Who am I?
My story is the story like many of the people of my district. I come from a family which valued education and service. From my parents I learned to aim high and always strive to reach the mark. I also learned the joy of service – of helping those who are in need.
I followed my dream and became a teacher. For 36 years I helped my students on their journey to reach their dreams. I chaired the Social Studies Department, coached soccer, track, and cross country, served on school and district committees, sponsored clubs, and won awards for my innovative lesson plans. All the while focused on giving my students the best educational experiences I could provide.
I loved being a teacher. I taught Social Studies and used my skills to give my students an understanding of our nation’s history and the rights and responsibilities they have as citizens of our country. I tried to instill in them civic responsibility by reminding them that our government has NO money – they have ours - a fact often forgotten by those in Tallahassee.
After retiring from the Pasco County School district, I began teaching at Saint Leo University, guiding those who wish to teach. Seeing the district drop support for our new teachers due to budget cuts, I began an Alumni Teacher Group for our graduates mentoring them through their first years.
My husband Michael and I have been married for 41 years. We moved to Pasco County in 1973 soon after we were married. Our two children graduated from our public schools and we both were very involved in their activities. Michael and I are invested in our community.
Over the years, I have been a vocal activist for the rights of our working families. I have been a part of the AFL-CIO’s Working Families Lobbying Corp banding together to work on issues such as Wage Theft, protecting our public employees pensions, protecting our environment, and supporting access to healthcare for all our families. I am proud to say I am a lifetime member of the Florida Education Association-Retired.
Why am I running?
Our District deserves someone who knows both the people and the issues facing Eastern Pasco County. As a Dade City resident since 1973, I have raised a family here, taught in the Pasco County school system, and worked to make our community a better place. I am invested in our community and committed to the citizens of our district. My motivation is to serve the people of District 38 – not to use this seat as a springboard for another political office. I believe our state can be … Ledbetter!
I believe in a Florida where all people are respected—that the color of your skin, your gender, or the size of your wallet doesn’t matter. A Florida that has a level playing field for all its citizens.
I believe in a Florida where every child, every teacher and every school is more than the results of one test… that our children, our teachers are more important than tiny bubbles on a sheet of paper. A Florida which supports its public schools. I believe that a strong public education system is the best investment in Florida’s future – and for our children’s future.
I believe in a Florida where women and their families are trusted to make decisions about their own health and that every family has access to health care.
I believe in a Florida where no veteran should be homeless and that their service is respected and valued.
I believe in a Florida where workers earn a livable wage and labor is recognized as an equal partner in the economics of our state.
I believe in a Florida where women are respected and are given equal pay for equal work. A Florida that embraces the Equal Rights Amendment.
I believe in a Florida with clean air, clean water and a protected environment.
I believe in a Florida where you can go to the movies, pump your gas, or walk through a neighborhood without fear of being shot.
I believe in a Florida where every vote not only counts but every citizen is encouraged to vote - not stumbling blocks to voting.
And I believe in a Florida where our government leaders find common ground to work on solutions to our problems, and to move our state forward.
If you believe, like I believe, in a Florida where everyone has the opportunity to succeed and all have a voice in the direction of our state, then I ask you to support my campaign.
If you believe Florida needs to change directions, that we need a representative who doesn’t blindly follow the Republican Party line of protecting the privileges of the wealthy and large corporations at the expense of hard working families then support my campaign to be your voice in Tallahassee.
To change the direction of Florida, we need to change the Florida Legislature. That’s why I am running for the Florida Legislature, because I believe, the Florida House can be… Ledbetter!
One of my goals is to work to change the direction of the Florida House from protecting the privileges of the wealthy and large corporations to one that provides safeguards for the most venerable in our state. My top three policy goals include working to defend public education, shielding our environment, and guarding the rights of working families. All of these goals are interwoven to ensure Florida’s future. All are investments in our state.
Educating our children should be the top priority of our state. Public education is under attack from those who want to take our tax dollars and funnel them into for-profit corporate systems lacking in transparency and accountability. This trend must stop so that our public educational system is fully funded and the needs of our children are met. During my career as an educator, I have been a tireless champion for public education, speaking before the School Board and at committee meetings at the state level. I pledge to continue to fight to fully fund education and to give our education professionals the respect they deserve. Investing in education is the best investment in Florida’s future.
Florida is known for its beaches and natural beauty. These are endangered by those who would exploit the environment. I would work to stop fracking and to continue the ban on off-shore drilling. I support the Save Our Springs Initiative. In the “sunshine” state, tax credits should be given for investments in clean solar energy. I am a member of the Democratic Environmental Caucus. The investment in our environment is the only way to have a sustainable future for Florida.
Guarding the rights of working families is important to me. As a member of a labor union, I understand the importance of collective bargaining – of having a voice at the table. This past Legislative session, I worked with others to kill the anti-worker Wage Theft Bill which would have limited the right of an employee to pursue an employer who failed to pay them their full earned wages for work done. I support raising the minimum wage. The rights of working families also include access to healthcare – I would work to have Florida expand Medicaid. As a part of the Working Families Lobbying Corp, I have lobbied on behalf of workers in Tallahassee being a voice for the concerns of labor. Investing in Florida’s working families is the best use of our tax dollars.
My DFA Values
Community, security, and liberty are woven in my campaign. I am a long time resident of east Pasco County living in Dade City since 1973. I have raised a family here, taught in the Pasco County school system, and worked to make our community a better place. I am invested in our community and committed to the citizens of our district. Community means caring for all people and respecting the rights of all of its citizens. I pledge to work for our community – not huge out-of-state corporations.
Floridians need to feel secure about their present and their future. We can only feel secure if we make the needed investments in our people and our environment. Investing in our schools so all children receive a quality public education, expanding Medicaid so all Floridians have access to healthcare, and creating business incubators to nurture small businesses, all instill a hope for the future. Florida must also protect its environment to ensure a sustainable future. Managing our growth, protecting environmentally fragile lands, and investing in clean energy sources, will ensure a secure future for Florida.
One of the main functions of a government is to protect the rights of all its citizens – a fact all too often forgotten by the Tea Party and its followers. I believe that all Floridians should be respected and should have an equal opportunity to succeed – a level playing field. Every citizen should be encouraged to vote and not have stumbling blocks placed in their way. The Preamble to the Florida Constitution guarantees “equal civil and political rights to all.” Safeguarding our civil liberties should be paramount.
My Campaign is People Powered!
My campaign is a grassroots effort. Reaching out to others who believe we need a spokesperson who represents the people of our district – not one who blindly follows the platforms of the Republican Party, is the foundation of my organization. My campaign has a GREAT team: GrassRoots Energized Activists Together who are going to knock on doors, talk to the people of this district, get them to the polls, and win this election! My Republican opposition will be well funded, but money alone does not win an election. Through connecting with other groups - labor, women’s groups, environmental groups, senior groups, college students, veterans, and church groups – a well planned grassroots strategy can win.
I am reaching out to the community by travelling the district with a series of house party “listening” tours – to listen to the concerns of my district as well as The District 38 Public Bus Road Trip- riding public transportation and getting the message out. We are canvassing and phone banking. I have a dedicated GREAT team who believes the Florida House can be…Ledbetter!