I was raised in South Saint Paul on a steady diet of Minnesota enthusiasm. My siblings, Peter and Claire, and I spent summers going to the North Shore and road-tripping along the Mississippi river.
But it wasn’t all about outdoor leisure: Our grandparents worked in the stockyards, and we learned the value of hard work, integrity, and dedication to the task at hand. That’s the attitude we brought to summers spent herding ducks down the alley with hockey sticks, practicing day in and day out to make the school band proud, and riding bikes to friends’ houses. Every day taught us the irreplaceable value of committing to community, where kids could wander down the street and adults watch out for each other.
So after attending college in Iowa, where I found and married my lifelong sweetheart, the Twin Cities was the natural place for us to raise our family. The working-class values of our district, putting in a full day’s work, treating people fairly, and strong community are the ideals that my husband and I want to instill in our son, William.
I graduated from South St. Paul High School in 2001, and earned bachelor’s degrees in Russian and Biology from Grinnell College (IA) in 2005. After moving back to Minnesota, I was hired at the Pollution Control Agency where I’ve been working the past twelve years. While working full time, I earned my Master of Science degree in Environmental Policy from the Humphrey School at the U of M. Currently I’m a research scientist at the MPCA where I specialize in climate change policy.
Championing the environment is my passion, and I am president of my MAPE union local, and I have been a mentor for women in science, from volunteering with the girl scouts to leading Hamline University’s Women in Public Service Conference and mentoring at the University of Minnesota.
Why I’m running:
I’m running because we need scientists in our legislature, and we need more people supporting data-driven, evidence-based policy. Our public institutions - and science itself - are under attack like never before. As a working mother, I’m offended by GOP attacks on women’s rights and working families. As a scientist, I’m appalled by their complete disregard of science and efforts to roll back environmental protections. And as union local President, I’m angered that millionaires and billionaires are stopping at nothing to attack the freedoms of working Minnesotans.
I am proud of what my union has achieved, but every Minnesotan deserves the freedom to collectively bargain, fair and equitable wages, good healthcare and the opportunity to succeed. I’m running because as Paul Wellstone said best: “We all do better when we all do better.” We deserve better, too.
We need a representative who’s going to fight every day to make sure every working Minnesotan has the ability raise their children, and care for their parents, and retire with dignity. We need to end the “me first” politics currently permeating the capitol in St. Paul where our State Representatives have great health insurance but refuse to make it accessible for every Minnesotan.