Who am I?
I’m a healthcare professional with over 17 years of experience in behavioral health. I’m also a working mother, and my husband and I are raising our son here in Southwest Pennsylvania.
After earning my degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, and Chatham University, I worked in outpatient treatment programs for women and families struggling with addiction. I’m now the Executive Director of Arche Wellness, an addiction treatment center I started in 2006 – the first of its kind to be certified by the state.
Why am I running?
I come from a working family. My father was an active member of the IBEW, and my mother was a registered nurse and UFCW member. They taught my brothers and me that respecting workers means paying them wages that can support a family, giving them a safe place to work, and making sure that they had a chance to get ahead. That’s a principle we’re not seeing enough of in Congress.
I’m running for Congress because our district isn’t getting the service and respect we deserve from Washington. Our middle class and working families are being ignored by far-right politicians, who care more about scoring political points and currying favor with big donors than helping their constituents.
I entered this race because we need a different approach. I believe in treating more than just on the symptoms, but the root causes of our nation’s problems. We need to address the economic inequality that keeps working families from getting ahead, invest in our future through improving infrastructure and education, and promote the idea that all Americans deserve equal respect and protection under the law.
I’m also running because our state’s women are terribly underrepresented in Congress. The only woman in our congressional delegation, Allyson Schwartz, is leaving at the end of this term. Especially in the wake of anti-woman court decisions and legislation over the past few years, we need to have more women step up and run for office. I’m proud to be endorsed by Lilly Ledbetter, whose own struggle with sex discrimination helped spark a movement for change.
1. We need to get Congress back to creating jobs and growing the middle class. Our government has incredible purchasing power, but we’re not using it to help American businesses and workers. I’ll fight to improve our aging infrastructure using American-made products, including steel made right here in Pennsylvania. I’ll support small businesses and entrepreneurs who can hire new workers with tax credits. I’ll sponsor legislation to raise the minimum wage to help low-wage workers avoid the trap of poverty. And I’ll work to reduce the tax burden on middle class and working families, since they’re the ones who drive our economy.
2. I’ve seen from the inside how far short our healthcare system is falling, especially when compared to other countries. We deserve a healthcare system that’s built for this century, not the last one. I’ll support efforts to reduce costs and expand access to comprehensive, quality health coverage for all Americans – first and foremost, I’ll fight for a public insurance option available to every American. And I’ll fight to make electronic health records the standard across the country, so that care can be delivered more safely and efficiently.
3. The best investment we can make in our future is education. We need a 21st century education program, with standards that prepare our students to excel in our global job market. We need to make a college or vocational education more affordable for working families by lowering student loan interest rates, increasing Pell grants, and adopting a national program to forgive student loan debt for graduates who devote their careers to public service.
My DFA Values
I believe that workers deserve respect, fair treatment, and good wages. Nobody who works full-time should face a lifetime of poverty. And those who’ve spent their lives working deserve a secure retirement.
I believe in economic justice. Too often, our policies focus on helping the richest of the rich, and not the people whose labor makes our economy work. We need to focus on helping working Americans achieve financial security before we worry about helping multimillionaires buy second or third homes.
I believe in equality for all Americans. Our politics have reached a point where it seems like fairness is a partisan issue. Women, racial minorities, LGBT Americans, seniors, immigrants and guest workers – all of these groups have seen their rights attacked in recent years by a series of ultra-conservative politicians. We need to defend the principle of equality, because that is the foundation of our democracy.
Most of all, I believe in progress. Our country is at its best when we’re working together to make the future better for our children and generations to come. If history is to judge us favorably, we have to invest in the future, and shape this country to our values and ideals, rather than let today’s problems define us.
My Campaign is People Powered!
Our grassroots campaign won a resounding win in our primary, because we engaged with workers, activists, students, seniors, and members of the community who normally wouldn’t get involved in a race like ours. I’m proud to have been endorsed by Labor groups like the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, United Steel Workers Local 1196, and IBEW Locals 5 and 29. Our team built a base of support that reached every county in the district, and we prioritized face-to-face contact with voters. Our field team and volunteer network stretches to every corner of the district, and we’ve maintained our momentum moving into the summer months. With the support of our local community and groups like DFA, we’re poised to return this district to its progressive roots and make a real change in Washington.