Why I’m Running

When I first mentioned to my mother that I was considering a run for political office, she declared, with near panic in her voice: “Don’t do that! You’re too honest!“ After a good laugh, I took her concerned comment as a ringing endorsement.

Since I was a young teenager, I have felt called to community and public service, to improving the world around me for myself and others. I have worked hard all my life, in my career and in my commitment to our communities and Delaware as a whole. I am fortunate to have a quality education, good health, a job that pays me a living wage, and the love and support of family and friends.

Although I am not a religious person, I believe that we are our brothers’ (and sisters’) keepers. And I believe that, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Delawareans are working harder than ever just to make ends meet. Some of us are involved in our communities and local and State politics, but many of us struggle so much to survive and support ourselves and our families, we simply lack the time or resources to become involved. It is incumbent upon those of us with available time and resources to make things better for everyone, especially those of us who cannot become involved.

Not long ago, a Delaware State Representative whom I admire said to me: “What we really need, more than anything else, is people running for office for the right reasons.” In my heart and in my mind, I know that I am running for office for the right reasons. We need elected officials with a longstanding commitment to community and public service. We need elected officials who are loyal and dedicated, above all else, to their constituents and to all Delawareans—not self-interests, special interests, corporations, the wealthy, and political parties. We need elected officials who will focus steadfastly on issues and solutions.

We need elected officials who are attentive and responsive to their constituents, not just during legislative sessions or campaign season. We need elected officials who will stay involved in their communities—all parts of their communities—after taking office, and who will keep constituents updated on what is happening in Dover. We need elected officials who stand firm on the most basic tenants of the Democratic Party—like a woman’s right to choose, LGBT rights, and protecting our environment—and who hold themselves and other elected officials accountable to the new, progressive Delaware Democratic Party platform. We need elected officials who encourage cooperation across all levels of government: the State Legislature, the Governor’s Office, school boards, town, city, and county councils, and beyond.

We need elected officials who are not just open to being held accountable, but expect it—and I do. Integrity matters. Independence matters. Candor matters. Competence matters. It also matters that Delawareans from all walks of life involve themselves in the political process. We cannot expect to elect a candidate and have them fix problems completely on their own. Elected officials who value good government strongly desire input from their constituents. Furthermore, they support and encourage community activism, organizing, and all means of participation in the political process.

Constituents have every right to expect certain promises from their elected officials. I make the following promises to you, as a candidate for 27th District State Representative. I will always listen to viewpoints across the spectrum, and consider them with an open mind. I will always be honest about my views on issues. I will never say something simply because it is what someone wants to hear, or because it would benefit me personally or politically.

Since no one knows everything, if I am not educated enough on a particular issue to hold a position on that issue, I will be honest about that, and then research the issue, solicit various viewpoints, and determine my position. I will never pretend to know all the answers—or even all the problems. I will never lie to Delawareans about anything. Ever. For any reason. Because constituents send legislators to Dover to make tough decisions, I will abstain from a vote only if, for some reason, I have a blatant conflict of interest. I will work with constituents, community organizations, and activists who are serious about finding real solutions to real problems. I will not accept campaign contributions from corporate PACs or the fossil fuel industry.

Finally, I promise to work with you to make Delaware an even more wonderful place for all of us. I am proud to call the First State home, and I hope you are, too.

Especially in today’s tumultuous and polarized political and social climate, we face issues of great importance requiring prompt action. But when we work together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. We are capable of addressing vital issues courageously and successfully.  

If I did not believe that, I would not look forward with so much hope and excitement to taking every step of this journey with you.

And if I did not believe that, I would not be running for 27th District State Representative.