Thanks for taking a minute to learn a little more about who I am. I live with my partner Kris and the world’s friendliest beagle, Benjamin. My parents, Michael and Diane live in Wisconsin and I have an older sister, Sara, who lives with her husband Joe and their two children in Minnesota.
I’m running for Congress because I believe in putting people and community at the center of decisions. For the past five years I’ve had the pleasure of serving as a State Representative for the 60th District, representing over 90,000 people living in Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo Township. As an elected representative, it’s important to prioritize listening to the needs of the community. I’ve made it a priority to be accessible to the people I represent by holding regular coffee hours, updates, and town halls. Serving on the Appropriations Committee, the committee that builds our state’s budget, I’ve fought to prioritize investments in things that help people – like healthcare, good schools, infrastructure, and clean water.
I come from a family of educators. My mom and dad were university professors and administrators. My sister– as well as many of my aunts and cousin– are teachers. Dinner table conversations usually found a way to drift into what’s working and not working in the classroom. My parents taught me the values of serving my community, being there for family, working hard, having access to good education, and doing the right thing.
As a small business owner, I know the pressure of making a payroll and providing healthcare. We worked hard to give a voice to equality organizations, labor groups, women’s rights organizations, and environmental causes. Through coalition work, we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of Michiganders – and folks across the country – win important fights.
When I was elected to serve as State Representative, I championed a consistent set of ideas: we should invest in education for today and tomorrow, build an economy that works for everyone, and fight for social justice and a clean environment. We’ve seen progress on these issues, but there’s more work to do.
Whether it’s skyrocketing prescription drug costs, global threats to manufacturing and agriculture, or deteriorating air and water quality, our country is facing massive threats to our economic security and the future of our families. The politics and partisanship of Washington are making matters worse instead of better. And if we want to change our politics, we need to change the politicians who are supposed to be fighting for us.
I’m running for Congress because it’s time we put people and community back at the center of our decisions. It’s time we face the future and our country’s challenges head-on with fresh ideas.