I never dreamed of running for office. I built a career as a registered dietitian, and spent fifteen years nourishing critically ill patients in a hospital setting. I’m married to a transplant surgeon, and together we were a medicine family, caring for others as our service to society. I live in Birmingham, where my husband and I are raising our two daughters, Kavia (age 6) and Mahalie (age 3) to be kind and compassionate, and to serve their community around them. My own roots are Downriver, in a working class community. My dad is a Navy veteran, and my parents owned a hair salon for 40 years. As small business owners, my parents raised me to be hardworking and independent. My husband’s parents, as immigrants to this country, left behind all that they knew to give their family opportunity and quality education. These are the values that we are passing on to our own daughters.
In 2015, a colleague was shot and killed by the relative of a patient while in his clinic. This was at the same hospital where I cut my teeth as a dietitian, met my husband, and had my first child. This tragedy affected me deeply, not only because the victim was my colleague and friend, but because my husband and I had similarly devoted our lives to caring for the sickest patients. With the current state of firearms culture and laws in our society, there is nothing in place that might prevent this tragedy from happening again — there, or anywhere in our communities.
This is where my trajectory changed, and I devoted myself to public service in a different way. I became a volunteer in the gun violence prevention movement and I’ve spent the past two years fighting back against the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda for our state. I remember the first committee hearing I ever attended: I drove to Lansing with my daughter Mahalie in tow, to show lawmakers what was at stake. In the end, those lawmakers voted to allow guns in our kids’ schools, in our hospitals, and in our places of worship. I left that hearing feeling like I didn’t have a voice, that Lansing didn’t represent my community or me. It was that feeling that motivated me to run for office.
We want our kids to have the brightest possible futures. We want to make sure they have an education that will prepare them to excel. We want to make sure that we do whatever it takes to keep them healthy and keep them safe. We also want to give back to prior generations, who have devoted their lives to building our communities and deserve a good quality of life as they age. As your state representative, I will bring these family values to Lansing, where for far too long politicians have prioritized political gain over the people they represent.
Why I’m Running
Our community deserves a representative who understands our values, and I and will fight for public policies that benefit and protect residents across the state. My neighbors want a representative who will go to Lansing to work for them, and who is interested in common sense solutions, not partisan politics. From my experience in health care, I know that we need and deserve common sense solutions that are designed to get results.
We must stand up against Lansing’s failure to protect our neighborhoods, the happiness and success of our residents, and the future of our children. I am running because Lansing politicians continue to ignore the issues important to our community and state, including keeping our communities safe, funding our public education, and protecting the health and welfare of our families.
I am running for State Representative to fight for the values of my community and to be your voice in Lansing.