Why I Ran

Nov 26, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Politics has lost its way. It’s become a curse word. We have leaders at the highest level of government more concerned with personal vendettas and proving points about their political power than they are about the people who elected them to serve. I cannot recall a time when the political process was so polarizing that neighbors and friends could not disagree without being disagreeable.

I ran for state representative in the 32nd District because I love Louisville and Kentucky enough to sacrifice my time, energy and privacy to work toward making it a better place for this generation and those to come.

I ran because the overall health of Kentuckians is abysmal and I believe that having the voices of health professionals at the table is essential. According to the CDC, Kentucky has the highest smoking rate in the nation at 28.3 percent of the adult population, and in the past year, the prevalence of obesity increased from 30.4 percent to 31.3 percent of adults.

In Kentucky, more than 1 million adults are obese; that’s almost one-third of the adult population. Our governor knew these things needed improvement; thus, our Commonwealth is leading the way in the rollout of the notorious Affordable Care Act. And, although we are out in front of this monumental legislation, it’s imperative that the decisions being made in the coming years are practical and truly have a positive impact on the overall health of Kentuckians.

I ran because I believe in the public education system; I am a product of JCPS, and I believe that overall, our public educators do an excellent job. I also know that the disparities across the Commonwealth are embarrassing and we must do better. Your zip code should not determine the quality of education you receive.

I ran because I was tired of my generation placing the control of our futures in the hands of folks who may not be alive to see their policies come to fruition.

I ran because I trust myself to be a voice of reason in the legislature and to make decisions based upon what is fair for all people, regardless of their political affiliations.

I ran to be the change I wanted to see in the world. We are all tired of nasty political campaigns. I ran a campaign that was focused on the people, their concerns and their needs, and for that I am extremely proud.

Lastly, I ran because I wholeheartedly believe in our Constitution. The preamble reads: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Besides the “promoting the general welfare” that I discussed above, I would like to highlight the phrase, “domestic tranquility.” When reading this, my first thought was this: How can we expect the same political leaders that encourage divisiveness among the population to get elected, to govern in a manner that promotes peace?

In the words of the late Barbara Jordan, “Separatism is not the American way.”

I suggest strongly that I am not a politician and never will be. In my own words, I am a nurse who advocates for my community through public policy. I am many things — many things that make me an outlier in the political realm. I am a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood and a strong advocate for women’s and reproductive rights; my skin is brown; I am “young” to have entered the political arena. I am a woman (hear me roar!). I am unmarried. I am a professional model, actress and beauty queen. I am also a boxer, nurse scientist, sports radio personality, motivational speaker, mentor, avid U of L fan and proud “kick-ass Kentuckian.” I am unapologetically authentic.

I am a daughter of this city … meaning this city and the amazing people in it helped to raise and support me when my parents were unable. I learned very early in life the importance of giving back. My decision to run was an extension of my passion for community service and social conscience, which pronounces that we should all sacrifice our time and energy in an attempt to improve this place we call home.