I’m running for President of the United States because I believe in the power of we the poeple and I know the power that I hold to bring great change with courage and compassion. I am a bridge builder, a patriot with no political party. An altruist, I am trustworthy and ready to shift standard operating procedures back toward serving the people and ensuring health, justice and equity for we the people.
People are reflections of our experiences, our environment and our friends. My greatest strengths are in my life’s journey. I have a unique story, weaving together the tapestry of our nation throughout my life.
My parents will tell you that I came out of the womb fearless and compassionate. I was born on a farm in rural Illinois and raised in the church and I dabbled in everything. I enjoyed using my mind, solving math problems + balancing chemistry equations and spending a lot of time in the library. I played on sports teams, sang, and gave speeches. In high school I studied nursing, waited tables, and worked in corn fields with migrant workers.
All of my experiences in childhood taught me hard work, commitment to nature, compassion for all, service to others, leadership, and faith to persevere in hard times.
Of the many stories of service and leadership through childhood, the one that sticks with me most is the story of Jacob.
Jacob was my cousin born with cerebral palsy.
He lived his life unable to speak, eat, or sit up. He could coo, cry and laugh… and he had the best laugh. He was born when I was 9 years old and we were inseparable. I was a very mature and nurturing child and became Jacob’s caretaker on weekends when I was old enough.
As a child I fed him through his feeding tube, changed his diapers, and held him when he was in pain. He could not talk or scream or yell and his signals were faint when he needed help, but I always saw them and leaped into action.
Jacob left this earth many years ago, but he is my angel, reminding me to be compassionate in every action. He also taught me that not every American can contribute to society as we often expect. Jacob brought much greater gifts, he gave unconditional love and he accepted my love without restriction.
Jacob, and others like him, are reminders of why social services are necessary for our country.
As I grew older, I was called to serve our country. I joined the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne division in the midst of the Iraq war and the U.S. war in Afghanistan. I excelled in tests of mental and physical endurance and thrived on the daily challenge to be all I could be in the Army. My service unveiled my commitment to our country, was a test of my fortitude, and deepened my conviction for truth.
While in the Army, I spent time volunteering at a local women’s prison. I spent time talking with the women about their experience and was a pen pal to several inmates, women and men. Their stories opened my eyes to injustice. Women spending years in prison for being drug ‘mules’, running drugs for abusive and controlling men from whom they could not escape. Young men entering the prison system at 17, being punished as an adult for a choice made as a child. Their stories sparked my curiosity of how this injustice was happening to thousands of women and men and children. Luckily, university was in my future!
This farm girl learned a lot about our world in the Army, and like so many of my brothers and sisters in arms, I left the military with PTSD.
Once back in civilian life I bought a house, went back to school at the University of Illinois as well as DePaul University for grad school and found a few jobs to support myself. Living with PTSD and trying to survive in my 20s was a challenge that refined me further. Greatness is found in the trenches, and I’ve been in many trenches. I hustled to pay bills as an independent woman, navigated the difficult veteran health care system to find physical and mental health, and studied late nights to get my degrees. I chose to take classes on American history, neuroscience, hate crimes, queer studies, women’s history, political systems, social systems, therapy modalities, childhood development, research methods, advanced statistics, business management, and so many other interesting and enlightening classes…and I learned how to play Mario Cart!
Through my experiences in higher education, I learned about the complexities of our country’s systems and ways to solve our greatest problems. I also understood human behavior and humanity’s pitfalls.
While I was going through school I served at the Boys and Girls Club in Champaign, first as a volunteer and then as an employee. My experience at BGC taught me so much. I chose to see the experiences of the children we served and I experienced the difficulty to get support for organizations like BGC that add so much value to local communities. The Boys and Girls Club gives parents a place to enrich their children’s lives at a price that all can afford. I ran a teen night, teaching life skills and providing dinner and fun, keeping kids off of the streets and building community. I met some of the best Americans at BGC, who sacrifice good pay for making a difference in children’s lives. Folks with degrees who could be making bank in the for-profit industry, but have chosen to be of service. *The fault for good pay does not lay on the Boys and Girls Club. It is a symptom of our country not valuing organizations who build and maintain community. BGC taught me the value of community support. When we sow into the lives of children born without opportunity, we open the door to our own future being brighter and safer for all.
Along the way, I found yoga to support my healing of PTSD. I studied yoga, Ayurveda, and the power of the mind. My hard work to learn and implement healing within my own life paid off and I began teaching others how to find balance and healing in their own lives. I learned that when we are healthy, we can contribute greatly to society. This power of self-healing inspired me to dream of a healthy, happy nation. A leader is only able to lead her people to health and happiness when she has it herself. This period of learning allowed my intuitive wisdom to support my great knowledge previously learned.
Finally I landed here in beautiful Colorado and began teaching and serving, not thinking that more learning was in my future. I most recently worked for the City of Westminster, Colorado, a greatly developed city government, led by core values in service to the people. Westminster was a nest for great leadership. I met and worked alongside a few hundred dedicated and happy co-workers, took professional development courses, and found hope in government that I thought was lost. I’ve learned that government can be innovative, forward thinking, and willing to do things different in order to serve the people. And when government is willing to do better as they know better, people are healthier and happier.
Empowered personal experience, great understanding, and hope for better, I am equipped with the tools to lead our nation into a new era.
My desire, my leadership, my intelligence and strategy, and my heart make me the most qualified person for President at this time in history.