I grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, the daughter of teachers. My parents instilled in me a sense of civic duty — public service is what gives life its meaning. My father went on to start his own business, but it went under during the recession of the 90s. This was a very difficult time for my family, but we persevered through the hardship.
I was only able to pursue higher education because my country invested in me through public grants and federal loans. I worked hard and earned a Bachelor's from Yale, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Ph.D. in public administration with a focus on public finance from Syracuse University.
My husband Jeff and I moved to Suwanee because this area is a great place to raise a child. We were attracted to the great schools, great parks and natural beauty. Also, we had hoped our home would make it easier for our aging parents to visit and potentially move in with us if needed.
Like many citizens of the 7th District, however, my parents struggled with the cost of health care. In fact, their health care costs became so burdensome that they couldn’t afford their medications, much less pick up and move. My mother cared for my aging and very sick father until they both recently passed away last summer. All of their discretionary income was eaten up paying for medications, including ones to treat my father’s diabetes.
This problem is not at all unique to my family, and in fact, by many standards we are lucky.
A Life in Service
I have spent my life working to create public services and policies that would truly help people. I started my career as an aide to Senator Ron Wyden, working on health care, education, women’s issues, social issues and transportation. One thing I learned there was how to stretch federal dollars so we could help people without leaving the next to drown in debt.
Among my many projects, I worked on an innovative program to better connect transportation with land use planning and design. This was a precursor to the Livable Communities Project that has revitalized many downtown communities here in the 7th District. I also worked on legislation that helped expand access to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and access to Federally Qualified Health Centers while saving the federal government money.
I have been a Professor at the Andrew Young School of Public Policy since 2003. From 2007 to 2010, I took a leave of absence to be Director of Georgia’s Senate Budget and Evaluation Office. There, I worked in a nonpartisan role and advised our state government on how to be both fiscally responsible and compassionate.
The Senate honored me for navigating the serious challenges posed by the Great Recession with Senate Resolution 1598. Afterward, I returned to the Andrew Young School and founded the Center for State and Local Finance to teach the next generation about responsible and compassionate public policy.
I’ve never been content to sit behind a desk. I’m on a leave of absence from teaching so that I can step up and fight for what our community needs most, where I can make the biggest difference — as your Representative in Washington.
why i'm running
As the mother of a six-year-old, I care deeply about my son’s future and the future of all our children. We need a representative with the courage to stand up for our children's safety, for our right to affordable health care and the right of all our children to a world class education from pre-K through to the job market of their choosing.
Our district represents the vibrant future of the United States. We are diverse and global in population and outlook, while also graced with smaller communities that emphasize education, green space, and quality of life. However, we need to make some changes.
We need affordable health care that is accessible to everyone. I personally witnessed my parents’ struggle with the rising costs of health care and prescription drugs. We need a representative who will make sure that every adult and child in this country has access to affordable, quality health care.
I am also concerned that our President is tearing at the fabric of our democracy. I am not okay with that. We need a representative who will provide a serious check on our current President while working to reform our democracy to be more inclusive and less beholden to special interests.
In recognition of my public service and my ability to be effective for for the people of this district, I have been endorsed by Congressmen Hank Johnson, Ambassador Andrew Young and former Senator Max Cleland as well as many local leaders.
I would deeply appreciate your support in this journey to reclaim our country and invest in our children’s future.