Who am I?
I grew up in a large family. My parents had my dads elderly uncle and my moms mother living with us and we also opened our home to relatives and troubled teens. My father and his brothers were all WWII veterans. They served their country with great patriotism and then received good educations because of the GI Bill. My father never forgot the power of government to help build a solid middle class. Though we often disagreed (my family was Republican), we shared the belief that America is a land of opportunity, and that all who live here should have a chance for a better life.
I worked my way through the University of New Hampshire by holding jobs in factories, hotels, and restaurants. Afterwards, I met my husband of 30 years, then serving in the US Army. We were stationed at an Army Medical Center during the Vietnam era, and I saw the terrible physical and psychological damage that war causes. I also saw the enormous sacrifices military families make, and to this day I am proud to be an advocate for our troops and their families.
Returning to New Hampshire, I earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration. I then worked and raised a family. I was a Social Worker and Administrative Director for several years, developing and running various programs. I wrote a proposal for and helped launch a non-profit Social Service Agency in Maryland, and served on its Board of Directors. I taught Current Issues and American History at a community college in Maryland for several years, and had a similar class for 15 years for retired diplomats, federal employees, and other professionals in the Washington area. I also chaired our local Mayors Taskforce on Senior Housing.
After 2001, I began focusing on political change full-time. I worked in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primaries and in the Kerry campaign, and chaired the Rochester City Democrats.
Volunteering in New Orleans after Katrina, I saw the miserable federal response, and realized NH needed a representative who would speak up for what I called in 2006 "the rest of us, the bottom 99%." I decided to run for Congress. My 2006 campaign was called the Cinderella Campaign because people did not believe that a candidate could win without corporate PAC or DC lobbyist money. My grassroots supporters and I proved them wrong. I was the first woman ever elected to national office from NH and was elected to Congress twice, to fight for the rest of us.
Why am I running?
When I first ran for office in 2006, my slogan was running for the rest of us, the bottom 99% who have been left behind. I am now running for a third term, and the reason for running has not changed at all. During my two terms serving the good people of New Hampshire's First District, I always worked for what I call the bottom 99% of Americans, and I never forgot that public office is a public trust. I was honored to pass legislation to help active duty soldiers and veterans, families, working men and women, senior citizens, students, and small businesses. I am running again because I believe America must remain the land of opportunity for your children and mine, and Americans needs progressive voices in Congress who are committed to opportunity and fairness for all. I believe that education is the key to prosperity, that renewable energy is key to our physical and environmental well-being, economic future, and our national security, and that shipping jobs overseas hurts American workers and also weakens our country. I believe that fostering job creation and investing in America and our people are both good business decisions and good moral decisions, and that we can reduce the debt without dismantling essential programs. My parents lived the American dream. I still believe in it. And Im running for office to make that dream a possibility for all.
Our current Congress is passing legislation that hurts average Americans, and they are bowing to special interests instead of focusing on job creation and good government. In the campaign, I will highlight the damage these right-wing special interests are inflicting on our democracy. I will discuss the progressive vision for America, one that offers opportunity and economic success and economic fairness.
When Democrats return to power in 2013, there will be a lot of work to do to catch up, and a lot of bad policies to mend since Republicans have been single-mindedly degrading government programs and services. I have many initiatives that I would like to pursue again.
Specifically, for defense-related legislation, I will continue my work to make sure reckless defense contractors are held accountable and to enable the oversight agencies to do that; to keep pressuring the Defense Dept. to establish a registry for service members exposed to the poisonous burn pits used for waste disposal in war zones; to work to end the war in Afghanistan as soon as possible; to increase in-state access to VA health care for NH veterans; and to reform transition programs for soldiers returning to the civilian world.
I believe that education is the key to prosperity. Im proud of the work we did on the Education and Labor Committee to increase access to a college education, but it is still out of reach for so many Americans. I will continue working to make education affordable and more accessible. I will also advocate for working men and women and will once again co-sign bills such as the Employee Free Choice Act.
For Natural Resources, I will work to protect the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act, all of which are under attack. I will work to make sure that the agencies that protect our nation's natural resources and wildlife have the funding they need. For New Hampshire, we need to create a solution for the Great Bay that actually protects the Bay from non-point source pollution, not one that just kicks the can down the road and makes Great Bay more vulnerable. I will continue to advocate for good environmental practices. I do believe that renewable energy is key to our economic future, our health, and our national security.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
I have a record of running people-powered campaigns. My three previous campaigns in 2006, 2008, and 2010 were people-powered.
My current campaign is people-powered because, just like in 2006, it draws on staff that are largely volunteers. These volunteers are highly experienced, mature veterans of previous campaigns, including my previous three campaigns. It is also people-powered because we do not take (and never have taken) money from DC lobbyists or corporate PACs. We depend on contributions from individuals and the collected funds of working men and women (unions), from non-profits I agree with, and from our team (the Democrats).