I grew up in a small working class family, moving frequently as my father traveled to where he could find work. I’m still a member of the working class. Or was, until the economy forced me into early retirement. My family lineage is not unique. My ancestors were from Europe and Asia, and were no strangers to war. Irish, Scots, English, German, and Dutch blood flowed through my dad’s veins. My mom was born and raised in Hawai’i and was eight years old when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Her father and brothers were sent to a stateside internment camp.
Except for a portion of my elementary school years residing in California, I grew up in Michigan. As most of us did, I attended public schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Although I didn’t participate in extracurricular activities, I recognize their importance as part of a high quality education system. In high school, I was inducted into the National Honor Society and received the John & Elizabeth Whitely Business Award. After graduation, I enlisted in the the Air Force, received an Honor Graduate Certificate upon completion of the Administrative Specialist Course, completed the Legal Services Specialist Course, and then worked as a Legal Services Specialist. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force at the end of my enlistment, I accompanied my husband on his tours of duty. While in the Philippines, I worked in various military and State Department offices. When I returned stateside, I lived in Maryland and worked in Virginia before moving to Virginia in 1990.
While it may sound like a mundane life, it has been anything but. I relocated to Lunenburg County in 1998. Jobs were scarce then, too, so I enrolled at Longwood College to complete the degree program I had started elsewhere so many years previously. I graduated Magna cum Laude with a BS in Sociology and a Concentration in Criminal Justice. I served as Secretary of the Commuter Student Association, received two Citizen Leader Awards, and was inducted into three Honor Societies. I then enrolled in master-level courses and received a Certificate in Social Policy and Administration.
As though raising five children wasn’t busy enough, while they were growing up I volunteered as a Cub Scout Leader and a Brownie Girl Scout Leader. I also volunteered as the Secretary of a church group and typed the newsletters for the PTA and homeowner’s association. More recently, I was a substitute teacher, served as the Secretary of the Lunenburg County Chamber of Commerce and am currently Secretary of the Friends of the Victoria Public Library. I am an active member of the Lunenburg County Democratic Committee and a supporter of two local groups working toward environmental, racial, and economic justice.
WHY I’M RUNNING
Before the 2016 general election, COVID-19 pandemic, and most current unnecessary police killings of black people, I observed the economic downturn in my community. I experienced the lack of local employment opportunities as well as the low wages. When an issue arose that would have an adverse environmental impact on our community and people were speaking out against it, I contacted my state representative and was disregarded as being “just one person”.
Yes, I am just one person. But what affects me does not affect only me. When I speak out it is because many people are affected. If our representative cannot take the time to serve just one of his constituents, how can we expect him to serve the thousands of one persons in his district, as we elected him to do?
I’m a regular, ordinary person. I didn’t inherit a family business. I didn’t inherit property, except my dad’s car. I didn’t inherit a fortune. But I realized that you don’t have to be a lawyer, doctor, business owner, or other professional to be a state representative. It just takes the realization that public policies that perpetuate the inequalities and injustices that disproportionately propel some to riches and keep others in poverty, that provide less than equitable funding to rural schools, that don’t protect our environment, and don’t address the healthcare crisis we face demands that regular, ordinary people run for office.
I am running to support legislation that will ensure equal rights and treatment for women, minorities, and the marginalized. I am running to support legislation that will help lift people out of poverty. One thing my life’s experiences and travels have taught me is that poverty exists everywhere and in every pocket of this nation. I saw it growing up and in my travels abroad in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Here we are, in the third decade of the 21st Century, and poverty is still with us. It doesn’t have to be. It shouldn’t be.
If your voice hasn’t been heard, let it be heard now through a donation to my campaign and, especially, with your vote. Your vote is your voice.
Use of military rank, titles, or photographs in uniform do not imply endorsement by the Department of the U.S. Air Force or the Department of Defense.
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