I never expected to become a politician but, now that I see how I can help and use my particular set of skills to improve and save lives, I will continue the push forward towards representing New Hampshire in the United States House of Representatives.
In 2014, I became aware that children were getting rare cancers in the New Hampshire Seacoast area in 2014, my instincts as a mom and an environmental scientist of nearly 30 years kicked in. Two years after I reported it, the State of New Hampshire determined that there was, in fact, a double pediatric cancer cluster in a five-town area of the seacoast.
Kids were sick and some had already died but the state would follow none of my recommendations to test the water or soil at their homes or try to find common links, basic actions I knew must be taken to save the lives of children.
I was horrified. I am a trained scientist and felt that it had to be further investigated.
I notified the press. Initial public meetings were held and the public was understandably upset and worried. Then-Governor Hassan created a Task Force and I was asked to serve.
I knew there was more that I had to do. There are few scientists in government and my unique perspective could help shape policy-making to improve the lives of the citizens of New Hampshire. I was elected as a State Representative in 2016 and already have a proven track record of putting people above party and politics.
Now our federal government needs a strong voice from the science community to warn fellow legislators about the dangers of weakening the EPA and decimating environmental policy and regulations. I will persist using my expertise to make this country safer for everyone.
And as a third-generation union member, I want to fight for worker’s rights and keep working people safe on the job. I grew up in a household where both of my parents were union members. My mother retired a few years ago as Vice President of SEIU1199NY. I grew up hearing about picket lines and creating coalitions to fight for worker's rights. This has become part of my fiber and I used it to organize legislative support for the Local 651 employees locked out of their jobs at Westinghouse. I also use it to form coalitions to support legislation and advocacy to fight for everyone's access to clean, safe drinking water and cancer prevention regardless of how much money they make.
Our families are overworked, under-employed, and one debilitating family illness away from bankruptcy. They and everyone else deserve to receive the same health care that members of Congress receive which is why I will fight for Medicare for All. And the hard-working folks across the country deserves a $15 minimum wage.