Biography

Strong public education, jobs with real wage growth, and quality, comprehensive health care are the keys to growing the diversified economy of Alaska’s future. That’s why I’m running as an Independent candidate for Congress in the Democratic Primary.

I am a lifelong Alaskan. After going outside for education, my husband and I came back to Alaska to raise our four children. I have always worked to improve my community and now I want to find solutions to the issues important to all Alaskans.

For the past five years, I led Great Alaska Schools, a grassroots effort I helped launch and grow from 40 to 4,000 people statewide. I organized folks all across our state and lobbied legislators in Juneau and DC to hold the line against public education cuts that were devastating our kids’ schools. I fought every day for our kids.

I know that strong public education, jobs with wage growth and access to affordable health care are the keys to growing the vibrant economy of the future. 

+ Alaskan Roots

My family first came up to Alaska to serve in World War II. I grew up here in a diverse Alaskan family of builders, butchers, bankers, mechanics, misfits and outlaws. Growing up, my family struggled with addiction, mental illness, and abuse, but I was determined to break the cycle.

I started working when I was eight years old, and never stopped. I went outside for education, earning a degree in political science from University of California San Diego. I worked my way through college with a variety of jobs including copy shop manager, health care worker and waitress.

My husband and I returned to Alaska to start our family and went on to raise our four wonderful children in Alaska. As a new mom, I taught in community school and was a substitute teacher in K-12 classes. I've also owned two small businesses and managed a large hotel.

+ Fighter For Public Education

With experience expanding early childhood education for Alaskan kids at the public-private partnership Best Beginnings, I went on to serve Alaskans under the leadership of two governors to improve the state’s public schools.

In 2014, frustrated by years of education underfunding and facing renewed threats to public schools, I joined a small group of parents to resist new budget cuts. From that small beginning, Great Alaska Schools grew into a grassroots force of thousands across the state, forcing lawmakers to take our demands seriously, restore funding, and act to improve public education.

+ Stepping Up to Serve

I have spent my entire life bringing people together to solve problems, fighting for our communities and standing up for Alaska’s future. I am ready to be a solutions-oriented, independent voice who fights for all Alaskans.

Alaska and our nation are at a crossroads right now. I believe I am the new kind of leader we need for Alaska’s future. In Congress, I will bring new, forward-thinking leadership to build an innovative economy for jobs, fix the mess that is our healthcare system and tackle the opioid epidemic that is tearing apart our communities.

My husband Pat and I are the proud parents of four amazing kids raised and educated in Alaska. Like any parent, I want to make sure that Alaska is a place with the jobs, educational opportunities, and vibrant communities that will allow my children — and every child — to live, work and raise families right here in Alaska, too.

This is a federal office but I don’t believe national solutions are always right for Alaska. I’m not running to bring Washington values to Alaska; I’m running to bring Alaska’s needs and Alaska’s values to Washington. This is a grassroots campaign about the people of Alaska, which is why I’m not accepting any corporate PAC money. I’m running against Don Young to finally put Alaskans first.

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