Born and raised in Alton, I attended St. Matthew Catholic School through 8th grade before completing high school at Alton High. After attending a year at Lewis and Clark Community College, I decided to branch out of our home town and moved to Los Angeles, where I worked full time in the retail industry and part time in the service industry. After a few years experiencing the West Coast, I moved back home to attend school at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), where I worked full time in the retail industry while working on my Bachelors of Science in Political Science. I moved to part time work in the service industry due to the scheduling conflicts between my class needs and ability and working full time. I continued my education by working towards a Master of Science in Geography at SIUE as well as a Master in Peace and Conflict studies through the University of Catalonia.
After completing my degrees, I began working in the federal government at the National Archives, reconstructing veterans records that were destroyed in the 1973 fire in St. Louis, MO. I now have a firsthand knowledge of the gridlock within government agencies, and am eager to provide solutions to correct these issues and streamline the benefits process for veterans.
As a working class Illinoisan, I understand the issues facing our district from the working class standpoint. I understand the frustration felt by my neighbors about the partisan divide in Springfield and in Washington D.C. This partisan divide and bickering does nothing to assist everyday Americans, and I promise to work with whatever party I can to pass legislation to help lift the average Southern Illinoisan up to a better standard of living.
Together, we will bring middle class values and working class determination to D.C. By having a representative who is “in your shoes,” you can rest easy knowing I will be working hard to improve our lives. Instead of saying one thing and voting another, I will stand by my word and tackle the tough fights. I promise I will meet with you, my bosses, and hold town halls to gain your insight into upcoming laws and the direction of the country
Our environment is essential for success or failure, not only for Southern Illinoisans, but Americans and our children everywhere. It is important to establish a balance between economic development and environmental protection. I will fight to keep our water and air clean and safe while also ensuring we can succeed economically as a district.
The time for large profitable business to excuse themselves from taxes has come to an end. Some of the world’s largest and most profitable companies pay little or no taxes in our country, while their underpaid employees pay their fair share. I will ensure that businesses pay their fair share of taxes. Without the infrastructure, people, and other resources made available by citizens and governments, companies could not succeed. It is time they come to that realization and do their part.
Job creation must be a top priority for our district. Too many good jobs are leaving our area. We must embrace new industries and create a welcoming environment for business to expand and create living wage jobs all across the 12 counties of our district.
A balanced energy plan is the only way for our country to move forward. Solar energy, once costly and inefficient, has become a highly competitive sector of the energy industry. Wind and geothermal energy have also made leaps in their respective fields. We must utilize these energy sources to move our district and country forward towards energy independence.
The Second Amendment guarantees our citizens the right to own and bear arms. I firmly believe in responsible gun ownership and the importance of maintaining responsible gun ownership for millions of gun owning Americans. I also believe that those individuals who could be a danger to our society should not be able to have access to fire arms, and a three-day vetting period for the purchase of firearms is a natural step in reducing gun violence in our great nation.
Affordable healthcare is imperative to the overall well being of Southern Illinoisans. I will work to ensure that affordable healthcare for everyone becomes a reality, and I will not support punishing individuals with pre-existing conditions by charging them more for their healthcare.