Representing vulnerable children, families and the community, is what I know. Fighting for the voiceless and things that matter is what I do. Showing up with energy and innovation, listening to and being accountable to the people who live and invest in the district is how I get those things done. It is your stories, your hopes and dreams that will shape my work.
This election and every election should be about providing for our safety, health, economic wellbeing and quality of life. Those are the things most of us discuss around kitchen tables; things that sadly keep many of us up at night.
Before entering this race, I spent months in the 13th Congressional district listening to your voices; to the things that matter to you and your family. This district is big and diverse. We are part of the metro Atlanta area, but we are not the city of Atlanta. We are where Main Streets matter; where people matter.
I heard time and time again that people simply want the best for their kids, to be safe in their community, to see their neighborhood thrive and to realize equity in opportunities they work hard to achieve.
I will be a bold and brave advocate in Congress for the things that matter to you and your family. Some of those priorities:
Just as members of Congress have, we all deserve access to good health care that does not exclude those with preexisting conditions. Whether you are taking care of yourself, your kids, grandkids or parents, healthcare should be affordable, and no one should go broke paying co-pays or for medicine and medical bills.
The quality of public education in the 13th Congressional District varies greatly. I will support and fight for initiatives to increase access to pre-kindergarten and to supplement teacher pay. I believe 2-year and 4-year community college and technical trade schools should be tuition free. We also need an aggressive plan to address the student loan debt crisis.
Closing the gender pay gap is long overdue. We can no longer ignore the differences in the barriers women and girls face. The gender pay gap is especially large for black and Latino women. How much longer must we wait?
I believe in a woman’s right to choose. As a lifelong practicing Catholic, abortion has been a tough issue to address through the lens of politics. What is right for me is not right for everyone, but I believe unequivocally in a women’s moral, legal and ethical right to follow her conscience and choose what is right for her and her family in matters of reproductive health. Roe v. Wade is the law in the United States, and I support the parameters laid out by the court in that opinion.
Criminal Justice Reform
I have stood on the front lines of criminal justice reform as a Public Defender and know how the system has torn apart families and does not always work as fairly as we expect. Decriminalizing some offenses, ending private prisons and mass incarceration, along with bail and sentencing reform will all go a long way in correcting errors in the system and moving toward equal protection under the law.
My family lost everything in hurricane Katrina. People were without food, water and shelter. It’s time to take seriously how our actions contribute to natural disasters and climate change. I support re-engaging in the Paris Agreement along with consideration for efforts that both address climate change, infrastructure and economic inequality. From warmer temperatures to weather disasters, in Georgia we are experiencing the effects of climate change and it is threatening and reducing our crops and negatively impacting the livelihood of our top industry. We must act immediately to protect our health, natural resources, food supply and infrastructure.
Children do not deserve to fear being shot in school. I enjoy range shooting and have been a member of the Well-Armed Woman yet believe unequivocally, it is time to act to actively reduce gun violence in this country. I support engaging in substantive measures, such as a national gun licensing program, renewing the assault weapon ban, restrictions on high capacity magazines and universal background checks to address mass shootings in this country.
As a child advocate attorney, I have seen the result of children being separated from their family members and will fight to end this detrimental practice. I support and will fight for comprehensive immigration reform. I support expanding access to legal immigration, including a manner for undocumented immigrants already in the United States to access a pathway to citizenship, because most of us believe there is enough for all of us, and know without question, there is strength in diversity.
Every vote must count and we must continue the fight for free and fair elections across the nation, and remove barriers to voter registration and voting itself.