OFFICE BEING SOUGHT AND DISTRICT: State House, District 63
Have you previously run for or held a position in public office? No
ADDRESS: 200 Royal Oaks Blvd A1 Franklin, TN 37067
OCCUPATION: Self employed, COO and CoFounder of Girls to the Moon
EDUCATION: BA, University of Mississippi
FAMILY: Daughter, Clair, 8
Nashville American Marketing Association
President Elect 2014-15
Communications Chair 2013-14
Programming Chair 201213
24-hour Designathon Marketing Team Lead 2011-13
Leadership Franklin Alumni, 2011
PodCamp/BarCamp Technology Conference Volunteer Coordinator and Production Coordinator
1.) Why did you decide to run for this office?
I’m a mother and a veteran with deep roots in Williamson County. After watching what happened with our school board two years ago and learning about the influx of money from outside special interest groups, I decided it was time to stop complaining and do something. The folks of District 63 deserve to be represented by someone who cares about them who will fight for our schools, fix our traffic problems and ensure all working citizens have health insurance. My daughter is just beginning her public schooling in Williamson County and my parents will age and die here, so I’ve got many years left to dedicate to improving the quality of life in this county.
2.) What do you believe are the top three issues that need to be addressed in the Tennessee House of Representatives during the next General Assembly?
It’s time for our representatives to stop focusing on issues like pet skunks, state rifles and bills that protect sexual harassers and get back to work for the people of Williamson County. Public schools feed our thriving economy and fully funding the BEP should be a top priority. Our roads are too crowded- we must fix our traffic issues and finish Mack Hatcher, while focusing on smart and balanced growth. Over 4,000 people in Williamson County are without health insurance, including many veterans. A healthy economy leads to a thriving economy, and it’s time for our elected officials to bring Insure TN up for a vote.
3.) How will you make decisions that are best for the state as a whole, while also addressing the issues that concern the constituents in your specific district?
I served my country as a naval officer right after 9/11 on a guided missile destroyer during Operation Enduring Freedom. I understand what it means to serve and I understand what it means to take care of your people. It’s time that the constituents of District 63 actually have a representative who cares about them and this county. My job, once elected, is to represent ALL of Williamson County, not just those who agree with me.
4.) What do you think is your greatest accomplishment in the House of Representatives? Or, once elected, what would you most like to accomplish as a state representative?
Can you believe in the year 2016, many women are not paid the same wage for the same work? The current District 63 State Representative served on the subcommittee that voted against a bill that would ensure equal pay for equal work. Two years ago, I cofounded a social enterprise company called Girls to the Moon with the simple mission of empowering young girls to change the world. We value inclusivity, respect, empathy, fearlessness and truth. These values serve as a guide in daily decisions and speak to the importance of teaching young girls and women to love themselves. I firmly believe in equal pay for equal work and will fight for this basic rights and change the conversation.
5.) What are the biggest challenges that your district faces, and how do you plan to address the challenges if elected?
Our elected officials need to be held accountable for their actions, or lack thereof, at the state level and we can’t have one more legislative session like this year where our public schools were opened up to privatization and the conversation about access to health care was nonexistent. I will speak for the single mothers, the teachers and police and firemen and women who can’t afford to live here and the families who speak another language before English. I support workforce housing efforts that Glen Casada passed a bill to stop. I will stand up for every working citizen who deserves health care and push for Insure TN. I believe in equal pay for equal work and you better believe I will fight for our mothers, sisters, aunts and daughters to be paid what they deserve.
6.) Top issues that seem to rise to the surface of community conversation are traffic, school funding and the ongoing issue of providing health insurance to the state’s uninsured who fall below a portion of the poverty level in Tennessee. What is your position on handling these issues in the state legislature?
The traffic here is horrible. Our local officials do a great job with long-term planning and fighting for the money they need in our budgets, but there’s a disconnect at the state level. I plan to fight at the state level to make sure we get our fair share of funding.
Vouchers will come up again next year, and our teachers and students deserve a representative who will speak for them and keep our tax dollars inside our public schools. I’m very involved with the Williamson County school board and have been following this closely. In fact, Superintendent Mike Looney contributed a maximum donation to my campaign. I will fight to keep taxpayer money in our public schools and work with our commissioners to fully fund our public schools.
As an entrepreneur and single mother, Insure TN hits close to home and I feel it’s extremely important that the state representatives in Williamson County push for our working citizens to have proper coverage. We have over 4,000 people who fall into the coverage gap and I will make it a priority to give these people a voice.
We need common sense leadership that’s not funded by outside special interest groups. We need more women in leadership and we need to focus on our schools, our roads and our workforce.