I moved to Fresno from the Bay Area in 2013 for a 1-year AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer job, found the Democrats, got involved at the Fresno Central Committee and never left. Growing up in Detroit, birthplace of the UAW, I learned the values and struggles of unions; later, as a union member and shop steward at Unite Here, I understood the chasms between the haves and have nots, require organizing. The Central Valley has sharpened my political involvement and determined work to help shrink those chasms.
As a big-city single-mother of 2 children of color, I learned the pains of working to make ends meet when they didn't, and the weight of enormous student loan debt to try to improve our lives. Many blue-collar jobs saw us through and taught me empathy. I have served as an elected member of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee, a board member of several chartered Democratic Clubs, a volunteer and organizer on many national, state and local elections, including co-founding a Fresno presidential campaign office. I hold a BA in English, MAs in Organizational Development and in Special Education, and have built award winning high school-to-college/career transition programs for at-risk and learning challenged youth. I have a year of law school under my belt and am an Emerge CA alumna who has run for office and organized many political events for candidates. My experience and energies for chiseling away at the disparities in resources of jobs and pay, the digital divide, racism, misogyny, the lack of good (or any) healthcare with cruel leaders, the crumbling and melting climate with fires, floods and the death of species at an alarming rate, all inform and point my work toward millennials, Gen Z and my own grandchildren to share our gifts. We must redouble the struggle for a better path for us all.
The pandemic and recent election have magnified the need to grow our Democrat Big Tent values and live them, even remotely. The rural and small towns of our county need our tireless direct advocacy to push, grow and share resources more equitably. The basics of food, shelter, healthcare and human dignity have gotten lost and never were enough. As an ADEM member, I will continue to connect and serve and push.