This grassroots campaign to unseat the tea-party incumbent began during the time of disbelief, fear, and hopelessness that followed the presidential election of 2016.
Those feelings turned to action and I began the work to fight back, not just for women, PoC, immigrants, LGBT+, but for all voices and all people. In my district, I saw someone working against anyone who does not fit his party’s narrow definition of people deserving equal rights, human decency, and basic respect. These issues truly became my focus after the 2016 presidential election, where I saw the people who are supposed to be serving the people of Arkansas and the United States only serving themselves and their big money donors. I have never run for office before, nor have I considered it.
Bringing the voice back to the people of the district, to the people who pay the salaries of the legislature—that’s my goal.
I grew up on a farm in the woods of Fox, Arkansas. I am a proud graduate of Rural Special High School, part of the Mountain View School District. My upbringing allows me to understand the fundamental small town values of hard work and reward for that hard work while also recognizing the urgent need to help those struggling to make ends meet and to provide for their families. I see the progressive policies that help us provide for those most vulnerable to food insecurity and poverty as essential to our health both as a state and a nation.
I was born in California, and have lived in Colorado, North Carolina, and Arkansas but I have always considered Arkansas my home. I have had the opportunity to do many things in my life thus far; my resume includes: Job coach for a sheltered workshop, P&C Insurance agent, accounting office manager for global retail company—and finally, what I consider my calling, a therapist.
Growing up was interesting to say the least. My family raised cows, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. We gardened and canned our vegetables; we cut and hauled wood to stay warm and to cook. We even hauled water from the creek if the pipes froze. We walked to the bus stop, crossing three to four creeks (depending on rain) to get to school. No bridges meant rolling up my pants and wading, even in winter! My high school principal once said he could drop the whole school off in the woods and I would be the only one who could make it out.
My parents were both employed as psychiatric technicians at Camarillo State Hospital in Southern California. My older brother is an EMT, firefighter, and Ensign in the Navy reserve, politically active and smarter than most people I know. My father was a self-taught musician and is artistic in nearly everything he does. Mom was a nurse and is a renowned chef and singer. They divorced when I was small but Mom met and was married to a wonderful human who still provides support and encouragement, even though they are no longer together. They ultimately moved us to Arkansas, where she has happily resided for the last 40 years. My mom is now married and shares her life with a man who makes progressive activism and democracy a daily endeavor; inspiring and supporting my candidacy.
I’m a thinker. I’m a helper. I’m a doer. I work hard. I will work hard for Arkansas.