My path toward public service is not typical.
I don’t come to this work with a law degree or credentials in political science, but as a survivor of childhood abuse and neglect and subsequent poverty and disability. I got to live to fight another day because of a combination of our humble social safety net, support from siblings, and a move back to Colorado Springs after some years away.
I love this city and our beautiful state all the way down to my bones. My survival and my new lease on life are tied directly to my attachment to Colorado Springs, our abundant access to nature, the view, my wonderful and supportive husband who I met here, and the (usually) fresh mountain air.
My story of survival depended on everything coming together just in time, and without that combination of factors I would likely not even be here, let alone thriving, healthy, and happy. And I'm so grateful.
But these are terrible odds. And I won't accept this level of needless struggle and insecurity for others. We can do better.
We have the capacity -- and increasingly broad consensus -- to make transformative upgrades to our laws, our economy, and our systems of support in this state. No one needs to be excluded or left behind.
In 2016, I found myself in a new kind of perfect storm: the former president hadn't yet been elected, but like so many others, I was incredibly discouraged to see the level of tyranny and xenophobia and grift that some political actors are capable of, and how many otherwise decent people could be persuaded to go along with it. I was also, thankfully, beginning to move into long term recovery, with my last mental health crisis fading into the rear view at last.
It also occurred to me, in a way that it hadn't before, that I genuinely love this country, and that I'd sadly internalized a false narrative about what patriotism is. I've never been a particularly flag-waving, cheer-leading type when it comes to patriotic displays. I've never liked the idea of defining love by the gestures one makes. It's always rung hollow to me.
That which we truly love, we take good care of.
So I got to work to make things better, volunteering for local races, like helping Yolanda Avila get to Colorado Springs City Council, knocking doors for now Governor Jared Polis, and getting involved in local Democratic Party leadership. I volunteer for causes I believe in, and do peer-to-peer outreach to strengthen renters' rights.
There are no shortcuts to the kind of healing and renewal that we need, here in our fair city and all across this state and our nation. But every step we take matters, and everybody can help.
This is my second run for the people's House of Colorado. We achieved a lot on the first campaign, and with support from this beautiful and vibrant community, I know we can turn things around and flip a seat.
Every hour of volunteer time, every dollar donated, every little thing you do to amplify the race, makes a difference.