When it comes to politics, I am an outsider. But I have become so fed-up with what I see as incompetence and indifference on the part of those who are supposed to be representing our interests that I decided it was time to step up. I believe our elected leaders should represent the best interests of our country, not play political games with our future. I was outraged with the complete ineptitude of David Cameron and the lies of the Leave campaigners, and am now horrified by the direction Theresa May has taken, barrelling towards a disastrous Hard Brexit. So I am standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Stevenage, to stand up for our future.
What can I bring to the role? With more than 25 years of business experience, much of it working with global companies, I have a track record of getting things done. I have managed large teams and big budgets, and also worked with small businesses and non-profits on shoestring budgets with volunteer teams. A few years ago I headed back to school to earn my PhD, and I now work primarily as a university lecturer teaching international business communication.
I am an immigrant to the UK, having come here from the USA in 2002. I proudly became a British citizen in 2011. I’ve lived in Hertfordshire for more than 14 years. Originally from Oklahoma, I grew up in a family of six children, where both my parents worked hard and barely made ends meet. I left home at 17 and worked several jobs at a time to support myself and put myself through university. Among the Oklahoma values that are core to my being are hard work, self-sufficiency, stick-to-itiveness and a down-to-earth approach.
Upon settling in my adopted home, I found an affinity for what I perceived to be core values of British culture, including fairness, tolerance, and reason. It was seeing the erosion of these values -- overwhelmed by the wave of nationalism, populism, racism, misogyny and homophobia that seems to be sweeping from America and across Europe -- that motivated me to take a more active role in politics. I knew I couldn’t just trust that someone else would sort things out. I knew that it was time to “be the change I wish to see in the world.”
The values I found in the Liberal Democrats fit with my own. They can be summed up in three words: Open, Tolerant, United.
Open means open-hearted, open-minded, forward-looking, modern, green, internationalist and pro-European.
Tolerant means diverse, compassionate and generous. We will always fight injustice and stand up for the underdog, the outsider, the individual, the minority and the vulnerable against the powerful.
United means we will always put the interests of the whole United Kingdom first. We reject the divisions in society, whether between young and old, urban and rural, leave and remain, or between regions and nations. We believe we are stronger – as communities, as a country and as a world – when we work together in our common interest.
If you share these values, I hope you’ll join me in fighting to change Britain’s future by voting for me on 8th June.