My Marquette Story
I was born and raised here in Marquette, attending Marquette Area Public Schools and graduating with the MSHS Class of 2015. My dad, Steve, worked in law enforcement for 25 years – his father worked at the Tilden Mine, and was killed in an accident. My mom, Yvonne, grew up poor on a farm and lived in foster care for a while as a child, and now she works as a secretary and was a union vice president at the Marquette Police Department. She never set foot on a college campus, but her dream was that her kids would get the education she never had.
When I was growing up, my family often struggled to make ends meet. When my parents got divorced when I was 14, we were forced to sell our home on Woodland Avenue. With the cost of living as high as it is, my mom, my brother, and I have moved four times since then to save money. I didn’t have it as hard as my mom had it when she was a kid, or as hard as many of my friends from school did, but the next few years were a tough time for me and my family.
But I worked hard in school, and I had wonderful teachers, and great mentors in former State Rep. John Kivela and former Mayor Tom Baldini. With their help and encouragement, I was admitted to Harvard on a full-ride scholarship based on my family’s financial need. I have studied there for the past four years, earning a B.A. in Government with minors in History and Spanish.
While going to school in Marquette, I was also blessed to meet my girlfriend Aubrie Jacobson, who, besides being beautiful and an excellent human being, is also better at playing the piano than I will ever be at anything! We’ve been together for nearly 9 years now, and we met in the 4th grade. We love cross country skiing on NTN trails and walking our dog Brio in the Marquette area.
I will be staying in Marquette after college – I will graduate from Harvard this spring and begin working for Marquette County in July 2019, and I hope to live here in Marquette for the rest of my life. I want to do everything I can to make Marquette a better place to live for ALL residents, and running for City Commission is the best way I know how.
I have remained a resident and voter in the City throughout my time in college, and my schedule allows me to spend a lot of time in Marquette and remain involved in the community. I help coach the We The People civics team at MSHS. I also work part-time as a college recruiter for Harvard, visiting schools in Marquette and across the U.P. to talk to students about post-secondary education and the opportunities open to them.
I’ve also been serving on appointed City boards and committees since I was 18, representing Marquette Area Public Schools on the City’s Sustainable Community Ad Hoc Committee when I was a senior in high school. In 2017 I was appointed to the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, and today I serve as its Vice Chair. I was frustrated with some of the decisions made regarding the hospital and lakefront development, so in 2018 I joined the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to provide the perspective of a young, working-class person.
While in high school, I successfully pushed for energy efficiency improvements in Marquette’s public schools to help the district control rising energy costs and reduce emissions. While at Harvard, I helped advocate for the passage of a bill in the Massachusetts state legislature which would mandate that forensic evidence in sexual assault cases be preserved for the entire length of the statute of limitations on sex crimes. After a year of work that bill was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker.
It’s true that I’m younger than anyone currently on the City Commission, and I know I still have plenty to learn. However, I believe that I have the right experience to be an effective public servant for the people of Marquette.