My story starts on a family farm in western Oklahoma. We ran wheat and cattle and operated the local grocery. After school, I stocked shelves and mopped floors, then went home to pick rye in the field. After earning a BA in music performance, I pursued every parent’s dream for their child; playing music at bars on Saturday and church on Sunday, all while working at a local factory to pay the bills.
Like far too many Americans, my life unexpectedly came to a halt. After a 12-hour night shift, 275 employees, including myself, were informed we would lose our jobs to overseas facilities. 275 humans from different places and cultures brought together by opportunity and tossed aside for a tax break. It was at that moment that I knew that I knew this would continue to happen to countless hardworking families across the state, unless someone stood up for us. That is why I am running for House District 44.
I am running to be your representative because the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fatal flaws in our economy, infrastructure, food and shelter security, and state leadership. We need forward-thinking leaders who value science and compassion and will consider not merely the fiscal cost of action, but also the human cost of inaction.
As a patient and board member of the largest community health center in Oklahoma, Variety Care, I volunteer with those on the frontlines of our state’s health and mental health crises. As a board of education member at Moore Norman Technology Center, I hear the stories of students sacrificing time with their families to learn a trade and break cycles of generational poverty. As a board member of the ACLU of Oklahoma, I fight to bring the reforms our criminal justice system has needed for decades. I’ve not only experienced the mistakes of our state government, but fight to fix them every day.
In 2020, over 280,000 Oklahomans contracted COVID-19, with over 2400 losing their lives from the virus. By the end of 2020, over 100,000 renter-occupied households in our state have been nearly $5000 behind on rent and utilities. For the first time since the Great Depression, we've seen empty grocery shelves due to the monopolized bottleneck in our food supply chain. Meanwhile, our State government is focused on boosting tourism and spending public dollars on private education. As your representative, I will listen to, amplify, and advocate Norman's voice for accountability of a government that too often leaves behind those of us who weren’t born on third base.