Who am I?
I am a mother, wife, teacher, and community volunteer. I graduated from Wausau East in 1995 where I took many International Baccalaureate courses, cross country skiied, played goalie for the soccer team, and was the first girl in the conference to score points as the kicker on the football team. At St. Olaf, I majored in English and Norwegian, with a semester each in Norway and Indonesia. After college, I returned to Wausau where I worked for several nonprofits before becoming an English teacher with the Wausau School District. I have since earned my Master's in Education, and have a husband and three delightful daughters.
As a product of the 85th Assembly, I have enjoyed many opportunities like a great k-12 education, an excellent school district to teach in, safe neighborhoods to raise my family, and a supportive community network to explore our interests and raise our kids. It is my prerogative that all members of our community have the same opportunity to reach their potential.
Why am I running?
Before January of 2011, I was simply a voter, but I came to see that our legislature was forwarding many bills that did not reflect our Wisconsin values of integrity, respect, and fairness. Wisconsin has a long, proud tradition of working towards the common good with clean, open government.
I am working hard to bring members of the community together to build upon commonalities are so Wisconsin can continue to be a beacon in the areas of community engagement, small business growth, K-12 and higher education, clean environment, affordable preventative healthcare, and family sustaining jobs. Together, we have the solutions right here in our community.
First we need jobs. With the loss of more than 1,000 family-sustaining jobs in our area, we need to focus on retraining, supporting local business, and attracting new talent. We can do all those things by keeping our community vibrant. Better access to broadband for business and schools, improved bike/pedestrian infrastructure and safety, and start-up support for growing local and small businesses will keep our workforce productive while attracting young professionals.
Education and kids are our future, and we must find ways to support our schools. If we are going to train people to be ready for the workforce, we need innovative systems that can respond to the needs of the community. This past year, we saw the largest cuts in Wisconsin's history at the K-12 level, technical colleges lost 1/3 of their funding, and the University system has been pushed to the limit. This all takes its toll on students who receive fewer wrap-around services, opportunities in the classroom and extra-curriculars, and pay even higher tuition despite a difficult economy. If we want to invest in jobs, we need our strong education system to attract employers and train our next generation of employees. We have excellent K-12 districts that are moving forward with technology and community collaboration. We have programs within the district to train people for highly skilled jobs, but we need to maintain the integrity of those programs to keep Wisconsin moving forward.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
I am humbled by the wonderful team of volunteers that have contributed their time and talents to this campaign. With the help of many volunteers, we submitted well over the 200-400 nomination signatures to get on the ballot. As a candidate, I am continuously meeting people in their homes for coffees or attended community events like benefit fundraisers or Hmong clan graduation celebrations. I am meeting with various community leaders to coordinate issues and interests, which has been extremely beneficial when I am at events or knocking on doors, as I have been able to facilitate important communication of ideas and issues.
No matter the outcome of this campaign, I am focused on growing our community through better connections amongst the various segments of our community.