I have been asked by my detractors to list my accomplishments here in Racine. No doubt they want to pick them apart, dispute them, or minimize their importance. I don't like to promote myself and if you look through my archives, you will see that I don't. I also don't like to dodge questions. So I either need to dodge a question or promote my accomplishments. I have chosen the latter. I will separate my accomplishments into two categories, professional and political. My personal accomplishments shall remain personal.
Professional accomplishments: My wife and I started a business from scratch about 14 years ago. When we moved to Racine, we rented a small storefront on Main street. We have sinced expanded significantly, nearly quadrupling in size. As part of our expansion, we purchased an eyesore in the 400 block of Main street, a block that was nearly dead at the time. That eyesore is now among the most attractive buildings downtown. The 400 block of Main street is now fairly solid, and we deserve some of the credit for that improvement. Part of our business is raising money for hospitals throughout the midwest. We have donated about $250,000 to hospitals in the last decade or so. We also employ people. At present we have four employees, among them a current RUSD student, an RUSD alum and college student, and a parent of an RUSD alum who happens to be a strong supporter of RUSD. I mention these RUSD connections and the contributions to hospitals so that you will understand that a successful boycotting campaign will result in collateral damage. Our economic activity generates considerable revenue for government. We of course pay state and federal income taxes, we pay local property taxes on two properties, we pay payroll taxes, and we generate alot of sales tax revenue. I don't even want to think about how much we pay in taxes, but I will say this to the boycotters; it is not wise for a parasite to kill its host.
Political accomplishments: I would consider myself a sort of freelance political activist. My first foray into political activism started when I began to explore the wisdom of having taxpayers foot the bill for an indoor ice arena. There were a multitude of reasons to oppose that idea, but among the most convincing is the notion that your average taxpayer should not be required to subsidize the activities of the rich. For this reason and others, I was aligned with many liberals in opposing this spending. Anyway, I had a hand in stopping that nonsense. I later wrote editorials in the Journal Times, at least two of which contributed to a fair outcome for oppressed people. In one I argued that the Lighthouse Church (I think that is the name), having purchased the former REAL school, renovated it, and gotten an occupancy permit form city hall, ought to be able to occupy their own building. Mayor Becker had other ideas, namely condos, and was using tactics of questionable legality to prevent the occupancy. My commentary may have helped the church. Church members think so and are grateful for my help. Another article may have helped a black couple get a liquor license. Our liquor licensing process deserves an overhaul, in large part because licensees are subject to a subjective process that includes, essentially, the blessings of neighbors. This may sound like a good idea to many, but it allows racism or any of the other isms to taint the process. Anyway, they got their license and subsequently botched their operation. It is harder to measure other political accomplishments, though I think that they are real. For example, my editorials in the JT, love em or hate em, sparked discussion of issues that need to be discussed. The same is true of this blog.
So go ahead anon et al, snipe away.