Growing up under the Arizona sun, my chaotic life dictated that my thinking be a bit sophisticated for my age. My childhood was spent as the oldest of four kids growing up in the pressure cooker of my parents’ bouts with drug addiction, rehabilitation, and relapse. We lived through the frequent uprooting and poverty associated with substance abuse, which I’m sure made me a stronger person.
When I was seven-years-old, being the adventurous kid that I was, my idea of the best weekend ever was visiting my grandma in Cave Creek, where I could hit the desert in her backyard with my motorized mini-car and conquer imaginary mountains.
In my teens, I still had valuable life lessons to learn when I went to live with my great-grandparents for a couple of years on the apple orchard they managed in Washington state. Working alongside them taught me the importance of seeing the big picture, and to recognize each task as a crucial part of a whole. My great-grandparents modeled the art of resilience and taught me that no job is too ‘trivial’ to deserve my best efforts.
I’m aware that sometimes I seem too intense for some people, but my all-or-nothing tendency has helped me triumph every challenge I’ve faced, including:
– Working my way out of poverty
– Raising my daughter
– Adopting and raising my three younger siblings
– Coming out as transgender at age 27
– Undergoing the transgender reassignment process and filming my entire transition on YouTube to educate and help others
– Working full-time while running for U.S. House of Representatives in CD8
In the past year, I’ve met residents throughout LD22 and Arizona, many of whom share my alarm at the discord and dissension which rule politics today. Many other concerned citizens like me have been moved to action by seeing the American flag being torn apart by angry hands. Some see remnants of ugly history resurfacing in words and acts of hate and oppression disguised as freedom and righteousness.
Arizona stands proud in the Sonoran Desert, and we can boast of remarkable environmental variety from flat, thirsty desert and beautiful hiking hills to shimmering lakes and snow in the pines. From the tip of the red rocks of Sedona into the soul of the Grand Canyon, Arizona truly is the pride of the Southwest.
Our elected officials and the laws they introduce should reflect a firm commitment to considering the best interests of our constituents, our communities, and our hard-working families, not the highest bidders.
Many Americans say they are “sick and tired” of politics as usual, and I agree that we face trying times, but I am more than up to the challenge! I am NOT sick, and I AM NOT TIRED! I am fired up and ready to fight for Legislative District 22, and I am prepared to fight for the values that make Arizona great: hard work, diversity, and innovation.
Because I believe 100% in America, because I believe 100% in Arizona, because I believe 100% in the people of LD22, and because I believe 100% in myself, I now proudly announce my candidacy for Arizona State Senate in 2018.