I will continue the great work Treasurer Godlewski has done promoting home ownership. I am a huge advocate for creating opportunities for people to own a home. One thing I will do is bring a pilot program I'm championing in Fitchburg to the rest of the state. This program gives families struggling to afford a home the chance to start out renting a home with the opportunity to purchase it in the future. Part of the family's monthly rent goes toward a down payment on the home. After a number of years the family will then have a 20% down payment to officially purchase the home. The mortgage payment will then be roughly the same amount as the rent was. Giving a family the proof they can make that payment. Once they purchase the home they can then start building the generational wealth essential to providing for them and their family for years.
As the Mayor of Fitchburg it has been extremely important to me to ensure Fitchburg is welcoming to everyone. I have done a lot to make this happen. Under my direction we now recognize Pride Month, Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples for the first time and every year. For the first time we raised the Pride flag at city hall. I then made the decision to keep the pride flag up year round to show the commitment we have a city to being inclusive. Under my direction Fitchburg flew the Juneteenth flag at city hall for the first time. I also started a Diversity and Inclusion Employee Resource Group for city employees. My 2023 budget is also making Juneteenth a city holiday for the first time.
It is important to get Wisconsin residents their property back. Not everyone needs their property, especially if it isn't a large dollar amount. I will add the option for people with unclaimed property to donate it to one of a handful of charities. If someone doesn't know they have this property they may decide to donate it to a cause important to them.
As Treasurer it will be my goal to ensure the investments we make as a state are done with intelligence, excellence and safely. We are responsible for the retirement of thousands of people. I understand the importance of investing and have been saving for my retirement since the first day of my first "real world" job. As Fitchburg Mayor I constantly have to balance the needs of the city with our financial limitations to make hard choices as the steward of an over $25 million operating budget and $100 million capital budget.
Financial education is another area I think is vitally important. I will work with financial institutions across the state to develop financial literacy materials. These materials will be available for anyone that wants to learn more. There will also be materials teachers throughout the state can utilize to teach their students more about their finances. Financial education is critical for everyone and is something many people need more of.
I have already spoken with one of the largest credit unions in the state and they have agreed to partner with me if I'm elected Treasurer. They have won awards for their financial literacy efforts. These materials will be available for anyone. Materials will be available for teachers to use with students. Materials will also be available in both English and Spanish.
The environment is important and protecting it is even more important. Wisconsin has a legacy of protecting the environment and it is important to me too. As Treasurer I will ensure companies we are investing in also are being responsible and protecting the environment. I hope another 5+ generations of my family can live in Wisconsin safely and have the same ability to enjoy the outdoors. Fitchburg had a goal of 25% of the energy we use to come from renewable resources of 2025. We are already around 40%, way ahead of schedule.
We need to provide more restrictions on payday lending in Wisconsin. As Treasurer I will work with our law makers to do this. Payday lending preys on those in vulnerable situations that have no where else to turn. These people are often people with lower incomes. We need to put in restrictions so no one falls into the payday lending trap that is very difficult to get out of.