This is a big step. Yesterday I filed papers as a candidate for Hopkins School Board in the upcoming election this fall. In the weeks ahead I’ll be rolling out my campaign and starting a conversation with the amazing parents, school leaders and community members that make District 270 one of the best places to live and raise a family in Minnesota. But before any of that happens, I want to pause for just a minute to say thank you. If you’re reading this right now, this message is for you, whether you live in my district or not. The conventional wisdom says our politics are broken. We’re polarized, cynical and bitterly divided. And there’s certainly some truth to this. But it’s not the whole story. There’s another truth that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. In the past year I’ve watched people meet this moment with greater responsibility, care and empathy than I’ve ever seen before. I’ve been blown away by the small, deliberate choices people have made to become better neighbors. Reach out to people who are different from them. Donate to causes they believe in. Call their elected officials. Attend marches. Rally around the most vulnerable members of our communities. Run for public office. Together we’re exercising the muscles of citizenship in small ways (some of us for the very first time) that are absolutely essential for the future of our democracy. Why? Because faithfulness in little things leads to bigger things. The choices and sacrifices you’re making add up, even when they seem small. And despite all the evidence to the contrary, you’re helping prove that citizenship, civility and compassion are still alive and well (and matter now more than ever before). These past months you’ve given me the hope I’ve needed to take this next step in my journey as a leader and citizen. So thank you. I wouldn’t be here without you. We’re in this together.