I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. As one of seven children, I had a lot of responsibilities as a child which taught me about hard work. I attended Louisiana State University, got married the weekend after graduation, and left for New York the next day. The Hudson Valley has been my home for the last 49 years.
I became a high school English teacher at the age of 23; I was a public-school educator for 34 years, both in the Hudson Valley and in New York City. During that time, my husband, Brian, and I raised three children. He was also a public-school teacher and a high school football coach. Brian and I have lived in Dutchess County for 42 years and in the town of Beekman for 19.
After retiring, I have spent more of my time giving back. I have been active in Alcoholics Anonymous for 21 years and in correctional facilities for over 10. Most of my service was in Beacon Correctional Facility prior to its closing. I have also spent time volunteering for food rescue and for Beacon Prison Rides/Action. The latter organization provides transportation for family members and friends from the Beacon train station to one of four male prisons in the area to visit loved ones. I also have become active advocating for prison reform.
This brings me to the area of social justice that I am most passionate about – improving the conditions in NY’s jails and prisons for people who are incarcerated. On April 1 of this year, after eight years of advocacy, the HALT Act, which did away with solitary confinement in NY’s prisons for more than 15 days, was passed by the NYS Senate. I am proud to say that I worked to help pass this legislation. In addition, I am co-chair of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Hudson Valley Group. This is the largest gun violence prevention (GVP) organization in the United States. Its goal is to pass common sense gun legislation. Our statewide Advocacy Day this year is April 27 when we will be asking NY legislators to ban “ghost guns” and make it legal for victims of gun violence to sue gun manufacturers. Another leadership role I hold is that of co-chair of Hudson Valley Strong Indivisible. Our main goal in 2021 is to elect Democrats to office, plain and simple.
We desperately need a change in leadership in the town of Beekman. We have had the same party politicians doing the same thing for way too long. Our town supervisor, a bully who likes to micromanage the town board, continues to hide how and why she spends the town’s money. According to many Dutchess County legislators, Beekman’s county legislator is clearly MIA, rarely seen by colleagues and never seen as working for her constituents in Beekman. Even other electeds in the town are approaching me, calling for change. This is NOT the way government is supposed to work. Something’s got to give! I KNOW that if elected I can do a better job!