I grew up in the East Bay and raised my children here. There is no community I care more deeply for. I ran for State Representative because I felt we needed someone who truly cares about our community representing us. I was a new face in politics — but not new to the hard work required to affect change.
Even though I’m semi-retired, I will always consider myself an educator. I served in the Bristol Warren School System for 33 years. I truly believe and have always believed that a quality public education is the key to any successful community. Our school district has exceeded expectations and currently has one of the states recognized ‘high performing schools.’ But, because of the passage of the 2010 school funding formula, Bristol is suffering. The budget shortfalls we face are dire and need to be addressed. We need to seriously study and address the way we fund our public schools; urban, suburban, and regional, so that it is equitable and beneficial for all.
I am a lifelong advocate for children and families and am a founding member and the current Chair of the East Bay chapter of Habitat for Humanity (HFH). There is a shortage of good affordable housing available and we must do more to help. We recently finished our fifth HFH project right here in Bristol and now another deserving family has a safe and affordable place to call home. Projects like this are crucial to ensuring working families have a chance to get ahead and we need to be doing more not less.
I am a current board member of the environmental organization, Save Bristol Harbor. Our mission is to preserve the health, safety and integrity of the coastal waters and watersheds of Bristol. Recently, we led the fight to defeat the transport of Liquefied Natural Gas. We organized our neighboring communities in RI and South Coast Massachusetts to join us in pushing to fight this dangerous proposition. I attended dozens of meetings with local officials, state lawmakers, and the Attorney General’s office to make it clear our community did not want this. I am proud to say that we were successful! Today, along with a team of local volunteers, I test the quality of our waters bimonthly and work educating local students on the importance of watersheds and the problems ocean and shoreline debris present to our environment.
When I decided to run for State Representative, I thought about the children in our schools. I thought about families struggling to get by. We cannot be left voiceless. We need someone fighting for us at the State House.
RI has thankfully passed ethics reform, but we also need representatives who aren’t in it for themselves. I promise you I’ll never betray your trust because I did not run to make my life better or to further my own interests. I ran for the same reason I became a teacher, for the same reason I helped build those homes and keep our bay clean: To make lives better and our community stronger.