As a mom, a wife and a working professional, I never thought I’d be interested in running for a political office, but after the 2016 election cycle that all changed. It was appalling to witness things like unfairly drawn districts and special interest money helping win elections for candidates who put private interests ahead of public wellbeing. I’m frustrated that so many of our elected officials have lost sight of what it means to be a representative of the people and have sidelined the values of their communities. I felt compelled to use this feeling of dissatisfaction for real change.

I’m running for State Senate to demand better from our state government and to redefine what our representation can be. Our lives and the lives of our children are affected every day by decisions made in the Ohio legislature and it’s long past time “we the people” truly have a voice there. I’m ready to represent working families and to actively engage with my constituents to make their wellbeing the top priority. I’m inspired by the idea of strengthening our public schools, working towards affordable healthcare for all and investing in an economy that provides livable wages at jobs that carry Ohio into the future.

I often worry about what the future holds for my young twin boys and their generation. We were fortunate to be able to move into an area of Central Ohio with a good school district when they were a year old. I am thankful we were able to do that because one of our sons was diagnosed with autism a couple years later and requires extra help both in and out of school. In school, Westerville City School district has been able to offer support for his unique needs, but I know not every school district has the resources to dedicate to these services. Having a good insurance plan through my employer, he has also been able to get services like speech therapy and behavioral therapy with minimal out-of-pocket costs to us, but I know for many families without Medicaid these services would not be possible.

Not every family has the means to move to provide a better opportunity for their children, but you should not have to relocate to ensure your children have access to a great education, social services and affordable healthcare. These things should be available to all, so everyone has the freedom to be healthy, happy and productive in Ohio. I will be working to make that happen.

I’m running for State Senate in District 19 to ensure that my family and the families of ALL my fellow community members have opportunities to learn, work and thrive here in Ohio now and in the future.