B.S. Athletic Training (Kent State); B.S. Nursing (KSU); Master of Education (NC State); Master of Public Administration (KSU); Doctor of Nursing Practice (Ohio State)
Retired Naval Officer, Registered Nurse, Educator, Certified Athletic Trainer, Small Business Owner
What is the most pressing problem facing the federal government? What solutions will you promote?
The single most important policy issue facing the federal government is preserving our Democracy. Over the past two decades, we have seen a steady decline in civil discourse in Congress. This has led to total gridlock in Congress because folks will no longer sit down to discuss the issues facing America and how to solve those issues. This incivility spread like wildfire through our country during the past Administration and has pit family members and neighbors against each other. This has got to stop. During my first few weeks in Congress, I am committed to shaking hands with all my colleagues and getting to know them. Instead of finger-pointing and playing the blame game, I will roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty working with my colleagues to find solutions to our challenges.
The pandemic has brought to light social and economic inequities. What role does the federal government have in alleviating such inequities?
The Federal government plays a crucial role in protecting the rights of all Americans. This is particularly true in state legislatures that are more apt to overreach, trampling on the rights of women and minorities. Congress must pass legislation that protects the rights of women to make their own choices regarding their health – we can no longer rely on a precedent set by the Supreme Court. Congress must also pass legislation that protects the right to vote for all Americans and expands protections for sexual and gender minorities.
What steps should the federal government take to assure free, fair and secure elections, and that every eligible voter has full access to the ballot?
We must pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This bill stops voting discrimination in its tracks and provides voters with tools to challenge discrimination when it happens. It increases transparency by requiring notice for changes to voting policies and rules, grants the Attorney General the authority to request the presence of federal observers where there is a threat of racial discrimination in voting, implements best practices, and requires federal approval for policies that impact the ability to cast a ballot or register to vote, the availability of language assistance, or redistricting.
We must also pass the For the People Act to curb voter suppression and make it easier for all Americans to cast a ballot. It would outlaw gerrymandering of congressional districts, overhaul our campaign finance laws, combat corruption, and make federal campaign spending more transparent.
What is your position on efforts to protect our water, air, and land? Include how you will address climate change.
The air we breathe, and the water we drink are precious resources we must protect at all costs. Without these resources, there is no life on our planet. I will fiercely pursue legislation that protects these resources. I will also sponsor and co-sponsor legislation that thrusts the United States to center stage as a role model for combating climate change. Again, if we do not do everything we can to protect our planet, there will be no planet for us to live on.
How much federal influence should there be on what is taught in schools? Please be specific.
Every level of government should have a limited role in our education system. Government should establish standards for teachers and criteria for academic achievement and provide resources to public schools to ensure our students receive the best education possible. The actual topics taught should be determined through a collaborative process involving parents, students, teachers, and school administrators. A student in rural Deerfield, Ohio, should receive the same education quality that a student gets in urban Columbus, Ohio.
Why are you the best candidate for this seat?
I have led a life of service to this country. First, I served as a nurse in the U.S. Navy and then worked as a civil servant in the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense. The same motivation that led me to be a nurse has led me to pursue being the next Congressperson for Ohio’s 14th Congressional District – the overwhelming desire to help others. I am dedicated to serving my fellow Ohioans.