THE LOCAL GIRL WITH THE FUNNY NAME.
I grew up here.
I was born in Sunnyside and grew up in Kennewick. After graduation from Kamiakin High-school in 1992 I even did what a lot of kids do around here and attended WSU in Pullman where I earned my BA in 1994. From there, I joined both the United States Peace Corps and the United States Navy. I have devoted 25% of my life to the service of our Nation. Keep scrolling to learn more about those experiences.
Things I love about our district are...
I love our weather. 300+ days of sun, enough said.
I think we have some of the best Mexican food in the country. A good bowl of salsa is a thing of joy.
I love the can do attitude of the people who live here. It takes a special group of people to make the steppe thrive the way we have. The pioneering spirit is strong and contagious here.
Things where we can improve...
It's time to accept the fact our district has grown and we can't bury our heads in the sand about problems most people like to associate with "big cities."
We have an affordable housing shortage.
We have families displaced by drug addiction.
We have a severe shortage of crisis mental healthcare services.
We are seeing and feeling the effects of global warming.
The future is a bright place when we learn to embrace it instead of clinging to a past that was never all that ideal.
I want to see our community become the leader in Washington State for addressing the issues I just outlined. I mentioned before one of our biggest strengths is our pioneering spirit.
Together we will make our community better, safer, and a place we are proud to call home.
I've traveled a little bit.
Between being a Peace Corps volunteer and a sailor in the United States Navy I have been to 29 different countries and Antarctica. I've seen a lot of things that make me appreciate our nation and what we have here. I have also seen some really great ideas we can benefit from.
When I was 20 years old, I was invited to join the United States Peace Corps. While a Regional Youth Officer assigned to the Kunene North Region of Namibia, I assembled a team comprised of a doctor from the regional hospital, Himba tribal leaders, an anthropologist and a translator. Together we created the first ever HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention campaign tailored specifically to the Himba. With a "finished product" in hand I was able to secure funding to tour the presentation throughout Kunene Region. To this day Kunene Region has one of the lowest transmission rates of HIV in all of Namibia. I am so proud of this project because it shows the power of teamwork and is an examle of development done right.
When I was 25, I enlisted in the United States Navy. It was a real eye-opening experience to see how many of my fellow shipmates enlisted because joining the military was the only way to get money for higher education. My time in the Navy did more to make me appreciate the sacrifices of our women and men in uniform and strengthened my resolve to fight for economic and social justice.
During my time in the Navy, I was also a certified lay leader for the Jewish community. I served on the heritage committees of my first two commands, participated in the Heartland AIDS ride from Minneapolis to Chicago (two summers in a row), and help set up the first ever shipboard Internet Cafe for sailors.