I’m born and bred in Southern California, but I have lived all over this wild country. I spent two years in the Northeast, living in New York City. I spent 373 extremely long days living in Portland, Oregon and I promise I will never again reside in the Pacific Northwest. I recently spent eleven glorious months in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and while Southern Appalachia might just be my favorite region in all the land, I just can’t seem to quit San Diego.

My point is this. Our country is sprawling and every bit as diverse in population as in landscape. We are capable of being a truly great nation where real liberty, equality, and fraternity exist as fundamental values espoused by and for everyone. We aren’t there yet, but we can be.

I have always always been proud to be a Californian. One day, I hope to claim the same kind of pride in being an American.

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