Thank you for having me here today.  Today is about more than any one group or supporter of the Democratic cause, it is about all of us standing united to turn Wisconsin blue in 2016. I'm honored to have been invited to speak here tonight and I'm excited to share the stage with all our incredible Democratic leaders, including a personal hero of mine, Senator Russ Feingold.

Though this election is over a year away, College Democrats in public, private and two year institutions are already gearing up across the state to elect the next slate of Democrats. That's because just like all of you here today, we recognize this election is about more than any single candidate - it's about the survival of our fundamental values as Wisconsinites. As a student at UW-Stevens Point, I’ve heard a lot about the “Wisconsin Idea” - the belief that our university should work to solve society's problems and improve the lives of Wisconsinites.

Throughout our state's history, the "Wisconsin Idea" taught us to never accept an unjust status quo. Our state pioneered policies like worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, and the direct election of senators. We gave America progressive reformers like Robert La Follette, Gaylord Nelson, Russ Feingold, and Tammy Baldwin. We invested in education to ensure that the University of Wisconsin system serves as a beacon for young people both in state and across the country.

The "Wisconsin Idea" shows us that a commitment to improving life for middle class families isn’t just a progressive value or a Democratic value. It’s a Wisconsin value. That’s why it’s so telling that Gov. Scott Walker tried to remove it from our university mission.

Over the last four years, politicians like Scott Walker and Ron Johnson have betrayed the "Wisconsin Idea" and attempted to dismantle the progress of the past century. Today, Scott Walker's budget threatens to undermine our world class universities and force bright, dedicated working class students out the UW system altogether. It's become clear to all of us that our governor cares more about campaign donors in Iowa than he does about students in his own state.

Ron Johnson has shown young Wisconsinites exactly how out of touch he really is by voting against every single common sense measure to reduce to burden of student debt. And who could forget the time he joined Ted Cruz in shutting down the government to deprive thousands of Wisconsinites of healthcare. You can bet Scott Walker and Ron Johnson will try to mislead students on their records. Its up to College Democrats and Democrats of all different ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to hold them accountable.

Today, my generation faces record student debt, income inequality, climate change and continued discrimination against women, people of color, and LGBT Americans. We're ready to elect leaders who are guided by the "Wisconsin Idea" and have the passion to put that idea into action.

Right now, College Democrats of Wisconsin is fundraising, building membership, and growing chapters in all corners of the state. We will develop an aggressive strategy to strengthen our organization and train the next generation of activists, party leaders, and elected officials. In 2016, we're committed to making sure students turn out to vote on Election Day.

The fact is, when young people vote, Democrats win. Mitt Romney and Tommy Thompson found that out on election night. Thank you so much for having us here today. We're fired up now more than ever to help elect a Democratic president and senator. With hard work and dedication, we can ensure the “Wisconsin Idea” thrives -  in our state and across the country.