Who am I?
I grew up in a large family. Not only did my parents have his uncle and her mom living with the nine of us, but 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 their advocate.
Returning to New Hampshire, I earned a Master’s 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. After my children were born, 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 wrote a proposal for and helped launch a non-profit Social Service Agency in Maryland, and served on its Board of Directors. I also chaired our local Mayor’s Taskforce on Senior Housing.
We transferred back home to New Hampshire, and I began concentrating 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 someone from NH had to speak up for what I call "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. I—and my grassroots supporters—proved them wrong. I was the first woman ever elected to national office from NH and was elected to Congress three times, in 2006, 2008, and 2012, 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 fourth term, and the reason for running has not changed at all. As I serve the good people of New Hampshire's First District, I work for (and have always worked for) what I call the bottom 99% of Americans, and I never forget that public office is a public trust. I have been honored to pass legislation to help active duty soldiers and veterans, families, working men and women, senior citizens, students, and small businesses, and am continuing with this focus today. 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 economic future and our national security, and that shipping jobs overseas hurts not just American workers but 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 I’m running for office to make that dream a possibility for all.
The 112th Congress House of Representatives passed and and our current House is passing legislation that hurts average Americans, and the Majority is bowing to special interests instead of focusing on job creation and good government. Now that I've returned to office, there is 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. Certainly my work for the people was not completed in 2010, and I have many initiatives and much legislation that I would like to return to and pursue again.
Specifically, for defense-related legislation, I am continuing my work to make sure reckless defense contractors are held accountable and to enable the oversight agencies to do so; 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. Though I ni longer sit on the the Education and Labor Committee, I’m proud of the work we did to increase access to a college education, and I will continue working to make education affordable and more accessible. I also plan to re-introduce legislation to undo the changes made by the Bush Administration to the Family Medical Leave Act. My Family Medical Leave Restoration Act would ensure that working families have the flexibility they need if a family member is sick or injured.
I am again sitting on the Natural Resources Committee, and am working to protect the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act, all of which are under attack. I am working to make sure that the agencies that protect our nation's natural resources and wildlife have the funding they need to do so. 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 work for clean energy and reducing our carbon emissions, and believe that renewable and alternate energy is key to our economic future and our national security.
My DFA Values
My campaigns, including my current one, have always embodied the shared values of community, security, and liberty.
Every one of my campaigns has been a community effort run and owned by local community volunteers. I began running these people-powered, community-driven campaigns in 2006 when I put together and won my first congressional campaign with an all-volunteer staff from District communities, and in 2008, 2010, and 2012, grassroots community activists continued to drive my campaigns. Back in 2006, many of my campaign volunteers were veterans of the Howard Dean and Wes Clark NH presidential primary campaigns in 2003 and 2004. These activists knew how much impact people could have when they worked together and didn’t give up.
When a campaign becomes a community effort and represents the values of the community, it also embodies liberty. The people who power my campaign freely contribute their time, hard work, ideas, and so this is a liberating campaign because it empowers the people who drive it. Our campaign is a community and democratic effort in its very core and structure.
My Campaign is People Powered!
I have a record of running people-powered campaigns. My three previous campaigns in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 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 countless previous campaigns, including my previous four campaigns. It is also people-powered because we do not take (and never have taken) money from DC lobbyists and large 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).