matter who I was talking to, what their age was or where they call home. Over and over again a general theme arose in which people have a genuine concern and are worried about the future of their communities.
One recent conversation I had with a constituent lasted for an extended period of time as we discussed the many challenges we face. While we didn’t agree on every issue, we still engaged in a stimulating and respectful conversation that focused on the future of our community, state and nation. Local concerns were the main emphasis of our conversation and after a few minutes I asked, “What do you want your community to look like?”
This person went on to tell me that our community should have good schools, a reliable infrastructure, decent paying jobs and quality services. I said that each community should have all those things in order to be a great place to work, live and raise a family. I also noted the importance of the local pool and library to the overall quality of life in my own Village of Trempealeau. This individual said, “You’re absolutely right and I couldn’t agree more.” He went on to say that he chose to live in our part of the state because of its unique landscape and recreational opportunities. It turned out that we have some of the same interests and hobbies and we parted ways on a positive note.
I wanted to talk about this conversation because I believe it poses an appropriate question and reminds us that even though we might not always agree on a specific issue, at the end of the day most of us have the same wants and desires for our community. We want to see our community prosper and we desire for it to be a better place for the next generation. This means that friends, families and neighbors need to come together and focus on our commonalities instead of our differences.
In some of my discussions with constituents, I have heard people complain about negative perceptions towards Madison and Milwaukee and the people who live there. I have friends and colleagues in those cities and I have recently spent time there taking in some of the sights and various things they have to offer.
While each community has its own set of challenges, each one has something to offer for those who live there or visit. Through interaction and discussion, I’ve discovered that residents of those communities have a lot of the same wants and desires for their city and their children’s future as my neighbors in Western Wisconsin.
Rural areas in Wisconsin and around the nation face a unique set of challenges in the 21st Century. I believe we must rise to the occasion and work together to keep our community moving forward. In the upcoming weeks, the focus of my columns will be on some of the more specific issues that I believe Western Wisconsin will face in the next few years. I hope you will participate with me.
Not only do I enjoy having conversations like the one I mentioned, but I need to have these conversations so I hear your thoughts and what you want our community to look like. Hearing what’s on your mind gives me the best opportunity to be an effective voice for our community in the State Assembly. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at any time to share any thoughts, ideas or concerns you have about state policy and how it affects our part of Wisconsin.
Contact Rep. Danou’s 91st district office by calling toll free: (888) 534-0091 or by mail at:
Room 303 West
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708