Growing up the oldest girl in a family of 9, I learned important lessons about working hard, sticking up for what you believe in and giving back to your community. I worked my way through school and with the help of scholarships and grants was able to do it on my own. I have a history of stepping up as a voice for others whether it was student government or for the past 8 years on the La Crosse County Board. I was lucky to have been born into a family with great role models of public service, where one gives back to the community whether it is military service, volunteering, or governmental office. I continue this family legacy of community service .
The La Crosse County Board has been a good proving ground for State Elected Office. County Government does the work of the state whether it is maintaining and plowing roads, zoning and assessments, supporting the state court system, or providing health services, and human services. My experience with county issues has given me a depth of knowledge that will serve us well in the State Assembly.
I have been elected into leadership by my colleagues on the Board. As a Vice Chair, I am someone who has worked with and mentored Supervisors from varied political viewpoints. I am the type of Board member who will debate issues and advocate strongly for my view but still meet my colleague the next day for a cup of coffee. I have worked on building bridges to get things done for La Crosse County and I will work to build bridges in Madison.
Talking with people in La Crosse, I hear that they are worried about their taxes. As a Vice Chair of the La Crosse County Board I have helped keep taxes low, the 5th lowest of 72 counties, while maintaining good quality services. And the key is wisely investing those precious tax dollars in our community. We invest money wisely in La Crosse with innovative and effective programs where we measure the results to make sure we’re doing things well. We invest money wisely by collaborating with others for savings and efficiency. We invest money wisely by respectful, open negotiations with our employees and unions to keep experienced, quality workers.
I have also had the opportunity to actively serve our community in a wide variety of ways throughout the 21 years I have lived here and raised my two children. I worked for 7 years as a teacher at the Friendship program, teaching Citizenship and English to Hmong Adults. Our work was successful and our students moved on to job training programs or work in the community. The Friendship Program and the Hmong Community are success stories here in La Crosse. I am proud to have served them and other thriving community organizations such as the La Crosse Community Foundation, the YMCA, Couleecap, and our La Crosse Public Schools.
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