My story is all about family.
I grew up in Spokane, attended Spokane Public Schools, and completed my undergraduate and post-graduate studies at Gonzaga University. After spending time living in Oakland, CA and Madison, WI I returned to Spokane to be closer to my family.
When I moved back home, I was working in the event ticketing industry. I managed a three state region for TicketsWest, a job that took me to University towns like Pullman and Lewiston, affording me a better understanding of my home district. From the moment I arrived back in Spokane, however, I started looking for ways to solve the many problems facing Spokane’s working families. I had the opportunity to start Communities in Schools of Spokane County, where I worked in the nonprofit sector to provide resources for our kids in the form of school supplies, afterschool programs, counseling, and other support. Once I discovered that there were structural bureaucratic problems standing in the way of our progress, I decided to run for President of the Spokane City Council.
As City Council President, I have fought hard for those less fortunate than me. I have worked to protect our natural environment, to ensure that all workers are entitled to Safe and Sick Leave, and to defend the rights of our LGBT community. I’m proud of the work I’ve done at the City, and I intended to run for Mayor in 2019 so that I could continue to work for my home city.
Then Donald Trump happened.
The 2016 election cycle was deeply troubling to me. I saw friends on both sides of the political spectrum becoming more and more rigid in their beliefs. I watched in dismay as that polarization became increasingly entrenched and calcified. I realized that at a time when many were eager to put as much physical and metaphorical distance between themselves and Washington, D.C. as possible, I was itching to charge in. I knew that Trump was a menace to our democratic system of government, but I also knew that the deeper problem was the deep distrust of government felt by so many in both parties. I became firmly convinced that the best place to work on that problem would be as a representative. So I decided to run for Congress.
My family is still the most important thing in my life, and right now, I’m scared for our future.
I’m scared that we will allow our country to become a place that’s no longer dedicated to freedom and opportunity. I don’t want America to become a place that turns people away when we should be welcoming them in. I don’t want to live in a nation where people are judged by their skin color, or by their sexual orientation, or by their religion. I don’t want anyone in this country to be afraid of the federal government, and I believe that Congress is our best hope for effectively opposing the scary and divisive policies being peddled by the Trump Administration.