My story begins here, in Phoenix, with my mother. As a single parent, she took on the role of both my mother and my father; working several jobs but still making sure she was there in the morning to take us to school. She took my brothers and I to all our practices, games and supported us wholeheartedly. I don't know how she did it but I know we had what we needed. My story, unfortunately, is not unique.
Education was a valuable tool and the key to my success. My mother was instrumental in making sure I knew this. I was fortunate to have had a great education throughout elementary school and into high school and college. I understand this isn't the case for all students in Arizona, as we saw with the landmark Red For Ed protests. I supported this movement wholeheartedly and realize it was only the beginning.
During high school and into college, I had the chance to work with families and individuals with disabilities. This was rewarding work and I'm glad to have worked with Arizonans but even still, I continue to hear an array of stories and experiences from those truly affected by a flawed and underfunded system. Everyday, I fight for the families and individuals in our district so they can access what they need to thrive.
After college, I began working within the non-profit sector to create a larger impact. I had the chance to support families who relied on direct services from my organization and other organizations around the state. Many of these families were usually in need of more support but were often not given the tools or resources to become self-supporting. Even after providing direct services, I still wasn't seeing the results I wanted and expected, so I realized I had to turn to a different tier of the systems that help these families and individuals.
I decided to get involved with local campaigns to get community members elected who truly care about these families and individuals. I have done this for many years, and after helping get people elected, I am just now beginning to see a direct impact in my own community. This is why I decided to run for office. The change must happen now, and I must be a catalyst, organizer, promoter, and facilitator for this change.
If not me, then who?
For far too long, our communities in this district and in this state have been ignored. Everyday families are falling through the cracks and not given the resources they need to be self-sufficient. We have issues in our education system that are not being addressed by our legislators down at the Capitol. We have concerns about the affordability and accessibility of our healthcare in Arizona. Families and individuals in our district are living paycheck to paycheck or are barely floating above water. We need to make sure everyone in our district is given a voice and an opportunity to succeed.
This is why I'm running for office. Our politicians and those in power usually do not look like myself or other members in our community, and often, do not share my story. I'm running to show this community that you too can run for office and be successful regardless of who you are or where you're from, as long as your heart is in the right place. I'm running to create the change that we need now more than ever. I am running in hopes that you, the voters of Legislative District 20, will give me a chance to fight for our community and make our voices heard down at the Capitol!