Neither of my parents graduated from college; my mother worked her way up from bank teller to bank manager while my Dad worked as a blueprint machine repair man, instilling in me there is no substitute for hard work. I worked my way through college, with the help of scholarships, Pell Grants, and student loans, graduating with a degree in economics.
I spent most of my career in China before deciding to raise our family here in Iowa. I worked as the director of marketing for a multinational company, and became the youngest person ever elected to the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, where I spearheaded their corporate social responsibility programs. I worked with people from across the globe — people from different countries, with different cultures, different languages, different world views. Living somewhere with language and culture barriers, you learn to embrace your differences and cherish your similarities.
In business, people can have disagreements but still find common ground to fight for a common cause. I think it’s time the state house in Iowa learned that lesson.
Ten years ago, with my second child on the way, we decided to move to Iowa to raise our family, to give our kids an all-American childhood. Everyone we told we were moving to Iowa said, “Oh, you’ll love it there! The people are nice, there’s a great quality of life, and the public schools are amazing.” And we have loved it here. The quality of life is great, and their public schools have been outstanding.
But I have watched as year after year the state legislature failed to increase education funding to keep pace with inflation, and kept passing bills that were more and more extreme, with no input from across the aisle and no input from the people their bad bills would affect. I’ve been struck with how out of touch the extremist bills proposed are with our community. Ankeny is a great place to live, and we need to keep it that way by focusing on legislation working families care about, like strong public education and affordable and accessible healthcare.
The politics we see on the news and at our state house is an active choice — a choice between short-term partisan gain and long-term investments in the economic security of our state. It’s time we put people in the state house who are willing to work across the aisle, and pass good legislation that will outlast changes in power. That’s why I’ve decided to run for the Iowa House here in District 37.
As your next state representative, I’m ready to work with anyone to keep Ankeny a great place to live. I’ll have the tough conversations with Democrats and Republicans alike and pass legislation that helps families in Ankeny and all across our state.