When I was 18, I climbed Mount Everest. Not literally — I metaphorically climbed the highest mountain on Earth by starting my own retail business.
While I was hiking, I thought about quitting approximately 5,000 times. (And that’s a lowball estimate.) But despite the high winds, low altitude, mental and physical fatigue, and trail mix overdose, I kept going. I’m that person. Once I say I’ll do something, it will happen. That perseverance is something I learned from my parents as a kid.
I was born and raised in Milwaukee. I am the youngest of five children. My mother was born and raised here in Milwaukee. With that, she grew a sense of optimism that Milwaukee was a place where she could pursue her dreams. My father was born in Dayton, Ohio and at a young age, came to Milwaukee so his family could access better opportunities.
I grew up in neighborhoods where there were too many barriers to success and too few opportunities to get ahead. I was still able to experience many good things. Whether it be the vibrancy of the neighborhoods or pride in our communities. Either way we must account for the disparities we face in our future. Unemployment, lack of resources and poverty plagues our neighborhoods and is something we all feel viscerally, everyday.
Unfortunately, there are two sides to my story. I’ve been blessed to live a middle-class life. Life-sustaining wages and benefits to support the entire family made life simpler. But at the beginning of the 2008 recession my middle-class life was thrown into a downward spiral. My mother became a single parent and lost her job. We made just enough to not make it. Access to effective resources were limited and we had to figure it out.
Stories like mine are unfortunately far too popular in our community, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Now, I plan to put that perseverance I learned to work everyday as your representative. While managing this new excursion I won’t have to climb any mountains…but I will have to move them. I’m deciding to run for the 11th District State Representative seat because I think we should have somebody in Madison that is focused on giving all of us the access to opportunities we need to get ahead and move up the economic ladder.
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June 9, 2020
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported my campaign. It’s official – I’m running! In the next 24 hours, the money you pledged toward my campaign will be processed into a donation. The charge will appear as “DEMENG CROWDPAC” on your credit card.
This campaign would not have been possible without folks like you. Thank you for believing in me - let’s keep the momentum going and win this for [enter your city/state]!