Why am I running?
As a teacher, I believe “teaching to the test” prevented me from being the best teacher possible. The dread of “the test” stifled the classroom environment. I was forced to center everything around standardized testing. I witnessed how awful the endless testing was for student learning and emotional health.
I watched as my friend, Lisa, dealt with the devastation of losing everything in the Memorial Day flood of 2015. She lost the photographs of her children; her art studio and many large paintings; her hard drive and computer that she used for her small business. It was a harrowing experience. It happened again in 2016. This time she didn’t have as much lose. We should not have back to back 100-year floods. It gets worse. In 2017 was we had an 800-year flood named Harvey. This one we thought we were prepared for. We moved all her belongings upstairs and she stayed with me because my house is on higher ground. Her house was destroyed. She was homeless for a month before finding somewhere to rebuild her life. We all know too many stories like this. Science tells us what we need to do to prevent these storms from getting worse and how to build our cities to lessen the current extreme effects of climate change. I will fight for policies to combat man-made climate change.
My father waited until he qualified for Medicare to have a doctor recommended quintuple bypass. At age 57 he had to take a nitroglycerin pill to walk up the stairs to my dorm room. If he thought a phone call was going to be challenging he would take a pill. My parents would drive to the ER where my dad would take his second nitroglycerin pill in the hopes it would stop his chest pains. Luckily that second pill worked and they were able to drive home. Why would they do something so risky? Affordable, quality healthcare was not available to them. My father needed Medicare for All then. We need it now. I refuse to stand idly by and let more people suffer.
Henry is frightened by lockdown drills.
Jennifer is scared her parents will be deported while she is at school.
Edwin lost all his toys in Hurricane Harvey.
I carry these stories with me because a few policy changes, a few kinder hearts, and these stories could have turned out so differently. I am in this fight for my father, Lisa, Henry, Jennifer, Edwin, and everyone who needs their government to work for them. I am in this fight for them and I am in it for you.
I have always been a fighter.
The first protest I remember attending was in Bhopal India in 1989 or 1990. We were protesting Union Carbide and the Indian government’s treatment of the people affected by the Union Carbide explosion in 1984. I got serious about working for climate policy in 2011. Since then I have worked to get good climate policy passed in Texas. I have been an active voice for District 148 in Washington for a Carbon Fee and Dividend with HR 763. I was an active member of Education Austin for 11 years and was a teacher for over thirty years. During that time I advocated for teacher pay raises and against standardized testing. I was an active volunteer during Hurricane Harvey. I believe that every person deserves a healthy climate, good education, and free access to healthcare. I believe in good government and I am in this fight to make it happen.
I want to make good things happen and I don’t want to wait.
I’ve been a teacher. I know how to work hard. I don’t give up in the face of challenges. I’m a problem-solver. When the school policies were making my students miserable, at first I looked to my principal. Then I realized the principal was doing what she was told by the district, which was doing what it was told by our State Legislature. It was then that I realized that the problem was who we were electing. I am running for Texas Legislature because District 148 deserves someone who will fight. We deserve someone to represent us who actually understands how these policies affect real people. I am running because we need more teachers making education policy, scientists making climate policy, and firefighters making safety policy. I am running for my father and Lisa. I am running for Henry, Jennifer, and Edwin. I am running to be that someone who represents District 148 for you.