The 13th Legislative District is my home. I know it. I love it. I want to represent the district as a public servant and a stateswoman. Throughout my life, I have been keenly aware of the role of government. I have participated as a citizen through the power of my vote and by exercising my rights of free speech and freedom of assembly. I am now stepping up to run for the Legislature. I plan to bring civility and integrity to the office as I work to address the needs of ALL of our district’s citizens . I promise to be a strong voice for you in Olympia.
I grew up in central Missouri during the 60s and 70s. I came to the amazing Columbia Basin thirty-eight years ago to farm with my husband and we chose to stay here to raise our family.
My father was a farm boy who served in the Navy during World War II. He became a high school teacher, and while teaching, earned his doctorate. He then taught Russian Language and Civilization at the Missouri Institute of Science and Technology (formally the University of Missouri at Rolla).
My mother worked her entire life. For a time, she was the sole provider for our family when my father was ill. However, even when it was no longer necessary for her to work, she continued. She enjoyed working. Her last job was at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center, where she worked in accounts payable. My mom was the embodiment of the World War II “We Can Do It” woman. From her I learned to tackle hard things and get them done! On my father’s side, I am the granddaughter of a farming family that helped develop an irrigated farm in Eastern Idaho. They also were small business owners when they bought and operated a motel. On my mother's side, my grandfather was an immigrant from the former Yugoslavia. He fled the war-torn country by himself as a teenager, alone, with five dollars in his pocket . He and my grandmother raised a family of seven children Eureka, Utah. He worked in the silver mines, becoming a foreman. He died in a mine at the age of 54.
I owe much to my heritage, which instilled the importance of respecting others, being honest, having integrity, being courageous and working hard. My parents and grandparents have also taught me an equally important trait: to treat others the way I would want to be treated.
I met my husband, David, while attending BYU in 1975. In 1979, after attending college at Brigham Young University and Portland State University, we moved south of Ephrata to the Columbia Basin to work with Dave’s father and brothers on the family farm in the Quincy Valley. I learned the business of farming: loans, contracts, payroll etc. I also developed new skills such as pulling vines on a potato digger, thinning sugar beets, and caring for sick and weak newborn calves (occasionally inside our kitchen).
Working on the farm not only reinforced my personal values of honesty, integrity, hard work, and compassion but also taught me the importance of fair economic and government policies that support farming, ranching, and forestry and the rural communities that depend on them. In addition, the experience helped me develop a deep appreciation for the great natural beauty of our area.
Our 13th Legislative District stretches from the Cascades through all of Kittitas County, part of Yakima County and all of Grant County to the dry farms and picturesque open spaces of Lincoln County. Our district’s environmental biodiversity is as beautiful as it is productive. We need to continue exploring practical, financially responsible, and evidence-based ways to sustain and protect it.
When we came to Grant County, we had one son. Now, our family has grown to five children and six grandchildren. About 20 years ago, our second son died at age 18 in a car accident. His death triggered a desire in my husband and me to pursue a shared passion: teaching. Dave started teaching developmental studies and English composition at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake and I became a substitute teacher. I worked for the Ephrata School District for six years, and then taught as a half-time religious instructor at the Ephrata Seminary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Working in the public school system helped me understand the importance of government support and funding to ensure student success.
More recently, I have turned my efforts towards volunteer service in the community and my church. I am currently serving on the all volunteer Board of Directors of the Columbia Basin Foundation. I have directed LDS Relief Society efforts to help people in our area. For example, I supervised the collection of materials for families displaced by the forest fires in Okanogan County. I have volunteered in the Ephrata Schools, the Ephrata Food Bank, The Grant County Warming Center, Red Cross Blood Drives, and for the Grant County Democrats voter registration drives at the Grant County Fair. I was also the organizer of the 2017 Women’s March in Ephrata. These experiences have reinforced my belief that both compassion and action are necessary to bring about positive changes for individuals and communities. We often don’t know the challenges that others face. I have found that most people want to work and provide for themselves and their family. They care about others and want to make a difference in the world. And sometimes these same people need help. We have diverse gifts and diverse needs.
The combination my life’s experiences and my desire to serve have led me to run for the Washington State 13th Legislative District’s position 2, in Olympia.
Some of the goals that I plan to achieve through fiscally responsible and evidence based legislation are:
- To ensure that the issues important to the 13th Legislative District are heard and addressed in Olympia and not neglected.
- Strengthen our public schools (including trade and tech schools),colleges, and universities so people of all ages can get the education and training they need to secure gainful employment.
- Help our area grow and diversify economically, attracting business and industries offering employment that keeps a well-trained workforce in our communities.
- Provide our farmers and business owners with the tools, infrastructure and support they need to be successful. Establish and support policy that promotes healthy and safe communities.
- Encourage all of us to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship, including, but not limited to, being involved in our community and district and respecting the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
It will be an honor to serve you in the Washington State House of Representatives.