Given the short time frame of this election, I’ve heard residents express that it has been difficult to learn about the candidates. I’d like to share my story:
My Background: First and foremost, my family moved to Ankeny in 1980 and I literally grew up with our community over the past 30+ years. My family of 5 was close knit, worked hard, and supported one another when times were tough. I attended every year of school in the Ankeny school district, graduating among the top 25 students in my class of ~320 in 1997. During this time, my father had a quintuple bypass surgery. With three kids in junior high and high school, my mom supported our family working two jobs 7 days a week and my siblings and I quickly matured and became self reliable and independent at an early age. My accomplishments in high school led to a Presidential scholarship to attend Cornell College where I graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Economics and Business. Unfortunately, 7 weeks prior to graduation, my father passed away suddenly of a heart attack. As the eldest of my siblings, I returned to Ankeny to help my family and altered my plans to attend graduate school out of state to attending the University of Iowa. These experiences shaped the person I am today and ultimately brought me back to Ankeny to raise my own family. During these early years, I had to work hard to financially support myself and succeed academically and be emotionally strong to persevere in the face of adversity.
I accepted a scholarship to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa and I earned two master’s degrees in Public Health and Health Administration. In the next year, I will complete my PhD from the University of Iowa. This strong educational background led me to challenging work experiences over the last 12 years with the federal government, higher education, state government, and the health insurance industry. In these roles I have been required to analyze difficult problems and determine how to meet the needs of the most people in the most efficient and strategic way. Through my work experience, I’ve had insight into the 3 areas of our economy that have traditionally had little success in containing costs and finding efficiencies – government, higher education, and health care.
I think each of these areas is now at a precipice of change
as those who pay into the system understand long term sustainability is in
jeopardy. Similar to how one budgets for his or her own family, as a community
we need to focus on not spending more than we take in. We need to be careful
our spending reflects our core needs as a community and be wary of costs that
don’t reflect these core needs or that add to unnecessary debt. We need to
strive to continue to make Ankeny an attractive place to live and do business
which is intricately tied to how we manage the taxes and fees levied on our
residents and businesses.
Civic Engagement: I’ve always been involved in professional, social, and civic organizations because to be part of the solution, one must be part of the conversation. My current involvements keep me attuned to our community, allow me to give back to others, and provide an opportunity to interact with a large network on a daily basis. Some of these activities include being a member of the Ankeny and Greater Des Moines Young Professionals, a volunteer with the Ankeny Community Emergency Response Team, a member of the Ankeny Chamber through my husband’s small business, a volunteer with the Easter Seals, a mentor to an Ankeny alternative high school student, and a member of the Ankeny First United Methodist Church. Due to my family history, I am also a committee member and spokeswoman for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.
Community Support and Representation: I contemplated running for local office over the last two years. In preparation, I reached out to residents, community leaders, current council members, and business owners because it is
important prospective elected officials have widespread community support prior
to running for office. During these conversations, I shared my personal story,
my fiscally conscious stance on spending, my common sense approach to
government, my education and experience, and my enthusiasm for Ankeny.
Throughout the primary process my personal story resonated
with other life-long Ankeny residents, with young families like mine who have
chosen to settle here, and with business owners who want to continue growing
businesses in Ankeny and providing jobs to our residents. I am thrilled that the support I received from all three of these groups carried me through a successful primary election, and I very much look forward to further spreading my message and building support right up until the election on August 14th.
Why I Am Asking for Your Support: I have the education, work experience,
and knowledge of Ankeny to bring representative leadership to City Council. My decision-making will always be guided by my core principles, analysis of each issue, seeking feedback, and weighing the pros and cons prior to each vote. I will also bring an outgoing, accessible, forthright, and energetic presence to the Council. I firmly believe one has to stand for something or they will fall for anything. That is why I steadfastly have stated that I will strive to avoid future tax increases and will work to reduce current taxes and fees. I have not and will not waffle or provide vague responses regarding where I stand on these concerns facing our community.
My family’s past and my family’s future are uniquely intertwined with that of this city’s—and I am determined that the future is a bright one. The way to ensure this is to listen to the people of Ankeny and to use common sense in moving forward. I hope this helps everyone learn a little more about me, and I appreciate your continued support in the August 14th election.