I was born in Montana and grew up on a horse ranch there, where I developed an early love for the land and preserving its natural beauty. I attended Eastern Montana College (now Montana State University - Billings) with an intended major in Psychology. While I loved my time at the university earning my degree, paying tuition out-of-pocket, as a single mom, proved to be immensely difficult and I had to re-evaluate my situation to make raising my children the number one priority.
I married my husband, Mark Sullivan, a Windy City native in 2001 (20 years this year!). We have a German Shepard, our own cats, and a few feral cats who love to visit our yard. We are a military family; my husband is a Viet Nam veteran, a Purple Heart Recipient, and a retired military policeman, and my son is an Iraq War veteran. My husband's military involvement called us to become small business owners of the Duty Belt, which was a retail store that sold uniforms and equipment for Police, Fire and EMTs, up until its sale several years ago.
I have been a proud resident of Tumwater for 24 years. I have served 10 years on the Tumwater Planning Commission (7 years as Chair), 8 years on the Tumwater City Council, 7 years on the Intercity Transit Board (3 years as Chair, including during the transformation time of Zero Fare and Prop 1), and 7 years on the Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties (2 years as Chair which was the maximum allowed under the bylaws).
I come from a unique professional background, having served in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. This breadth of experience allows me to understand the many diverse populations within our community. As a former small business owner, I understand how hard it is to stay afloat when times get tough. As a former state worker, and someone employed in the private industry, I understand how critical public/private partnerships are. I also understand that many of the gaps between government and private industry are due to a lack of common language, which I am able to bridge, having been part of both.
For our city to continue to prosper, we need to plan for sustainable growth, provide resources for our most vulnerable, and increase access to reliable transportation. I am prepared to provide dedicated, dynamic leadership to ensure that Tumwater remains a vibrant, inclusive, and safe city. I will be a strong and balanced Mayor, who advocates for everyone in our community, so that it is a place we can all be proud to call home.
I want to hear from you about what you want to see in our community! I hope to earn your support and your vote on August 3rd.