“I am excited for this opportunity to serve Western Massachusetts communities. My experience in state and local policy-making and my passion for advocating for working families and children will ensure that the voices of all residents are heard on Beacon Hill.”
I grew up working class in Cali, Colombia. My parents worked hard to pay the bills, to put good food on the table, to help my sister and I educate ourselves for a better life. Work defined us and our neighbors: work and community. Hard work and a supportive community has come to define my political philosophy as well. Our area succeeds with the progressive democratic values of supporting the efforts of individuals while providing the social safety nets inherent in a strong community.
I believe that all families that work hard should have the support of their community and the economic opportunities to be successful. I was raised in a working class family and saw my parents work hard to pay the bill, put food on the table and to help me get an education. Their hope was that my life would have more opportunities than theirs. And it has. And I believe that every family in the 1st Franklin District deserves the same opportunities.
I moved to Franklin County 17 years ago, where I got married, started a family and quickly became involved in my community. I began working for local non-profit agencies helping families find the services and support they needed: a little more food on the table, play groups, nutrition for expectant mothers and infants, parenting classes or early childhood education efforts. I could see the impact a little help from a caring community could have in the lives of my neighbors.
I wanted to do more. My boys were growing up, my husband was opening The Rendezvous restaurant and I wanted this all to happen in the kind of supportive community in which I grew up. I went to evening classes and obtained a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Massachusetts. Ran two successful campaigns for Greenfield School Committee in a period which oversaw the building of a new high school, the hiring of a new superintendent and supporting the teachers who do so much for our children. I became a Fellow of the Community Advocates for Young Learners (CAYL) and an Emerge MA alumna, and earned the position of Senior Program Manager at Raising a Reader, MA. I served on the board of the Franklin Community Coop. I was appointed to the Hampshire-Franklin Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, on which I currently serve as Chair. I also serve on the Board of Directors of Leadership Pioneer Valley and the Shea Theater. They have been busy years in service to the area I love.