Jacob Malinowski, a Democratic Wisconsin Assembly candidate from Greendale blasted his hometown as a "homogenous...bubble" in a book published earlier this year. Now he wants to represent a community he called "detached from reality" in his application to Yale University just three years ago.
Malinowski, 22, is challenging incumbent Republican Ken Skworonski in the 82nd Assembly District, which covers parts of Franklin, Greenfield, and Greendale.
"Wisconsin is not an exciting state," Malinowski wrote in his Yale application, which was published this year in 50 Yale Admission Success Stories and the Essays That Made Them Happen. "My town is not big and exciting, nor full of opportunities. It's not small enough for everyone to know each other and for everyone to have their role in the community. It's a great place to grow up, don't get me wrong, but there's nothing special about it. Greendale separates itself from the real world. Actually, it's known as the 'bubble' because nothing bad can permeate it, and nothing ever leaves."
Malinowski claimed that "everyone in this town lives a very typical life. This is because Greendale is detached from reality."
His apparent shame about his hometown when applying to Yale just three years ago stands in stark contrast to the pride in Greendale he claims on his campaign's website.
"I was born in Greendale, and I’ve spent my entire life in the same house on Oakwood Street," he says in the site's "Meet Jacob" page, which promises "a commitment to the people of Franklin, Greendale, and Greenfield."
"I walked to school on our sidewalks and I had my first few jobs in our neighborhoods," Malinowski continues. "Experience isn’t just a resume — it’s about facing the same challenges and fighting for the same opportunities as the people you want to represent."
In his Yale application, however, Malinowski wrote of wanting to leave these people since he believed that they were unwilling to "take risks" and didn't "want to see each other succeed as well as themselves."
"I realized I wanted to leave my home in order further my global sense. That I wanted to surround myself with people who also take risks and want to see each other succeed as well as themselves," he noted. "I am not applying to University of Wisconsin-Madison. UW-Madison is the end goal for any student at my high school that shows any form of promise; many students only apply here. And UW-Madison is great, it's just not great for me. I believe many of my colleagues will go here because, once again, it's not a big risk."
Malinowski believed himself to be different from these classmates, as he "didn't want a security blanket because it's a limit on being extraordinary."
He told "The Dan O'Donnell Show" Tuesday that his opinion of his hometown then was based on his own naivete and that it has changed dramatically in the past three years.
"I was a somewhat angsty 17 year-old who had never spent a week outside of Greendale in my life," he said. "I had never really seen anything, and I probably felt that way [about Greendale] for the first two years of college."
In the summer of 2018, though, he says he brought his then-girlfriend home to Greendale with him "and she was in awe about what a great place it is."
"That was an epiphany for me; that was when I realized that this city is pretty special," he says.
Malinowski doesn't disavow what he had written about his hometown because, as he says, "that was how I felt at the time, but I didn't write it as elegantly as I should have and it took me leaving Greendale and then coming back to live here to realize that I was pretty wrong back then."