Why I’m Running

Strong public education for our children. Crushing healthcare bills. Skyrocketing college costs. Housing families and seniors can afford. Jobs and strong workers’ rights. A changing environment’s impact on the future. These are issues that families talk about around their kitchen table and, for many of us, the last thing we think about when we’re falling asleep. They deserve a state representative who has advocated for — and will continue to champion — these causes in the State House.

I’m a longtime activist on issues that make a difference in the lives of children, our communities, and working families. I’ve navigated a complicated system for special education services. I’m a working parent who came up through the school Site Council and the PTA. My long record of accomplishments over the past 20+ years include being elected to Lexington’s Town Meeting since 2006 and serving on the Revenue Options Working Group of Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts (PDM) since 2007. I’m a prominent voice in education, having held office in PTAs at the local, state, and national level and was elected twice to Lexington’s School Committee, serving as Chair. In 2007, Governor Deval Patrick named me to the Whole Child Subcommittee and in 2014 he appointed me as one of his legacy members to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

As the Parent Representative on the Statewide Board of Elementary and Secondary Education since 2014, I’ve learned what it takes to both advocate for progressive change and navigate the body to move forward that agenda. It’s that, with my many years of experience fighting for our community, that I’ll bring to the legislature. As member and Chair of Massachusetts PTA Federal and State Legislative Affairs, I’ve attended every legislative conference sponsored by National PTA between 2006-2015, taking the fight for better education funding, IDEA, SNAP, and more, to members of our Congressional Delegation in Washington, D.C. and to our elected representatives on Beacon Hill.

As a member of the BESE Budget Subcommittee, I prioritized the Department’s $5 billion budget: for social-emotional learning, literacy, civics, arts, and comprehensive health education, reduced testing, Safe Schools program for LGBTQ students, increased funding for METCO, and more.

I was also proud to have been asked by the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition to lead on better funding for public transportation and public education as one of ten original signers of the Fair Share Amendment (“millionaire’s tax”). This initiative has been championed by our own Representative, Jay Kaufman.

The causes Jay has supported, and the issues we face in our district and beyond, still need a courageous leader who isn’t afraid to speak up and make change. I’m running for State Representative because I’m dedicated and committed to our shared values of fairness, opportunity, and equality for all. As our next State Representative I’ll extend my leadership on issues of critical importance to our families and our future. And I ask for your vote. Thank you.

Photo credit: Horn Pond, Mary Ann Stewart