The responses to these questions were edited for length and clarity by the Georgia Decides team. Each candidate was allotted 150 words for each answer and some answers were trimmed in order to abide by that length requirement. Other edits were made to make sure readers can fully follow and understand the candidate responses.
Campaigning for: State House District 82
How does your background equip you for the job you are seeking?
I am a mother of two female athletes, a grandmother and a software engineer specializing in consumer fraud. I have spent a career solving critical problems for some of the largest financial institutions in the world. In the business world, you don’t solve issues based on a political party but on the most successful outcome. I have also been the leader of many large and successful organizations. These are the skills I will bring to the House. District 82 is diverse but only has representation toward the extremes of my opponent’s party. This is the main reason I have decided to bring my skills as a problem solver to this race. Our community needs a voice to represent the varied opinions that exist here, not her agenda.
What role should government have in the lives of Georgians? How would you apply that philosophy to the job you are seeking?
Government’s role should be to enable all the population to be as successful as possible. I am a firm believer that less legislation is superior to more regulation. The government should be there to encourage growth and not hinder it, to give a hand up, not a handout. It is tempting for legislators to want to solve every problem with more money and more legislation. This is the easy way out. More often than not, there are other, likely more successful solutions which should be explored. Exploring solution options, outside-the-box ideas, is what I’ve spent a career doing.
If you are elected (or re-elected), what problems will you spend the most time solving and why?
Staving off inflation and the current budget surplus are critical to all Georgians. I attended sessions to hear these issues discussed in committee. Several options are being considered which I would support, such as lowering the state sales tax and replacing the state Income tax with a consumption tax. The concerns from opposing views were sufficiently addressed. The point is, you keep more of your own money in the first place. I’ve spoken with the sheriff, Decatur police chief, sergeants and beat cops. As your representative, I will 100% support efforts to back the blue. DeKalb’s education system was once held in high regards. That is not the case today. The fact that our schools perform so poorly is a concern for all residents in that it also lowers our home’s value.
Georgia is a politically diverse state. How will you work to represent Georgians whose political views differ from your own?
I was raised by parents with wildly opposite political views. I did not grow up in a bubble and I do not live in a bubble. My friends represent as much diversity, if not more, than what is represented in this district. When you work for large international financial institutions, as I have, you interact with a large group of people with a wide variety of experience, ideas, motivations and goals. The ability to navigate those waters is a skill I will bring to DeKalb and District 82. I’ve learned that everyone’s opinions and experience is valuable and worth giving attention to because at the end of the day, making DeKalb better, safer and smarter is everyone’s common ground. I will listen to and make sure to give respect and support for varying positions. I am glaringly aware that when elected, I will represent all of District 82 and not a specific political ideology.
Who has been the biggest influence on how you view state government and politics? What have you learned from this person?
I was raised by parents with wildly opposite political views. I did not grow up in a bubble and I do not live in one. I learned how to listen to vast differing opinions as well as how to debate my views from my parents. My friends represent as much diversity, if not more, than what is represented in my district. I have been out knocking on doors extensively in District 82 and I’ve delighted in hearing from YOU what is important. You won’t find my opponent reaching out to you. If I’m willing to work this hard to get your vote, you can count on my working this hard to represent your vote.
Georgia has a lot to offer current and potential residents, but many parts of the state are becoming increasingly unaffordable. Please explain your proposed approach to address housing affordability through legislation and executive actions?
If you are a homeowner, like I am, you are likely getting weekly calls asking to buy your home. In most cases, these callers are representing big Wall Street firms intending to turn them into rental properties. DeKalb County is reported to be the No.1 county in the country being targeted. Especially with inflation hitting all of us, it may feel the sale price is too much to ignore and could help to make ends meet. As these firms purchase more and more of our properties, it drives up the price of all housing and prices out many in the lower and middle classes. When tackling any problem, it is important to understand the root of the problem and corporate buyouts of our private property is one of the biggest drivers of the increasing unaffordability of housing in Georgia.
Politics is often about compromise. How do you decide when to compromise and take small, incremental wins, and when to refuse compromise?
When you work for large international financial institutions, as I have, you interact with a large group of people with a wide variety of experience, ideas, motivations, and goals. The ability to navigate those waters is a skill I will bring to DeKalb and District 82. I’ve learned everyone’s opinions and experience is valuable and worth giving attention to because at the end of the day, making DeKalb and Georgia better, safer and smarter is everyone’s common ground. The diversity of views in DeKalb are more vast than most of Georgia. I will listen to and make sure to give respect and support for varying positions. I am glaringly aware that when elected, I will represent all of District 82 and not a specific political ideology.
There were politicians who questioned the outcomes of Georgia elections in 2018 and 2020. Do you think Georgia’s elections are secure and will you stand by the results?
First, I will stand by the results of the 2022 election. SB202 brought us a long way to protecting each of our legal votes and rights. While there is much that may still be done to secure our elections, I see the current system as being more secure than in the recent past. In 2018, the Democrats claimed the election were not secure. In 2020, the Republicans felt the same. It is clear neither party had confidence in the voting system. Its important to continue revisiting this topic to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, state law and local enforcement authority will determine access to abortion.
I have yet to meet a single person whose red line, regarding abortion, is the same. While I have my personal views, especially being the mother of two daughters, I would be representing the views of District 82. I would need to thoroughly review any future proposed legislation and have the opportunity to hear from this district. I would hold a town hall to share the facts of such legislation and listen to the voice of our community. I believe being a representative means you represent the people, not your own political views.
Are there any programs/legislation you’ve sponsored or created to help people with disabilities?
While I am not a current or past legislator to have had the honor to be a sponsor, I have a stepbrother that is severely autistic and a niece with cerebral palsy. Both are in wonderful programs that provide a safe and loving environment. But these programs are not widely available. I would like to see these programs expanded and be available to more with severe disabilities.
Georgia closed out its budget year with a “likely record surplus, billions of dollars in federal aid and a growing economy.” Georgia spends more than half of this money on education and health care. What would you want to see in the budget in terms of spending or taxes?
When receiving a bonus, the initial reaction is to spend it quick and on something I’ve always wanted. Responsibility sets in and it’s put to proper use. The differences between a personal bonus and a Georgia surplus are that I earned the bonus. I support reducing the state sales tax and eliminating the state income tax. These will help the lower and middle class the most. The thousands of pages of tax code mostly benefit those that can take advantage of the exemptions, mostly benefiting the wealthy. Georgia still has plenty of room for improvement. The state’s infrastructure needs considerable attention. The health care system is clearly an issue affecting rural Georgia as well as the inner cities. As your representative, I would want to know what options are being proposed and bring those proposed solutions to our community to see what serves our needs.
The Legislature often votes along party lines. When would you seek bipartisan action and what issues merit such consensus?
As I’ve said earlier, solutions are not left or right. They either solve the problem or they don’t. I will always support the solution that works. As in the corporate world, compromise is always involved. Differing opinions, funding, availability, and resources always need to be considered. I will consistently work with both parties on any issue to learn more about their stance and how to find an equitable outcome. Especially for those issues for which my constituents find most important and affects them the most.