Among the many things that I learned in the Marine Corps is the importance of living by a set of core values, principles that govern everything you do. During my time in the Marines, I identified my personal set of core values, and they are what guide my decisions, big and small, every day: Justice. Empathy. Service.
Justice is the bedrock of a good society, a life well lived. For me, justice is all about making impartial decisions about what is right, even when it’s inconvenient. The most important role of good government is to protect our most vulnerable populations. There is no easy way out, no cutting corners, no shying away from the tough conversations, and no leaving a problem for someone else to fix. Our society has reached another inflection point for justice. We have an opportunity to take on the tough conversations that affect our most vulnerable populations: healthcare, immigration, wage equality, voting access, and so many more. I will work each day to advance these tough conversations and ensure that all communities, particularly underrepresented communities, have a seat at the table. Justice is not always popular, but it must always be inclusive.
Nothing will change your life so much as the ability to see the world through another person’s eyes. One person cannot fully comprehend the experiences of another, but we can take the time to try to understand how experience shapes a person’s perspective. In my travels, I have experienced a broad array of perspectives on countless topics, and I have yet to find a place, even in a war-torn country, where the introduction of empathy couldn’t change the course of a conversation. I am not trying to say that I understand all walks of life or have answers to age-old questions. But I do have an open heart and a willingness to hear your story and to learn from it. I will take an empathetic approach to governing, acting as a member of the community rather than as a mouthpiece for big donors.
I learned my value of selfless service from the everyday actions of my family: doing dishes at the local shelter, refinishing public park benches, rebuilding storm-damaged homes, and visiting with residents of assisted-care facilities. We didn’t do these things for recognition, we did them because they are the right things to do for our community. My family’s devotion to selfless service eventually led to me joining the Marine Corps, and it is that sense of community-based service that I will bring to the 13th Senate District.