As an activist in high school, I challenged inequitable school funding formulas in Harrisburg alongside Good Schools Pennsylvania. As a college student, I mentored low-income students in one of D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods. My first job out of college was in national service, as a middle school teacher in Philadelphia. Now I lead a national nonprofit called COLAGE that supports youth with LGBTQ parents through leadership development and community building.
I have spent my career working for kids and their families. I have started innovative new schools, launched and sustained nonprofits that support youth in new ways, and designed programs to improve teaching and learning. Through it all, I have learned a great deal about how to help children and their families succeed. I want to bring that know-how to my work on behalf of families in the 7th District.
Like a lot of families in the 7th District, my family’s road wasn’t always easy. My mother struggled with drug addiction and was actually pregnant with me while she was in prison. I never had the chance to meet my biological father who was also incarcerated at one point. Luckily, I ended up being adopted (at birth) by an incredibly loving family who were friends with my mother. These two incredible men became my two Dads Paul and Ken. Along lines of race and sexual orientation, our family faced significant discrimination yet I watched my fathers always stand their ground as leaders in our community.
Later in life, I experienced the legal system firsthand which nearly took me off a successful track. Rather than get discouraged, I turned my energies towards supporting young people caught in the legal system. I launched an innovative nonprofit that keeps youth out of prison and provides them with educational opportunities as an alternative to incarceration. Here’s a TedXTalk I gave on the topic.
Just some of Paul’s Platform:
•Medicare for All: A single-payer healthcare system that include all American families.
•Universal Higher Education: Tuition-free public universities and trade schools, including national investment in expanding vocational training and access to apprenticeship programs
•Close Corporate Tax Loopholes: Ensure that companies pay their fair share. Invest those dollars in the American people.
•Fight for $15: All workers in America deserve a living wage. No one who works full time should go hungry.
Create jobs by fixing our infrastructure: A $1 trillion dollar investment in repairing our crumbling infrastructure would put 1 million Americans to work in long-term, high-paying jobs.offenses).
•Alternatives to Incarceration: Invest in community-based alternatives to incarceration that provide education and jobs to citizens.
•End the School to Prison Pipeline: Eliminate federal funding for schools employing “zero-tolerance” discipline policies and refer them for civil rights investigation. Invest in school that employ restorative discipline practices.
•Domestic Surveillance: Repeal the PATRIOT Act and end ALL domestic spying.
•End Wars of Aggression: Our foreign incursions over the last 15 years have created new generations of people who wish to do us harm. Our military should be used for defense and protection of our homeland.