My Story

 Rep.Jason Lewis' office in Burnsville

Rep.Jason Lewis' office in Burnsville

 With Mom, circa 1975

With Mom, circa 1975

 Nobel Peace Prize with Dad (Director of the Guyana Foreign Service Institute and former Ambassador to China) 

Nobel Peace Prize with Dad (Director of the Guyana Foreign Service Institute and former Ambassador to China) 

 Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with Michael

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with Michael

 Human Rights Day Rally 2017

Human Rights Day Rally 2017

 With my reason for fighting (my son Michael)

With my reason for fighting (my son Michael)

I love Minnesota.

Like so many Americans, my story starts elsewhere. Minnesota is my home and I have lived in Burnsville for almost half of my life. It is a place where one can dream and turn those dreams into reality. It is my story. It is the story of a young immigrant woman whose imagined dreams of what was possible were fulfilled. I have built lifelong friendships with warm-hearted people who were once strangers, and established an amazing, fulfilling life in Burnsville. Living in this beautiful state has taught me many valuable lessons, such as that each of us plays a part in strengthening our communities, and the values of our community are worth fighting for.

I was born in Guyana, South America. It is a small, poor, multiracial, developing country. As a child, I saw the consequences of poverty, the breakdown of race relations, and the lack of development of women. I can recall doing my homework by candlelight because there was no electricity, long treks to carry water by bucket to our home or not having enough to eat on some days. These circumstances have prepared me to fight for a united, prosperous and dynamic community in Minnesota.

That's why I am in this race to be your Representative for Senate District 56A (Savage-Burnsville). The past few years has shown all of us that we have a long way to go and a lot of progress ahead to build the kind of world we want for our children. It’s about what we can do together to move us forward, unified in the values Minnesotans share. We all agree that we need better schools, better jobs, fair wages, healthcare, the protection of rights, our safety and equality for every Minnesotan. The time is now to turn the page for a new Minnesota, where we listen to each other and work together. Where the voices of all Minnesotans have a seat at the table to govern our democracy.

It is no secret: it has been a divisive year in our country. These divisions have impacted our government, the places we work, our neighborhoods, our schools, our families. They have even affected the lives of our children. We even seem incapable of talking and hearing each other. And in the polarization, our people and communities have become unheard and forgotten.

Despite these challenges I believe there are grounds for optimism. In my journey this past year, I have learned that when Minnesotans work together, our challenges can be overcome through reasoned dialogue. This work has become the passion of my life in our community. The best way for me to contribute to this district by focusing on four specific areas to improve our lives: the education and protection of our children, economic equality and opportunities for our families, equality for women, and the inclusion of all Minnesotans in the development of our state.

During the past year, I have marched and raised my voice in seeking to hold our government accountable. I want to be your voice to represent Savage and Burnsville at the State Capitol in Saint Paul, fighting every day for policies that build the foundation to restore a hopeful future for my son, your sons and daughters, and your families. The time is now for efficiency, a culture of accountability and common sense. For a balanced approach for solutions to revitalize our economy that puts our families first. For too long our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Voters need representation from someone who has lived their challenges and understands their dreams. The time is now for a fighter who understands the struggles our families face in striving for better.

As a working, single mom of a 13-year-old son, it gives me overwhelming joy to see Michael grow into the young man he is today who loves acting in school plays. He humorously reminds me that the plays have taught him how to take direction really well. In his quiet way, he also is aware of the challenges he will face for a future free from the complications of race and economic insecurity. I will not only want to fight for my son’s better future, I will also fight for all of our children. For such a future we must secure well paying jobs and raise the minimum wage. Secure funding for education, affordable childcare, healthcare, and housing so that Minnesotans are no longer tormented by the fear of poverty and gun violence, of not making ends meet by inequality in our economy.

As a volunteer with the One91 school district’s Finance Advisory Committee, I've have seen the cracks in the financial foundation that we can no longer ignore. We must build a stronger future for our schools, education and our economy are connected. Insufficient state funding for our schools is tied to policies that do not grow with inflation. Inequality in achievement gaps and disparities in the quality of education must be eradicated, because where you go to school should not determine your future. Let’s invest in closing the funding gaps for special education, mental health and support services and innovative programs/pathways for STEM. The time is now to strengthen our public school system and the support for our teachers to provide our children with opportunities for the future economy.

Despite the economic challenges of my childhood, education was the key to opportunities for me. For 16 years, a company invested in me, gave me my first job in Minnesota and helped me grow. My career is about helping families buy their first home, and save their homes during difficult times. Families should not have to choose between paying for a roof over their heads or for food, medicine and education. Economic inequality is income inequality and is intersectional inequality, and we must lead for solutions in Minnesota. Economic prosperity and affordable quality healthcare for all is a basic human right.

We cannot solve these problems alone. Our resolve as Minnesotans, and as Americans, is to form a more perfect union. Our union and our communities cannot be perfect when we alienate each other. As a volunteer with the Better Angels organization, I have spent this past year sitting down to listen and talk with those who don’t agree with one another. We must find a way to engage in American conversations, to share our values, and to influence the direction of our state, together. A Minnesota of balanced approaches is possible, together.

As a single mom, head of household, homeowner, a 17 year career in mortgage operations and management, a member of the Finance Advisory for the One91 school district and a moderator bringing Republicans and Democrats together to find common ground. With my business and advocacy experience, this will inform decisions I make for solid policies and thoughtful voting for all families in Burnsville & Savage.

We can work together so that families no longer have to struggle paycheck to paycheck, we can afford our healthcare to get well, and our elderly are able to live safe and comfortable lives. We all want a safe future with opportunities so that our children can beat the odds: where the rights of women are equal and defined in our constitution, and where our compassion provides safe haven for those who have none and we leave no one behind. I cannot do this alone. It about what we can do together to build a better Savage, a better Burnsville, and create a Minnesota where everyone succeeds.

With strength, courage, humility and your support; I step forward to the frontline of this fight for a better, safer, stronger future for our community. The time is now.

Let’s build this. Together.