Dear Valued Resident of District 100,

  

I hope you will find this page of our website to be informative and to give you an idea of why I decided to run for office. 


As I watched the 2017 Missouri legislative session unfold, I was stunned at how often our representatives chose to remove consumer protections, worker protections and to cut healthcare and education funding, while at the same time they maneuvered to reduce state revenue and do virtually nothing to improve our infrastructure.


I also watched national agendas from elite think-tanks be pushed upon the state of Missouri by former Governor Greitens and other legislators. 


As a mother and as a businesswoman, I found many of these actions inexcusable. By the end of 2017, I decided I needed to run for office to offer voters a choice at the voting booth. 


I want voters to know who they are voting for. If you vote for me, you may not always agree with all of my opinions, but you will know 

  • What I stand for
  • I always speak my mind truthfully 
  • I understand there are many sides to every issue
  • I will not hide from you 

I look forward to meeting you in person, getting to know what is important to you, and earning your vote.


Please visit our facebook page to find the location for the next Saturday Morning Coffee, or to email me directly through the website contact form. 

Champion Excellence in Education

Looking to the Future

Successful schools are critical to property values and a thriving community. 


Funding for Public Education must be maintained and improved. 


Millions of dollars were cut from the education budget in 2017 and transportation funding was slashed. In 2018, some money was restored, but that funding is not expected to be available moving forward. [5] 


Teachers need to be afforded flexibility and rewarded for innovation. Schools need to be allowed to use updated testing so that teachers are not only teaching to the test, but to the needs of their students.


Our state education must be focused on preparing students to prosper in the real world by including meaningful high school-business partnerships, certificate programs, computer programming, IT, and apprenticeships as well as affordable 2- and 4-year degrees.


If we have the will, we can strengthen our public schools, provide for innovation and 21st Century solutions to our challenges, and improve how our tax dollars are spent. 


Per-Student Funding: 

In addition to cutting education funds, the Missouri Legislature lowered the “fully-funded” amount per student to fit the budget instead of actually fully funding the schools. 


The per-student funding in Missouri has essentially remained the same for over 10 years - a senseless failure to invest in the next generation because our school funding doesn’t keep up with inflation. 


We must do better if we want our children to have a bright future.


Respect for Teachers:

Respect for teachers needs to be publicly promoted and financially supported by the state and our elected officials. Teachers deserve salaries and pensions that match their professional education and experience. Missouri should not undermine the teaching profession by chipping away at teacher pensions. We can do better.


Transportation Cuts:

State transportation cuts have forced some school districts to open only four days per week—this is unacceptable, especially when school districts are growing and have more kids to transport. Additionally, school districts – including districts like Parkway and Rockwood – have to take funds from programs to make up for transportation cuts.


Charter Schools and Virtual Schools:

The state repeatedly threatens our school districts by attempting to pass legislation in favor of giving tax-payer dollars to start-up charter schools and virtual schools across the state. 


What this really means is that our tax dollars will go to businesses – often out-of-state businesses – with almost no accountability to Missouri tax-payers.


Pro-charter school lobbyists argue that alternative schools are needed because public schools can’t serve all students. Charter schools say they are more innovative and flexible compared to public schools, who place too much emphasis on test scores. 


The results show that Charter Schools don’t provide overall better education. For example, students at charter schools often read at a lower level than public schools students of the same age. Some Charter Schools in Missouri have done well, and some have been forced to close after they have wasted tax-payer dollars and failed students and parents.


Additionally, for-profit, online education programs have terrible graduation rates. If we give tax-payer money to these programs without guarantees of high graduation rates, we are throwing our money away. 


Do we need to improve and adapt our education for the future? Yes. Can we afford to support for-profit businesses that are not accountable to taxpayers? 


The answer is NO.


[5] Http://www.mobudget.org/preliminary-look-fy2019-budget/

Make Healthcare Affordable

Fixing Our Broken Healthcare System

Our country’s healthcare system is broken and there are things we can do in Missouri to make healthcare affordable, to take care of our families, and to reduce medical costs for all Missourians. 


Missouri needs to address gaping holes in our state healthcare system. We can cap and reduce costs for all people in Missouri, and we can provide low-cost healthcare options that focus on wellness services, patient education, and prevention for working families.


Affordable healthcare is a necessity for people or workers who transition from Medicaid or other social service programs back into the workforce. These mothers and fathers who want more for their children than an endless cycle of poverty can’t afford insurance. Because of our broken system, they end up with no doctor for care. 


Unfortunately, when people aren’t insured, they are less likely to get regular checkups or manage their diseases and end up in the Emergency Room instead of a doctor’s office. The bills are sky high, and often go unpaid. Those costs are then passed on to those of us who have insurance, and we pay ever increasing premiums. We must do better.


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We do not do enough to support mental health and addiction services. We must address opioid addiction that is affecting every part of our state, and we must address mental health issues that have long been ignored. 


Sweeping these issues under the rug in order to avoid funding medical solutions will only make the problem grow. We can do better.


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It’s a gift and a challenge to know and love someone who is disabled, chronically ill, or aging and who needs special medical care. To deny low-income seniors and disabled people healthcare is wrong, immoral, and discriminatory. 


The state of Missouri has been attempting to deny coverage and cut costs by changing requirements or regulations for MO-provided Medicaid. Not only can this end lives prematurely, but it is financially shortsighted since many of these same people will end up in nursing homes which costs the state more money. 


This expensive, disrepectful lack of care isn’t fiscally responsible or compassionate. Our elderly, chronically ill, and disabled neighbors deserve better. 


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While the Federal government does nothing, we continue to see Missouri healthcare costs rise, rural Missouri hospitals closing, and disease and maternal mortality rates rise. 


Missouri can work with doctors, clinics, and non-profit organizations to establish low-cost care options in communities. We can keep people healthy and working, while respecting their dignity. 

Women's Healthcare

Abortion care is a subject people are passionate about on both sides, and I can understand their sincere feelings. However, I do object to extreme language and positions around this issue. 


Since abortion has been legal in the United States for so long, it is hard to remember what it was like when it was much more common for women to die - or almost die - from botched abortion attempts. 


If we care about women, we should not enact policy that will cause those kinds of deaths to return. Abortion should be kept safe, legal, and rare. 


Providing contraception is proven to reduce abortion rates. We should be providing women and families with reproductive health education and with low-cost or no-cost contraception to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions. 


We can break the cycle of teen-pregnancy, and we can reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies if we provide women with knowledge about sexual health and reproductive health and the medicines they need.


Women should be free to use contraception, become pregnant, or have a safe abortion without government interference. 


When it comes to family planning, women and men should have the right to decide what is best for themselves and their families in consultation with their doctors. Deciding what’s best for a family is a very personal and private process that should be respected, not controlled by the government.


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While reproductive rights are very important to women (and men, actually), we can’t ignore that women face an unprecedented health challenges when it comes to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and others. Many of these diseases are overlooked when it comes to women. 


Heart disease kills one woman every minute, and is 4 times more common than breast cancer.[1]


Women deserve appropriate attention in disease research, education, and prevention for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and a host of prevalent health issues that affect their quality of life. 


Uninsured women suffer most because their illnesses are not identified and managed early on. If we respect women and if we truly respect life, we must do better.


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It is terrible that the death rate of pregnant women and new mothers in America continues to be so high. It is thought to be an indicator of the quality of our healthcare system since complications from labor and delivery resulting in women’s death have risen dramatically. 


The question is, “Why?” In the 2018 session the Missouri Legislature voted against investigating Missouri’s rising maternal mortality rate. One thing that we can understand: We can do better.


[1] https://theheartfoundation.org/heart-disease-facts/heart-disease-statistics/

Build Our Economic Foundation

Smart Infrastructure

Missouri’s future depends on a vibrant state economy. That requires investing in a healthy, educated work force and a solid infrastructure.


We need to attract quality employers and the businesses of the future who provide good wages.


What can we do to attract and grow businesses of the future?

  1. Prioritize high speed internet access for everyone in Missouri 
  2. Acknowledge that our talent pool is part of our state infrastructure. Invest in the education of the next generation with a focus on 21st Century careers.
  3. Acknowledge that healthy workers are productive workers. Invest in the health of our people.
  4. Invest in Missouri's fastest growing job sectors of Green Energy and IT to build our economy for everyone.
  5. Fix our failing roads and bridges. With 4800 bridges in need of repair and no clear public consensus on how to fund this infrastructure, lawmakers must prioritize investing in our infrastructure. [2]
  6. Recognize that Missouri has the 7th largest highway network in the country but ranks 47th in revenue per mile and spends less than half of what other states spend on road maintenance. This is an equation for economic failure. [2]
  7. Create the business environment national and global corporations want for their headquarters and leadership. This includes safe urban areas, successful schools, healthy tourism, attractive parks and public areas, and policies that welcome diversity. 

Without an updated infrastructure, Missouri will fall further and further behind the rest of the nation in economic growth as well as basic safety for our citizens. 


We need to act now, not react later.


[2] https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/state-item/missouri/


Discrimination

Why is Missouri getting rid of discrimination protections?

We are all created equal. 


However, in 2017 Missouri lawmakers passed a controversial discrimination bill called SB 43 that undermines the expectation that we are all treated equally under the law. 


Missouri should be known for protecting it citizens from discrimination, but now we are known for protecting sub-standard employers when they discriminate. 


This new law is a deterrent to talented people who might consider working in Missouri or bringing their business here.


Here are some examples of how SB 43 can impact workers in Missouri:

  1. Senate Bill 43 protects the people who sexually assault and harass women on the job, and makes sure they are not held responsible in Missouri courts.   
  2. Senate Bill 43 makes it harder to prove discrimination based on religion. This protects bad businesses and bad managers who fire someone because they are Jewish, or Christian or Muslim. 
  3. Senate Bill 43 makes it harder to prove discrimination against a person with a disability, against an older worker and against a person based on race. This protects bad businesses and bad managers who fire someone because of their disability, age or race.  
  4. Senate Bill 43 makes it harder to prove that a whistle blower was fired for blowing the whistle. This protects shady businesses who fire a whistle-blower to stop them from reporting wrong doing – such as fixing the books or covering up safety violations.  

When passing this bill, some legislators used talking points provide to them, saying SB43 brought Missouri “in line with federal regulations.”  


This was a lie.


The Republicans, Democrats, and Governor were warned by the Federal government that Missouri would lose $400,000-$500,000 dollars in housing funding because - and this is a quote from the federal government: “SB43 locks the state courthouse doors to victims of illegal discrimination and forces them to pursue justice in federal court….This is one of the many ways SB 43 protects wrongdoers and punishes victims.” [3]


The elected representatives who voted for this terrible legislation clearly don’t understand that policies like this hurt our ability to grow our economy because national and global companies can’t attract and bring talent to a state that won’t protect them. It’s no secret that Missouri made national headlines for this oppressive law.


Anyone who voted for this bill either doesn’t understand what they voted for or want to protect bad actors and not working people. Our representatives can and must do better.


SB 43 should never have been passed. We need to restore Missouri’s reputation by repealing this discriminatory law.


[3] https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/feds-cut-off-housing-funds-to-missouri-after-gop-led/article_9fcd1fb4-5b66-55ea-bcef-61aafb7ebe2a.html

Workers' Rights

Policies that are designed to lower wages and weaken unions in order to attract businesses who do not want to pay a middle class wage (or a living wage, depending on the business) is not good for Missouri families who already struggle to make ends meet.


Workplace protections, safety regulations, health insurance and dignity in retirement exists as a standard for the middle class across this country, thanks to collective bargaining by workers.


Some states with Right To Work laws do have economic growth - often much slower than other nearby states - but they also have lower middle class incomes for ALL middle class families in those states – not just union members.  [4] These state remain some of the poorest in the nation.


I will work to support worker protections, access to affordable healthcare and pensions for workers. 


[4] https://www.epi.org/publication/as-wisconsins-and-minnesotas-lawmakers-took-divergent-paths-so-did-their-economies-since-2010-minnesotas-economy-has-performed-far-better-for-working-families-than-wisconsin/

The 2nd Amendment

Promoting and Improving Gun Safety

We can protect the 2nd Amendment, while also finding ways to improve safety in our community. 


It is true that gun violence is not the only kind of violence our society faces, but it is one we can and should address.


People should be able to protect their homes and their families with firearms if they wish. 


However, public places and private businesses can and should be treated differently than one’s home. Constitutional state and local safety measures already exist throughout our country that keep guns out of certain public places.


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Most Americans want background checks and laws that promote gun safety. Red Flag laws are a good start to identifying non-responsible gun owners who may be a threat to themselves or others in Missouri. Constitutional Red Flag laws are currently in effect in 8 states including Indiana and Florida and are widely accepted by Americans across the nation.


Such laws exist to set a clear expectation of responsibility to oneself and others in our communities, not to infringe on our rights.


We can find common ground for gun safety legislation while respecting the constitutional rights of gun owners. We can do better.


Women's Rights

Missouri should ratify the Equal Rights Amendment of the Constitution in 2019, officially recognizing that women and men are equal citizens of the United States. 


Most people assume the ERA has already been ratified. Wrong! Women’s Rights are not yet enshrined in the Constitution with the exception of the right to vote. It is past time to support women’s rights in America so that the law recognizes that all men and all women are created equal. 


It is embarrassing that the Missouri Legislature is so out of touch with the needs of women or has a blatant disregard for the issues women face every day.