Here are some straight answers to common questions I’ve heard on the campaign trail.
Are you an American?
Yes, I’ve lived here my entire life.
Ok, but where are you from?
I was born in Madison, Wisconsin.
Yeah, but where are you FROM?
*SIGH* Listen, my mother is from central Wisconsin. She is an American citizen. When he was a child, my father immigrated from Nuevo Loredo, Mexico to Wisconsin. He is an American citizen, too.
So, do you speak Spanish?
Only a little. While my brothers and I were taught to celebrate everything about our Mexican heritage, we were never fully immersed in the language. My grandmother primarily spoke Spanish, and I grew up going to Spanish church services. But my daily life has always been in English. Today my husband and I are expanding our Spanish speaking skills through Duolingo.
What religion are you?
My husband and I both grew up Catholic, and now are Lutherans. We were married in a church in Fridley. I also worked in the church office for several years.
Are you endorsed by one of the major political parties?
Yes. Most people understand that a mayor’s role is non-partisan and that I am grounded in what is best for our city. However, in my first term I learned that people also want a mayor who is informed, connected, and collaborates with other leaders beyond our city limits. Literally all of the state and national officials who represent Columbia Heights are DFL. I am proud to work alongside them and I accept their endorsements.
Will you defund the police?
Absolutely not. The Columbia Heights police department is widely recognized for its effectiveness at community policing. Other police departments could learn a lot from our example. I have a great relationship with our chief and several officers. Like everything in our city, I’m only interested in exploring improvements that could modernize the existing system, such as making sure our officers have all of the training they need.
You don’t really have four kids, do you?
Yes! The youngest is 21, and the oldest is 29. We have an empty nest!
Did you start HeightsNEXT?
I was one of the founding members of HeightsNEXT, a movement focused on building community and promoting sustainability. I served as its president from 2017-2019. I am still an active member, helping to organize community outreach events.
What’s with your fashion sense?
I studied fashion merchandising and modeling in college. While I never made a career of it, these skills directly led to my appearance in TV commercials, and my success as a producer and director of high-end fashion shows at country clubs, entertainment venues, and conventions. My designs have won 1st place in the Master category, my performances have won Best in Show, and I have had the honor of serving as a judge for fashion and costume competitions.
Why do you dress up as Wonder Woman?
Frankly because she’s the superhero we all need right now: powerful, selfless, faithful, a champion of justice, and a woman that defies norms! I have been making Wonder Woman costumes for 20 years, and wearing them for special engagements, parades, and charity events such as visits to the Children’s Hospital. I have also enjoyed making other superhero and science fiction costumes for my kids, friends, and my husband.
Still have questions?
If you feel something is missing from this page, just send me a note and we’ll connect. I’m happy to listen to questions!