My time in the Marines, my dedication to the community, and my involvement in healthcare have each, in a significant way, inspired me to ask:
"How might I best serve those in my community? How can my life have the greatest impact on my community and country? How can I best employ my time to make something better of my community and Country?"
It is these questions that inspire me to serve District 54 in the Alabama State House of Representatives. If re-elected, I will continue to dedicate my efforts to address all the needs of district citizens, with real emphasis on healthcare and education. We are better together, with all of our community’s working parts combining to give our citizens better, healthier lives.
Born and raised in Birmingham, my roots run deep and spread wide in our red dirt. Growing up a Boy Scout, I learned the importance of nature conservation, and I developed a love of the outdoors. I am an Anytown Alabama alumni. I come from a loving, accepting family who has faced various medical hardships, including addiction, hearing disabilities, and childhood corrective surgeries. I carry these early experiences to the State House, and they empower me to help families facing difficult times.
In 2005, I became a United States Marine, serving our country while facing the discriminatory realities of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Still, this time in the service provided me with leadership skills and the ability to look at problems from different, even opposing viewpoints. The Marine Corps instilled in me the need to work together with the people from all walks of life to complete the mission at hand. After my term of service in the military, I used G.I. Bill benefits to earn degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
I have dedicated my professional life to healthcare and community organizing. I have worked as the Director of the B-CHIP Program at Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO). The B-CHIP team addressed health disparities through intensive collaboration with community members, partner nonprofits, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and county health departments, and clinics to implement community-coordinated, public health strategies. I was drawn to healthcare because I saw firsthand health disparities across communities, and a system refusing to provide affirming care to LGBTQ persons.
Time in the State House
Since entering the legislature in 2018, I have been an outspoken advocate for women’s health, minority health, LGBTQ and racial equity, veterans issues, and Medicaid expansion. I have led to ensure accountability of law enforcement, expanding access to mental and medical healthcare for all Alabamians, pushing for improved women’s healthcare and reproductive justice, and fighting for the expansion of voter rights.
I chair the Democratic House Caucus Platform Committee. In the legislature, I sit on the Sunset Committee, Health Committee; Economic Development and Tourism Committee; and the Transportation, Utilities, and Infrastructure Committee. I have been appointed to the Alabama Challenge Veterans Suicide Task Force, the Opioid Overdose, Addiction, and Treatment Council, and the 988 Implementation Study Group.
I reside in the Crestwood community with my husband and partner of 17 years, Mike, and our rescue animals. I enjoy reading and word puzzles. I try to get outside as much as possible—whether that is hiking Ruffner Mountain, walking our dog through the neighborhood, or working in the yard. I also like to hang out with friends at Birmingham’s local breweries, parks, and restaurants.