Hi, I’m Sheila and I’m running for state representative. I’m running to give the folks in the 64th House District a hand up and hope for our future as a community.
I enjoy living in Michigan where I can ride my mountain bike, hike the trails, and be out on the pristine water of The Great Lakes State. Here in Jackson, I’m thankful to have a bit of space to be able to garden, get my hands dirty, and see something grow. After work, I’m lucky to have some time to knit, read, and cook with my husband Karl.
However, I didn’t always have these opportunities.
Growing up in a lower income, working-class family, money was often tight and life was tough. We often struggled. My dad was a carpenter for the railroad and my mom worked in a factory and in various other jobs. My parents taught me the value of hard work and opportunity. They also taught me the skills needed to survive, such as fishing, hunting, and trapping. I also learned how to garden, can, sew, and more, making me the independent person I am today.
When my parents divorced, my mom was suddenly a single mother raising four kids. I know what it’s like to not have money for the things that you need or want. I know what it’s like to be hungry and to open the cupboard to find a single can of green beans. I remember my brother and I having to help pay the rent or pay for groceries using the money we earned working part-time after school and on the weekends. But throughout those hard times, my parents taught us to dream and believe that we could do better.
I remember driving through the neighborhoods with the big, safe houses and dreaming of what it would be like to live there or dreaming of what my house would look like some day. Through those Sunday drives, I envisioned working hard to achieve a better life. Even when people discouraged me, I had hope and believed that I could do better. Eventually, I did – but I didn’t do it alone.
I met great people along the way who helped give me a hand up when I needed it the most – my teachers in high school who encouraged me, and my coworkers at McDonald’s who helped me as I worked hard to support myself and get into college. I learned to work with others to grow and expand my opportunities. Most important, I learned from my failures--picking myself up over and over again to give it one more try.
When I look around our community, I see families that are hurting, I see kids who are struggling in schools that don’t have enough resources, I see roads that make it tough for us to get to our jobs, I see old housing stock and old water pipes that may be harming our children’s health. But I also see an opportunity to do better.
Let’s invest in businesses that create jobs for current and future generations, strengthen our public schools so that children can prepare for the 21st Century economy, and promote livable wages for working people that help families get ahead, not just get by. By investing in our state’s future and working together, we all win.
I want to be your State Representative to help us all come together, work together and succeed together. Together, we all win. You can help by volunteering and donating to our campaign today.