Biography & Background Experience
- Education: Masters in Labor Studies at Umass Amherst (2005). Worked for United for a New Economy in Denver, CO. Came back to Massachusetts in 2015 and is currently the Communications Coordinator for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “Proud union member since 2001” (MA AFL-CIO).
- Employment: Policy Analyst and communications coordinator for 10 years at a community-labor non-profit in Colorado (United for a New Economy, now FRESC), working on good jobs, affordable housing, and other social and economic justice policy issues. “I serve as a union steward and help negotiate, advocate and resolve conflicts. I believe in democratic and engaged workplaces and societies, and I bring this perspective to my leadership” (MVQ).
Children: Second grader Willa and kindergartener Luca both attend Linden (Campaign website).
- Endorsed by Our Revolution Malden; Greater Boston Labor Council; Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association Local Union No 17; Roofer and Waterproofers Union, Local 33; United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Local 1445; Painters and Allied Trades DC #35; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 2222; The Blue Lab, and Bay State Stonewall Democrats.
- “I served for 2.5 years as the president of the board of directors for my children’s nonprofit preschool and in this capacity worked to develop leadership, expand the school, increase fundraising and broaden enrollment” (MVQ).
- Biggest issues: “I would prioritize finding new solutions to hiring and retaining more diverse educators, increasing transparency and community input in decision making, working on options for more recess and active time for our students, and seeking solutions to overcrowded classrooms” (MVQ).
- Motivation for running: “As the daughter of two educators, I have always understood the power of teachers to change lives. My wife, Sarah, and I have been together for 20 years and we love living in Malden and being a part of the public school community … Our neighborhood schools are places where parents and family members from all walks of life can come together to build a better community and world, and I hope my work on the school committee will help strengthen the voices of parents, teachers and students alike.” (MVQ).
Budget Priorities: “We know that funding for education is in crisis in Massachusetts – underfunded to the tune of $1billion per year! We owe it to our children to support a fair and equitable formula that lets us create the schools all students deserve” (Issues).
- PROMISE Act: “I fully support the Promise Act. Our schools are severely underfunded and our students need this funding crisis addressed” (MVQ). Information on the PROMISE Act here.
- Charter Schools: Worked hard on #NoOn2, keeping the cap on charter schools. “Our traditional public schools are set up to serve our entire, diverse population and I believe that our resources are best spent on these schools. Charter schools are not required to be as transparent in their operation as our public schools and that is troubling to me” (MVQ).
- Community: “I would advocate for anti-bias training for educators and community members and, in concert with teachers, administrators, students, parents, elected officials and other stakeholders, examine the ways implicit bias shapes policies and attitudes within our schools and then seek to find avenues to improve our systems and policies” (MVQ).
- Parental Engagement “I believe in transparent decision making and open input from the community and would love to explore avenues to make meetings more accessible and open to increase community engagement” (MVQ).
- Class size: “As Malden has grown, many of our classrooms have become overcrowded, and this has created barriers to our success as a school district and city. While there is no easy fix to this problem, I pledge to work through my role to facilitate solutions” (Issues).
- Curriculum – “I support social-emotional learning and restorative justice practices in the classroom” (MVQ).
- Health & Safety – “I support the School Committee’s resolutions against arming teachers” (MVQ).
- Recess – “Ample time for physical exercise and fresh air is not just healthy for children’s bodies, it is essential for their learning. Longer recess has positive effects on concentration levels, mood, and productivity among students. Malden should join other local and U.S. cities and towns and examine options for expanding recess time to support learning” (Issues).
- Vocational training – “I will fight to enhance the vocational learning programs at Malden High School to ensure that students are exposed to career pathways that include apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship in construction and other trades, in addition to being counseled on the best college programs” (Issues).
- Budget: “My approach to budget problems is to invest in our staff and educators as best as we are able because they are what make Malden schools strong. Prioritizing funding for librarians, music and the arts are important to me” (MVQ).
- Diversity: “I will support a hiring model that emphasizes diversity among our teachers” (MVQ).
- Retain staff: “We must figure out new ways to attract, hire and retain teachers and staff that better reflect our diverse student population” (MVQ).
- Substitute teachers: “I believe that examining possible problems related to working conditions and respect on the job could reveal a path towards a solution” (ORM).
- Wages: “I believe that $15/hour should be the federal minimum wage and that it is, in fact, too low to be considered a livable wage in eastern Massachusetts” (ORM).
- Immigrants: “It is essential for school committee members as well as all elected officials, community members and neighbors support and advocate for our immigrant neighbors, especially immigrant youth. Our current political climate and our long history of entrenched xenophobia and racism in America means that immigrants in our community are never safe” (MVQ).
- LGBTQ+: “As a member of the LGBTQ community, I understand some of what LGBTQ youth face. Being a visible, out elected official is one way I can contribute to helping protect Malden’s LGBTQ youth. I will also advocate for their rights and safety through such measures as safe bathrooms for non-binary or trans students, training and professional development for educators, resources for queer space and a greater voice” (MVQ).
- Racial Diversity: “Malden schools are diverse with an array of socio-economic backgrounds, races, religions, ethnicities and family structures” (ORM).