Who am I?
I am a mother of two with an abiding interest in making things work better in my community and world. An avid learner in a household of teachers, I pursued degrees in politics and economics at Pomona College, Columbia University and Rutgers University and studied how countries negotiate and do business around the globe. I have a long career in environmental protection and resource management at the U.S. EPA, the California State Water Resources Control Board and the California Department of Water Resources. In these jobs, I worked to protect communities from harmful chemicals, increase our investment in alternative energy and healthy foods, and ensure an equal playing field for businesses throughout the U.S. while protecting workers and consumers.
I’ve been proud to serve as a civic leader in my own community. Soon after I moved to my current home in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California, I volunteered for and then joined the Board of the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), eventually serving as President. I also co-founded a group that successfully fought the re-opening of a gold mine in downtown Grass Valley (CLAIM). And when I saw the devastation being wrought by drugs in rural communities like ours, I became a Court Appointed Child Advocate (CASA) to help give children a fighting chance at a healthy life.
I raised my two children in the Bay Area and the Sierra foothills. Lukas graduates in 2013 from high school, an avid skier, tennis player and thinker about history. Alex joined the Army where he served in the 2nd Infantry Division, 1st Armored Brigade and spent a year in South Korea. Now a vet, he is living in Tennessee.
Why am I running?
I am running for Congress because I care about the people and issues that have been neglected in our beautiful rural area by our elected officials over the past few decades. I believe we can have a thriving economy that values community and rural living, supports working families, and helps small businesses grow.
I was inspired to run for this office after watching the 112th Congress engage in unprecedented obstructionism, blocking good legislation and nominees, and spend their time on a backwards war on women and false economic solutions. Our Congressional representatives have had a hands-off approach to our rural region and haven’t advocated well for our needs.
I have served the public my whole life. There is no feeling like knowing you have made a difference in a child's life or done something to protect the natural world. Running for office feels like the next natural step in my journey to do more for this beautiful blue marble we call home, and for the generation that will include my sons and my future grandchildren.
I value our beautiful District, but our representatives have elected to put the needs of those who have wealth and power before the needs of our working families. I am a life-long problem solver and I know that we can do better for our region. Frankly, we deserve better. My years in public service and serving on non-profit boards have given me essential skills for working with government departments at the federal, state and local levels. As a resource manager of over 25 years with degrees in public policy and international politics, I know what we need to do to protect our forests and waters, and to create a thriving rural economy around our abundant resources. When we take care of the environment and communities we live in, we are investing in a healthy future for our kids. When we take care of our seniors and make sure everyone has an equal opportunity for education and to participate in our economy, then we are contributing to prosperous family life and supporting the principles of freedom and fairness that have historically been points of American pride.
I will co-sponsor legislation that creates jobs and brings opportunities to rural areas like our District, and legislation that streamlines regulations and paperwork for small businesses struggling to compete in an unfair economy.
I will co-sponsor the bipartisan Follow the Money Act and the DISCLOSE Act, to bring transparency to the corporate funds flooding our elections and restore our democracy to the People.
I will also stand against the radical Paul Ryan budget that seeks to undermine the basic guarantees of health care, retirement security, and education, and that rejects responsible economic policies in favor of ideological delusions
My DFA Values
I believe our government is what we make it. The federal government should pursue measures that help working families and the middle class, because we are the ones who have given so dearly and invested so much to build this great nation.
As a mother I continue to advocate for good public schools, and believe in access to higher education for all who wish to continue learning and improving their skills. Education is an investment we should be happy to make.
Access to affordable, quality health care is a right, and ensuring such access is a duty that Congress must take seriously.
Keeping the promises of Medicare and Social Security—promises we’ve made to seniors who have fulfilled their obligations and deserve what they’ve earned—is an obligation that we cannot afford to ever forget. Nor can we deny current workers the opportunity to someday retire by taking these programs from them.
Protecting the environment and promoting sustainable growth is a necessity, and one that Congress can no longer ignore.
Defending the rights and liberties of women, minorities, the GLBT community, and immigrant communities is a fundamental obligation. Equality under the law is not a suggestion that Congress may ignore at its pleasure: it is a cornerstone of our Constitution, and must be honored as such.
My Campaign is People Powered!
I am running as a grassroots candidate. While I have held leadership positions during much of my life, and held a few small elected offices, I have not spent my life in electoral politics or built extensive political networks. Yet when I was asked to run by neighbors in my district, and received the blessing of my family and the local community, I knew that I had to launch this campaign to protect their voices and values.
My campaign began in December with just me and a few trusted volunteers, and has grown as I have begun raising funds and seeking out new support. To date, the majority of my campaign’s funds are from contributions of $100 or less. While I have begun networking with Democratic Central Committees and Clubs in my District, there is no one large group or donor underwriting my effort. I need the support of DFA and other groups that believe in responsible economic solutions to help working families because, without your backing, that message may never reach the people of this district before the 2014 election.