“I teach special education, mostly 4th and 5th graders. My first career was running my mom’s gymnastics business. I have a son with autism and that shifted my whole world and I became a teacher. I just finished a Ph.D. in education and social change to learn how I can help the people who are most vulnerable and don’t have a voice. A couple of years ago I was asked to run for office. Scandal and West Wing came to mind because that is all I know about politics. My intent had been to do research, but our political situation needs more people from the classroom to speak up because we are the ones who have a voice for the working people. I am a single mom with three kids, just an ordinary person, but I am one of the people and I am not satisfied with the way things are going. My brother has a beautiful home and vineyard in the south of France and I could easily run away and go live with him, but I am not willing to give up. I want to stay here and fight and take everything that I can do as this one person to drive change and now I have a great team who are trying to help. I filed to run on the deadline day and have had two years to prepare and completed two programs that train people to run. I have had to raise more than $100,000 to be a viable campaign and we are knocking on a lot of doors. Then there is establishing what I will do as a legislator. As a teacher, I am good at building relationships and I want to be accessible.
It is powerful to represent people and to do good for others. How did politics become me verses you and how decisions impact me verses how it impacts society? I am 53 and looked at my life. I spent so much time on the business and focusing on my family and have regrets that I didn’t do more or study some things as deeply, but there is time for that now.
I am the child of an alcoholic. My father had an undiagnosed mental illness that he self medicated by drinking. I was the oldest of three and heard him say things about my mother that I knew weren’t true and I tried to protect her. They divorced when I was 12 and somehow she raised us on YMCA hourly pay. She got us through and my siblings went to an Ivy League school. It was a total success story. Being the daughter of an alcoholic also shaped me to always want to be in control. I learned that I can’t control anyone but me, but I can control me and how can I make a difference. I am going to win this seat and if it means that my daylillies are are drowning under weeds and other pieces of my world aren’t where they could be, that is okay, I have the end in mind. Every one of us can do something.”