I was born in the green hills of Jamaica, cared for by an adoring grandmother while my mother completed her nursing degree. Being the oldest of four children and the only girl gave me a strong will and an independent spirit.
By no means do I come from wealth, though I always had everything I needed. I grew up with strong values and the belief that all things are possible with God. I was taught compassion and respect for everyone, and whatever you do, do not bring shame on your family. My family is filled with strong individuals, but I was most influenced by the strong women in my life – especially my great-grandmother and my grandmother. My great-grandfather died young and my great-grandmother farmed her land and raised her six children by herself. My grandmother lost her youngest son to drowning and she too carried on in the face of significant grief.
I was active from a young age: I was part of the student government in High School. I was president of my Key Club. I was a student representative on the school board. Through my activism, I made many lifelong friends that I am blessed to still have today, 40 years later.
My college career was not linear; there were stops and starts along the way. I started out at Rutgers University and graduated from Pace University with a degree in Sociology. I completed my Master’s degree in Social Work at Columbia University.
Over the years, I worked in different fields. I was a house cleaner while I was in college. I worked in banking, and in marketing. I worked in education, and the telecommunications industry where I served as a Regional District Manager for a multi-national corporation with more than 200 employees. All these experiences perfectly prepared me for my career in social work, and public service.
A little more than twenty years ago, my husband and I moved to Mount Vernon with our young family, and bought our beautiful home. When we moved here, many new families were also moving in and it did not take me long to become involved with the Parent Teacher Association. I collaborated with other parents on such things as ‘TV Turn Off Week’ where we encouraged our children to be more active rather than just watch television. I was always the classroom mom, actively engaged in the lives of my children.
In 2008 I was approached to run for the Mount Vernon School Board. Because my youngest brother was deathly ill and subsequently passed away, I chose not to run. I ran for the school board in 2009, and was elected to a 3-year term. In 2012 I ran again and was re-elected to a one-year term.
After serving on the school board I was elected president of a Political Action Committee committed to electing sound candidates to the school board. I served in that capacity for 2 years.
In 2015 I ran for the Mount Vernon City Council in a primary, and was unsuccessful by a margin of less than 200 votes. Undeterred I ran again for the city council in 2017, and succeeded.
Mount Vernon has been mistreated and misgoverned; her resources have been wasted and squandered. Her infrastructure has been neglected, and her constituents are over taxed and underserved.
I am a community builder and a team player. I am committed to uniting us all on working together for the common good. I love this city, and I want to see it live up to its full potential.
With the help and support of all of you, I know we can restore our good name, reclaim our dignity and do business better in Mount Vernon.