As our country faces paralyzing partisan division, unprecedented challenges, and unparalleled opportunities we need leaders who are committed to putting people first and working toward solutions for everyone in our community.

We need leaders who are committed to putting people first. As State Senator, I will stand strong for what matters to us.

I will stand strong for quality healthcare for all of us.

When my sister Olivia was born in 1993 with severe developmental and physical disabilities, we didn’t know if she’d live an hour, or a day, or a year. She lived to be 19 years old, and it was a blessing for my family. But it was also a struggle. Even with my dad’s Federal employee insurance from the Shipyard, we wouldn’t have been able to pay for Olivia’s expensive medical equipment, for the specialists in Tacoma and Seattle, or for in-home care for 19 years.

Because of Medicaid, Olivia was able to live a full life at home with my family, and as a special-ed student at East Port Orchard Elementary. I believe that no family – regardless of their income or financial situation — should go bankrupt or lose their home because they have been in an accident or have medical needs, and I will stand strong for that in Olympia.

I will stand strong so every child has the same opportunities.

Our classrooms are overcrowded and our schools are underfunded. When I attended South Kitsap High school, there weren’t enough desks for every student in my English class. But I was incredibly fortunate: I had many dedicated teachers, and a supportive family, who encouraged and helped me to set and achieve my goals. In spite of many obstacles and resource limitations, I was given the opportunity to pursue the education and professional life that I wanted.

But years later, we continue to see portable classrooms crowding the lawns of schools across the district.

Teachers and paraeducators, like my mom, are overworked and undervalued. Students are not getting the resources and attention they need to be ready to graduate, much less for what comes next — college, apprenticeship programs, family-wage jobs.

In order to build a future that works for all of us, we need to strengthen our schools, value our teachers, and invest in our children. I believe opportunities for a good education – be that in college, a trade school, or an apprenticeship – should be available to every child in the 26th district, and I will stand strong for that in Olympia.

I will stand strong for an economy that works for everyone.

While Seattle’s economy is booming, many of us in the Kitsap Peninsula are not seeing those benefits. Our cost of living is skyrocketing, we spend longer and longer in our cars during our daily commute, and the services we depend on like our roads and public schools continue to be underfunded.

Our community needs a voice in Olympia that will stand up for us and our local economy. As State Senator, I will stand up for investments in infrastructure, from our ferries to our bridges and roads, that keep our economy moving. I will fight to give our home-grown small and mid-sized business a fair shot. And I will prioritize job training and apprenticeship programs to make sure our students are well-prepared for the jobs needed most in today’s economy.

We have the opportunity to move forward, in a way that’s right for us, and I will stand strong for our community in Olympia.