For U.S. Congress
I am the middle of three daughters, born to hardworking, compassionate parents who sacrificed everything for us to have a good life. My dad grew up as part of the Greatest Generation in London, collecting metal scraps from bombed out buildings in order to survive. My mom grew up in a crowded apartment in Eastchester, NY. They both knew what it was like to come from nothing and taught my siblings and I that anyone can overcome the circumstances of their birth with hard work and opportunity.
I know what it's like to work any job to keep a roof over my head.
Unfortunately, we were hit hard by the Great Recession. My dad was forced to retire and to sell our family’s home. My close, loving family split in different directions to survive. I was working my way through college, staring down vanishing job opportunities and mounting student debt. This was the future awaiting me? It was a harsh lesson that you can’t always pull yourself ahead through hard work alone. I was lucky enough to have friends who were able to put a roof over my head when things got especially difficult.
But when the going gets tough, I’ve found I just get tougher. Steeled by my father’s strong ethical compass and firm sense of integrity, and with the encouragement of my entire family, I pursued my college education in hopes that I could change my circumstances.
Despite all the times Congress has threatened the social safety net that helps people get their lives back on track, the net was always there.
Like so many in the 9th, I’m a middle class working woman and wife, living in Kent, trying to keep up with a mortgage payment and student loan bills. I’ve worked any job I could to keep that roof over my head today. I’ve been a foreclosure specialist, a paralegal and a liability negotiator. Today I work full-time as an administrative coordinator for a small business.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been socially, if not politically, engaged. I’ve marched, donated, served and organized for Planned Parenthood, the World Wildlife Fund and the Humane Society. Through the years I’ve worked with refugees, Indian-Americans, young girls and feminist groups.
Working families like ours have lived on the edge of disaster for a long time. Yet despite all the times Congress has threatened the social safety net that helps people get their lives back on track, the net was always there. There were holes in that net, to be sure. That’s why I’ve helped coordinate food drives to aid families impacted by program cuts. But the net was still there. That all seemed to change November 8th, 2016. The 115th Congress is more hostile to the needs of working families than I’ve seen in my lifetime. It was, for me, an awakening, and I knew it was time to abandon my armchair liberalism and get involved.
I’m running for Congress because I believe it’s time for regular people to be represented by regular people.
I started attending marches and rallies, signed up to be a Planned Parenthood Defender, and began attending local Neighborhood Action Coalition meetings. I got involved with my local legislative district and became a precinct committee officer so I could be closer to the action and get more people engaged on the local level. Brand New Congress put out a call to action, looking for citizens to run for Congress, and someone in my community nominated me.
The importance of doing the right thing and standing up for our values was drilled into me my entire life. I felt those values calling me to serve as I’d never served before, and I embraced it. I’m running for Congress because I believe it’s time for regular people to be represented by regular people. Congress can only serve America when it stands as a true reflection of Americans -- the full spectrum of our society.
Washington’s 9th district needs someone who can represent this community of loud, resistant, social justice-oriented constituents. I am ready to continue the fight for social and economic change.
Our district is home to Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon -- some of the most innovative industry happening in our country today. There is no reason the people of the 9th couldn’t shift that creative intelligence to new industries. I want to see the 9th become a leader in manufacturing solar equipment to drive the Green Energy revolution. I’m going to fight for federal grants to upgrade our infrastructure to support our modern society, creating jobs that will balance the income disparity for people who lack the skills to work in aerospace engineering or tech.
Like so many Americans, I have long felt frustrated and disenfranchised, believing Congress cares more about the financial health of giant, multinational corporations than working people like us and our ability to survive economically. I’m running to create a Brand New Congress that works for real people living real lives. Together, I believe we can take responsibility for our community with compassion and invest in our futures together.