It is time for a different kind of leadership in Eastern Washington. As an attorney and advocate for over 15 years, I intend to bring change, leadership that listens and accountable representation back to our district.
I’m the fourth generation of my family to grow up in the historic Hillyard neighborhood in Spokane. I was raised by my grandmother and mother. Yes, we were on welfare. Yes, we relied on community resources like SNAP. While my childhood was marked with hard times and family struggles, I took away a strong work ethic and determination to secure a better future for myself and my family.
At 16, I was a senior at Rogers High School in Spokane working part time, living on my own and taking classes at the community college just to get ahead. I was the first in my family to obtain a college degree, graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Sociology in 2003.
In college, I found a passion for understanding people and society and knew I wanted to learn more to help my family and others. I decided to pursue a law degree not knowing a single lawyer, following my heart and hope in the unseen. I am proud to say that I graduated from Southwestern School of Law in 2006 and passed the California bar exam, the hardest in the country, on my first attempt. In 2016, I returned to Spokane with my two children and now have my own law practice.
Throughout college and law school, however, I struggled to meet my basic needs; I worked multiple jobs, experienced homelessness and food insecurity, had no health care, and naively took on six-figure student loan debt before the age of 24, most of which I still carry to this day.
No one should have to struggle the way I did to pursue their education or help themselves and their family out of poverty. We must get serious about investing in our working class, our education and health care systems and creating accessible pathways to stable, secure housing and jobs for ALL people. Our time is now. Let’s go!