My first term in the Maine Senate has been amazing, challenging, intense, and a time of deep learning for me. I’m proud of my part in making things better for Mainers, and grateful for the opportunity to work on the issues that are important to my neighbors. Here are some of the things I’ve done:
- Wrote and submitted a bill to require insurance companies to cover autism services for youths 5 to 10.
- Advocated strongly for expanding Medicaid to help save the lives of Mainers.
- Sponsored a bill to let people in hospices and nursing homes use medical marijuana if their doctors prescribe it.
- Co-sponsored a bill to require hospitals to screen newborns for congenital heart defects – defects which can easily be operated on if they are caught.
I’ve always worked to make things better for others. When I first graduated from college I worked with adults with mental illness. I spent a year in Eastern Europe providing supportive counseling services to international students. While there, I developed a love for clinical work and also wanted to learn more about health and social policy. When I returned to the U.S., I earned a Masters in Social Work from Boston College.
I believe that political action is vital to helping those in need, because often the problems are more than individual ones. I can work with an individual or family, but if a person can’t find a job or doesn’t have money for food or heat, then whatever I do will not be as effective as addressing the larger issues. So I combine the two. I work to get the people of Central Maine the opportunities they need to succeed – not just survive.
I have fought for candidates and policies that improve access to affordable health care, promote economic fairness, and increase educational and vocational opportunities so Mainers can get jobs that pay a living wage.
As a little girl, my parents took me to Mass, where I learned that not everyone was as fortunate as I was. I was taught that we have a responsibility to care for those who are vulnerable. My father has been my role model through his volunteer work for food pantries and soup kitchens. My mother and I have participated in local knitting circles, and she donates yarn to charitable causes. They taught us the importance of caring for our neighbors, a tenet they have followed in their own lives.
As a social worker with 25 years’ experience, I have worked with individual clients and families, provided services in schools in Waterville and Winslow, developed and managed program budgets, supervised staff, and worked to obtain grants to help fund services. I am proud of my ability to use resources carefully to provide services for children in need.
I believe poverty and its consequences are the most pressing problems facing this district. I believe that by serving this district in the Maine Senate, I can make a difference. I invite you to ask questions, learn more, and get involved. Don’t be surprised if you see me on your doorstep – getting to know the people of this district is a huge part of both my campaign and my service. I look forward to meeting you!