I grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, the daughter of teachers. My parents instilled in me a sense of civic duty — public service is what gives life its meaning. My father went on to start his own business, but it went under during the recession of the 90s. This was a very difficult time for my family, but we persevered through the hardship.
I was only able to pursue higher education because my country invested in me through public grants and federal loans. I worked hard and earned a Bachelor’s from Yale, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Ph.D. in public administration with a focus on public finance from Syracuse University.
My husband Jeff and I moved to Suwanee because this area is a great place to raise a child. We were attracted to the great schools, great parks and natural beauty. Also, we had hoped our home would make it easier for our aging parents to visit and potentially move in with us if needed.
Like many citizens of the 7th District, however, my parents struggled with the cost of health care. In fact, their health care costs became so burdensome that they couldn’t afford their medications, much less pick up and move. My mother cared for my aging and very sick father until they both recently passed away last summer. All of their discretionary income was eaten up paying for medications, including ones to treat my father’s diabetes. This problem is not at all unique to my family, and in fact, by many standards we are lucky.