I am a proud resident of St. Paul's West Side, a community builder, an incurable optimist, a wife and a mom. I like to work hard, to wake up early, to think deeply about policy issues, to see all sides of a problem, to listen, to get things done.
From an early age, my family and my faith instilled in me the importance of working hard to improve my community. My parents served veterans as doctors at the VA Medical Center and spent their after-work hours giving back to the community – helping build a neighborhood playground, raise money for a local high school, and assisting neighbors with home repairs. My Jewish tradition teaches the value of rolling up one's sleeves and diving into community problems. My social activism started when, at 12 years old, I corralled the neighbor kids into a weekly "good deeds" club where we talked about self-improvement and marched around our St. Louis Park block with hand-made posters on environmental issues.
My early career was spent teaching in Baton Rouge and working at non-profits in India and Uganda. Teaching middle school students showed me how an underfunded, poorly staffed school system can leave kids unprepared and hopeless about their future. In India and Uganda, I saw how people struggle when government fails to address staggering social inequality, when who you know or how much you can pay is more important than the rule of law. I also learned how frustrating it can be to get help from a government that is stiflingly bureaucratic, especially when you don't speak the local language.
Those experiences showed me the power of local government to make a positive impact on people's lives. I decided to run for office because I wanted to do my part to make St. Paul the best city in the world to work, to learn, to relax, to raise a family. I believe St. Paul should be a place that supports its local businesses and invests in its children, where it's easy to get around in a car or without one and where you can count on excellent city services – the kind of place that will attract the next generation to call Saint Paul home.
I am committed to outstanding constituent service. I take seriously my responsibility to be your voice at City Hall, and to respond promptly and helpfully to your concerns and ideas. I try to be as accessible as possible through monthly Community Coffees and Happy Hours held at local businesses throughout the ward, and through Virtual Lunch Chats on Facebook.
It is an honor to represent you and to work together with you to make our city the best it can be. Thank you for the opportunity to be your Councilmember.