I'm a Navy Veteran. I'm a Buddhist. I'm a fed up libertarian socialist. I believe all Americans should have ready access to food, housing, healthcare, education, and safety. I'm for small government involvement when it comes to our personal lives, and big government spending when it comes to investment in human services and infrastructure. Most importantly, I believe in actual accountability for our elected representatives.
Ok, where to start... I guess the basics. I am 39 years old. I am a mother of two (16 and 12). I am a Navy veteran. I was raised as a Buddhist. I have a bachelor’s degree in professional writing. In addition to my time in the Navy, I have worked as a housekeeper, in customer service as both a cashier and manager, an editor, a data analyst, a paralegal, and owned my own small property management company. I left the property management field after it tried to suck my soul dry. I am currently unemployed due to COVID-19. I have tattoos, piercings, and colorful streaks in my hair. I am not exactly a “typical” politician.
I grew up in a lower-middle class, center-left household just outside of Vail, Colorado. My first experience with politics was one year when I was around eight or nine; a Republican incumbent in our district was running unopposed for state representative. My parents were both classic neoliberals. Someone convinced my dad to put his name in as a democratic challenger at the last minute. I spent that summer roller skating in parades across the district, carrying a punny sign. He lost the election but did not do too badly considering his exposure was a handful of signs my family hand-painted and put up across the district and the few dozen parades we took part in.
I moved around a bit as a child and ended up graduating high school from a K-12 school in a small town in northern Wisconsin in 2001. All I knew was I wanted to GTFO of there, so I joined the Navy. I joined in peacetime, and 84 days later the twin towers fell.
Rampant sexual assault and manipulation aside, I LOVED the Navy enough to reenlist for a second tour. My only thought of politics during this time was what my Navy recruiter had told me before I shipped out: vote Republican because only Republican presidents give the military raises. 19-year-old me saw great wisdom in that. I loosely bought into the libertarian and culturally conservative ideologies I was exposed to throughout my military life. Because I did not closely follow politics, questions like “Why can’t we have a straight pride parade?” or “Why isn’t it ok to have a white version of BET?” seemed like, to my still-developing brain, reasonable questions, if not centrist compromises. Eventually, through life experience and education, I came to see this shallowness for what it is.
The first presidential election I could vote in was in 2004, but I was traveling the world, indifferent to politics, and did not bother. I ended up getting out of the Navy when I had my first child. In 2008, I was introduced to “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. I have been hooked on politics ever since. I bought into Obama’s “Yes We Can” and “Hope and Change” bullshit. It was during the Financial Crisis that I recognized the Democratic elite for the frauds they are. I voted for Obama again in 2012 because I still thought he was better than Romney. But it was tepid because Romney, while not inspiring, was mostly inoffensive.
I have hated Hillary since the first debate between her and Obama in 2008. I wanted Bernie in 2016 and did some minimal volunteering for his campaign in Utah. When the DNC fucked him in the primary I was pissed. But I still voted for Hillary because Trump. I could not vote for Biden in 2020, even living in a swing state and knowing the alternative was four more years of diet fascism under President Trump.
Donald Trump, the life-long cosmopolitan, NYC liberal, switched parties and took over the right in 2015. One thing the Trump presidency showed me is that every excuse I have ever told myself about why I cannot possibly win a major election has been debunked. I am not “too extreme” in my ideology. I am not “too vulgar.” I am not “too inexperienced.” And now, the biggest obstacle, “I don’t have time”, has been removed. So, I have committed myself to running for Congress in 2022. I don't hold any obligation to either party. I'm not a liberal or a conservative. I'm a populist humanist. If Donald can abandon the Democratic Party, why can't I?
I have had a vague goal of someday running for political office for at least a decade. But it was never the right time. Here is why:
2001-2005 Sonar Technician, US Navy, stationed aboard the USS McFaul (DDG-74) out of Norfolk, VA
2005-2006 Military wife and full-time mom of 1, with an active duty (always deployed) husband
2006-2008 Same as above but also working in retail part time
2008-2012 Full-time mom of 2, active-duty husband, and full-time honors student with an AAS in Business Administration and a BA in professional writing
2012-2015 Moved from Virginia Beach to Salt Lake City, Utah as a single mother of 2, ages 3 and 7. Worked full time as an assistant in the patent office at the University of Utah
2015-2019 Moved to Oregon (still single, working mom). Worked full time as a paralegal. In just 2018 bought a house, started a business, got engaged, won a business community recognition award called Accomplished Under 40, and got married on New Year’s Eve in a Dr. Who / Star Trek nerdgazmic ceremony in Alaska
2019- Present Dissolved my business and moved to Arizona to be near family. My husband and I both lost our jobs due to the pandemic. He is back to work, and I'm running for congress
My time in the military shaped my most socialist views. At 19 years old, I was making a decent, middle class salary. I had food. I had housing. I had healthcare. I had education. I also had guns, but that is beside the point. It did not take me long to see the inequity between my living standards and that of my high school classmates. The disparity between my life and nearly all of my classmates has only gotten worse over the last 20 years, thanks to decades of corporatist policies.
Most recently, I’ve identified with leftists. As annoyingly broad of a term as that is, it still is not quite right for me. I believe people should have food, housing, healthcare, and education. And guns. And the right to marry whomever. And the right to do whatever to their own body. I am not a communist. In addition to being a loaded term, the concept of communism is as utopianly unobtainable as is laissez-faire capitalism.
There must be another choice. I wish the US had a labor party…