I have lived a life of Democratic values, I have a record of building positive change in my community, and now I’m heading to Lansing to put my experience to work on your behalf.
Strong Public Education
I have been a steadfast public education advocate for years because I know that strong, sustainable public schools are the backbone of our community. I have a proven record of publicly supporting investment in education, from early childhood through K-12, and of developing evidence-based solutions to problems that face our students and schools.
A few highlights of my education advocacy include:
- Treasurer, Ann Arbor School Board
- Director, Washtenaw Association of School Boards
- Parent Liaison for the Great Start Collaborative for Early Childhood, Washtenaw County
- Granholm Appointee, Early Learning Advisory Council
- Interim Director, Success by Six, Washtenaw County
- AAPS PTO Council Advocacy Committee Chair
- Testimony, Education Committee, Michigan House of Representative
- Founding team of Touch a Truck, premier early childhood advocacy event
My plan to invest in every child’s potential includes:
- Prioritizing resources for our teachers and our classrooms
- Supporting fair and equitable funding for quality K-12 education
- Growing early childhood education programs
- Ensuring that local education decisions are made by parents and teachers, not politicians and special interests
- Investing in skilled trades education programs and higher education to secure the future we desire for our state, our children and our economy
I am ready to be the strong Democratic leader who can bring a creative spirit to education policy.
One highlight of my education advocacy efforts was delivering a rousing speech on the steps of the capital in Lansing to over 5,000 parents and teachers with the message: Strong Schools build Strong Communities!
As a business owner, I understand how to meet customer demands, balance fiscal needs and grow through innovation. I will bring these strengths to my service as a legislator.
ThinkStretch has grown from one school in Michigan to serving tens of thousands of students in schools and districts across 38 states. While my company currently serves students across the nation, I realize the importance of using local production and shipping facilities. By learning and understanding each others’ businesses, my suppliers and I have grown together. Hiring local businesses and using local talent just makes sense.
Keeping to my social mission working to close the achievement gap, I have donated thousands of ThinkStretch Summer Learning Program kits to students served by community centers across Washtenaw County.
My plan to grow our economy to one that is rich with opportunity for everyone includes:
- Investing in local jobs and small businesses
- Building connections between local suppliers and retailers
- Guaranteeing government purchasing follows a Michigan-first policy
- Providing workers access to training and living wage jobs
- Growing opportunities for our local farmers
- Expanding broadband access to all of Washtenaw County
- Protecting workers’ right to collectively bargain
As your State Representative, I will be committed to focusing our economic development strategy on the things that keep communities strong: a vibrant small business sector, fair wages and policies that support local investments.
Protecting our environment and natural resources
Our community deserves a strong local voice in Lansing to protect the natural beauty and environment we call home. I have a history of taking action to protect our environment – I can be that voice.
Before founding ThinkStretch, I worked side by side with major corporations to help them clean up their act and put a stop to pollution.
When I found out a business in our community was burning its trash in our neighborhood where our kids played, I didn’t just raise the alarm – I organized. Utilizing my background in pulling diverse voices together to accomplish common goals, I organized my neighbors to put a stop to the illegal garbage burning.
I am raising my family a stone’s throw away from the deepest portion of the Pall/Gelman plume and am passionate about its cleanup. That’s why I have been endorsed by Roger Rayle, cofounder of Citizens for the Remediation of Dioxane, as well as countless families whose drinking water is at risk.
My plan to protect the natural resources and beauty of Washtenaw includes:
- Restoring local, citizen voice to the DEQ and DNR with Citizen Review Committees
- Advocating for stronger protections for our environment and prioritizing pollution prevention
- Cleaning up the Pall-Gelman plume
- Preventing companies from drilling and fracking in our backyards without our knowledge and approval
- Working to protect and expand our great network of state and local parks and to bring resources to new projects, such as the Loop trail and new sports and community facilities
I know how to fight and how to work together, with one end goal: a cleaner, safer community for all of us. When I get to Lansing, I will demand that local voices are heard when policies impact our backyards.
Washtenaw has amazing places to go – theaters, restaurants, parks, museums – and no matter your age, getting to them should be easy. I have actively worked to increase accessibility in our community through the Partners for Transit initiative.
My plan to connect our communities includes:
- Accelerating investment in our roads and bridges for the long term
- Investing in the WAVE shuttle service and expanding partnerships with regional bussing, prioritizing stops near senior centers
- Supporting new technologies like autonomous vehicles and investing in simple transportation enhancements
Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy all that Washtenaw has to offer without being restricted.
As a progressive, Democratic woman, I am proud of my accomplishments championing gender equality and making meaningful differences in the lives of women in our community. I will ensure that we continue to make progress in our quest to ensure that every woman has the opportunity to determine her future – from family planning to economic security.
100% Rating from Planned Parenthood. Honored as a Women’s Health Champion.
I am particularly proud of the education expansions and partnerships I have worked hard to implement in our community.
- “My Body Belongs to Me” Program for Elementary Students
Partnering with the Washtenaw County Council for Children, as a PTO president at my children’s elementary, I raised the money to sponsor body safety programs. I worked hard to educate parents and staff about the importance of this program and the need for young children, particularly young girls, to understand that they have dominion over their bodies and choice over who touches them.
- Expanded Sex Education and Reproductive Health Education
In partnership with Planned Parenthood, the peer mentoring programs and sex education programs have been strengthened in our high schools. I am proud to have voted to add a new education partnership with Planned Parenthood to implement curriculum in high schools addressing gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression.
Women must have economic security to reach their full potential. I have worked personally and directly through my business and as a nonprofit volunteer to bring women tools and opportunities to find economic freedom.
- Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
Serving in leadership on several nonprofit boards, I have championed programs providing women not only financial assistance, but more importantly, life skills education. These efforts for women have resulted in fewer evictions and homelessness, gains in employment, and increased abilities to manage their financial situation.
- Increasing Access to Affordable Childcare
Honored as a Granholm appointee to the Early Learning Advisory Council and as a leader of the Success by Six efforts across Washtenaw County, I have worked directly to increase the number of affordable and need based childcare spots in our community. ey parts of our effort were to dramatically increase the quality of our childcare and early learning environments and to improve our parent education services.
- Improved Workforce Opportunities
Women who must take a step outside of the traditional workforce for family, personal or caretaking reasons often have difficulty re-entering. The business I founded is a social entrepreneurship company, which means that it aspires to meet higher goals to serve society. I am proud that the growth of my company has been accomplished through returning women to the workforce. There are specific strategies I have used that can be successful across our community to improve the workforce opportunities for women.
As our next state representative, I will bring my experiences making real, positive change for women in health, education and the workplace to Lansing. I am experienced and qualified to bring together the coalitions we need to make improvement in the lives of not just the women in our county, but across our state.