Questions and Answers
Describe your education, training, and experience and what is your motivation to serve as a member of Congress?
I have a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. In the past few years I have held several roles in my district that has prepared me well to become a great congressional representative. I have been a family law attorney, a guardian ad litem in probate court, a public defender, a substitute teacher in our alternative schools and at one point a stay at home mom, active in the local mom’s club. These roles have allowed me to advocate for members of my district in addition to understanding our strengths and weaknesses. I have witnessed in my district, a steady increase of crime and poverty, a deterioration of our approach to handling legal and illegal immigration, a lack of proper address to the needs of our veterans, as well as an increase in congestion without the proper means to handle transit. In spite of these concerns, very little has been getting done for improvements on the federal level without accountability. These issues and my experience have motivated me to serve as a member of Congress.
What are your top three policy priorities and how will you work to achieve those results?
My top three policy priorities are education, economic development, and immigration reform. A vote for me is a vote for increased federal funding and resources for education and mental health in our schools. As your next congresswoman, I will advocate for increased federal funding for improvements to our low performing schools. I will advocate for federal resources and funding that will provide for internships, scholarships, after school programs, affordable two-year technical college, and free trade school. As a mother of a child with special needs, I will be the voice of our children in special education in Congress.
A vote for me is a vote for improved infrastructure and economic development for Georgia’s Congressional District 4. As your next congresswoman, I will advocate for federal resources and programs that will bring economic wealth and prosperity to our district. I will communicate and work with our state, county, and city governments to provide for the ongoing needs of our constituents.
As your next congresswoman I will advocate for the improvement of our current immigration laws. I will advocate to update legislation that will create a more efficient and humane process for immigrants seeking asylum and legal status in the United States.
Many Americans believe that campaign finance reform is essential to a healthy democracy. As a member of the House of Representatives, what is your position on the issue?
Far too often our emphasis on the strength of a candidate is placed on finance instead of the message of the campaign. Our current campaign finance laws have supported this. It is time to end the ability for rich donors to give so much to candidates that they essentially buy them. Congress should enact a public finance standard for congressional campaigns that will limit the need for candidates to seek and take large donations from rich donors.
Media influence must be limited as well. Often media favoritism of one candidate over the other creates public mistrust of the media. We need the media to remain neutral to build back trust, especially in our current political climate. Without trust in our media, we sometimes end up with a misinformed public for critical issues like the state of our nation in dealing with the current corona virus pandemic.
With the elimination of the protections of the Voting Rights Act, specifically federal oversight of changes in voting laws, what should Congress do to ensure equality in voting rights for all Americans?
Now more than ever we need to allow all adult citizens the right to vote. In light of social distancing guidelines we need to allow voting by mail and the counting and evaluation of mail ballots in advance of election day. This will decrease the chance of fraud in our elections. It will also alleviate the burden of counting thousands, if not millions of ballots after Election Day. Congress needs to address the possible issues that may arise from our elections during a pandemic. Other concerns that need to be addressed include: prevention of district gerrymandering, ease in voter registration, allowing early voting, and giving prisoners the right to vote. As your next congresswoman I will survey the opinions of the district on these matters and represent them in Congress to get legislation passed on their behalf.
What, if anything, needs to be done to fix our immigration system? How should Congress address the estimated 10.5 - 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in our nation?
As an African immigrant and proud U.S. Citizen, I know that gaining legal immigration status is not always easy. As your next congresswoman I will advocate for the improvement of our current immigration laws. I will advocate to update legislation that will create a more efficient and humane process for immigrants seeking asylum and legal status in the United States. I will advocate for amnesty for our DACA recipients, those who have served in our military, and individuals that can show just cause; may it be a hardship or asylum.
How would you solve political gridlock in Congress and what role would you play in that solution?
Currently, divisiveness in Washington and our nation is killing good legislation that our constituents desperately need. I get that we all hold differences in our beliefs and our current President is unceasingly spewing out hateful rhetoric but that does not excuse us to keep electing candidates that will continue to do the same. We need to elect more unifiers and persuasive candidates like myself. We need to elect candidates that know when to speak and when to hold their tongue, less divisive and less focused on name calling and pettiness. We need to elect candidates that will make it their goal to find common ground to get bi-partisan legislation passed for the benefit of constituents. The divisive culture in our current government needs to stop now and we need more elected officials committed to making sure that happens.
What lessons in emergency response planning have you learned from the COVID-19 pandemic?
I have learned how vulnerable our small businesses are and the need for our government to support them. So many of our small businesses do not have insurance coverage for the losses they are experiencing in this pandemic, and as a result some of them will fail. The government needs to step up and continue to support our small businesses. In light of criminal justice reform, the cares act needs to address the availability of funds to small business owners with criminal backgrounds who currently do not qualify.
I have also learned how vulnerable African Americans like myself and hispanics are to this virus. Approximately, fifty percent of the deaths from the corona virus are African American and Hispanic. Illnesses that have plagued this demographic for years including diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, etc. have now come to light as it has become the leading cause of complications from the virus, leading to the death of patients. This is the time for Congress to step up to support these communities to prevent more future deaths.