When I was a brand-new nurse in the Emergency Department at a Level 1 Trauma Center 15 years ago, I was lucky enough to attend a lecture given by the Chief of Medical Education at my hospital. He said:
“Some people make the mistake of thinking that what we do entitles us to be arrogant, when nothing can be further from the truth. We should never fail to be humbled by the incredible trust people place in us. They put their lives, their families’ lives, in our hands every single day. We must always remember that it is our privilege and our honor to serve the community. It is our honor and our privilege to serve.”
This was a truth so profound that it sank into my brain and seeped into my bones and has informed every single day of my nursing practice in all the years since. And today, I firmly believe that it holds just as true for political life as it does for the nursing profession. Now that I am running for office myself, it has informed every day of my campaign, and will continue to inform my public service if I am elected.
I have dedicated nearly 30 years to public and community service. In my youth, I spent nearly a decade volunteering 60-plus hours a month for what was, at the time, one of the busiest EMS squads in the state. But I wanted to do more. So I earned my nursing degree while still working in pharmaceutical market research, where I designed research projects and analyzed data to provide strategic action plans for our clients. I embarked on my new career, and spent nearly another decade in emergency departments at both urban Level I Trauma and suburban community hospitals, providing care to patients across all acuity levels. Before transitioning to outpatient care, I also worked as a case manager and patient navigator, coordinating care and resources across interdisciplinary teams.
In addition to the Food Drive my running mates David Timpanaro, Josh Weiner, and I started to help our neighbors during the COVID pandemic, my son and I have enjoyed volunteering with the Community Food Bank of NJ, Table of Hope, and other food-based charities for the last several years. As soon as our family moved to Randolph I became civically engaged in my community: joining the Democratic Committee and eventually rising to serve on its executive board, canvassing and interacting with Randolph voters, helping to organize and staff various local events.
As a nurse, I was taught – and take very much to heart – that “we do it this way because this is the way we’ve always done it” is never an acceptable answer. I was taught to look for creative solutions that are based on evidence and provide measurable results. Because when people’s lives are in your hands, you don’t ever have the luxury – nor should you have the arrogance – of taking the easy way out.
Randolph isn't just ready for a change, it already has. And its leaders have to change as well, if they hope to navigate us through these challenging times. Last time around, our local Democratic candidates brought a lot of new ideas to the fore. There's an old saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the Republican Town Council members flattered us by adopting several of our campaign ideas. They proved our point for us: that competition is healthy, that multiple viewpoints are necessary to spur growth and progress, and that our ideas are good for Randolph.
The Republican candidates love to refer to their “many years of experience,” but of the 18 candidates they fielded for Town Council in the last 5 elections, more than half were first-timers with zero experience. Now it’s true, the Democrats only ran 7 candidates in the same amount of time. But we’ve spent the last several years reaching out to voters, building community relationships, awareness, and involvement. We ran 6 of those candidates in the last 4 years, and in that time we’ve closed the gap from over 8 percent to less than 2.
My running mates and I need your support to help us get a seat at the table. That’s a win for us. But even more importantly, we are making sure that Randolph’s leaders have to work for the privilege of serving you, instead of just strolling into Town Hall and having it handed to them. And that’s a win for everybody.