I threw my hat into this political race because I want to write and support good law, I have the ability, the insight, the desire, the legal background to recognize absurd laws and their ruinous consequences and I have the Arkansas grit to not support these laws and to work repeal the existing ones.

As a lifelong Girl Scout and Gold Award recipient and as a current Girl Scout Leader, I am familiar with the Girl Scout values. Being a woman, wife, mother, and lawyer, of courage, confidence, and character and making the world a better place for my children, your children, for my mother and grandfather, for your grandparents, to create an even playing field for women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, for the least of those among us, is what inspired me to run for office.

As your Democratic nominee for state representative I pledge honesty, loyalty, community involvement, and always full disclosure. I will apply my professional mediation experience to reach beyond partisan political lines to write and pass legislation that provides solutions to complex issues. My goal is always to make the best decision possible for the interests of the residents of District 38 in an effort to improve the daily lives of the people in the district and to save the State tax dollars and time.

While there are many important issues, I’ve narrowed my focus to two issues that affect the daily lives of me, my children, my grandpa, my neighbors and everyone in my district.

Education:

Our most precious commodity is our children, and they have a right to an even playing field. The difference between this child and that child is the consequence of birth. As a society we have the ability to change those consequences, create opportunity and we must do so.  As your representative I will vote to support universal pre-k, affordable higher education, vocational training, to create an educated workforce, which has been proven to lower the crime rates, reduce prison populations, reduce domestic violence, and reduce teen pregnancy.

Senior Citizen Issues:

I am in awe when I hear what my 96 year old WWII veteran grandfather and millions of other Americans and Arkansans sacrificed to protect this nation and its citizens. I am beyond disturbed that America’s farmlands predominately feed the world yet many seniors today are hungry. I hang my head in shame when I read that Arkansas ranks #1 in senior hunger for the third consecutive year.  This is a disgrace and a priority. As your state representative, I will find out what we must do to ensure Our seniors are afforded the opportunity to age gracefully, on their own terms, secure in their food and housing.

During the 2015 legislative session, the budget for state Senior Citizens Centers and Meals on Wheels was slashed 20 percent, from $5 million annually to $4 million for 2016.  This funding was later restored from the current budget surplus, but it was restored for only one year. Currently about a third of all Arkansans aged 60 or older are living not knowing whether the can afford their next meal.  The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger ranks Arkansas first in the nation for senior food insecurity, yet funding for Meals on Wheels continues to decline.

The lack of affordable housing for low-income seniors, particularly the lack of affordable assisted living for seniors who do not want to spend their last days in a nursing home needs addressing. A recent AARP survey showed that the vast majority of older adults want to age in place – either in their own home with some assistance with personal care, or in an assisted living facility within their own community.  Arkansas has almost no affordable assisted living.

When elected, I will work to fund critically important senior services at a level that reflects the growth of the Arkansas senior population and the increased cost of maintaining our Senior Citizen Centers, providing home-delivered meals to seniors, and to develop more affordable housing options for seniors.

I care deeply for older Arkansans because I’ve seen first-hand with my grandma and grandpa how independence increases quality of life –I will tirelessly advocate to ensure our parents and grandparents receive the care and consideration they deserve.

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