I left the USA for Belgium in 2006 because I believed more in Europe’s future as a place of solidarity, cultural richness, diversity and resilience. I celebrated my naturalisation in 2012 because Brussels had become my home – the place in Belgium and in Europe where I felt free and welcome. Over the years, I’ve grown to see the inequalities and challenges lying underneath a city like Brussels. I fear that its institutions will not be able to respond and prevail without the engagement of all of its residents. And I fear that our European project will not survive if we are not working with our neighbours to improve our local communities. In today’s world, we must open up our ways of working to give life to our democracies.