I have represented Milwaukee's communities in the Wisconsin State Assembly since 2009 and currently serve as the Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader and chair of the Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Caucus.
During my two terms as a State Representative, I have focused on strengthening education, improving health care, and creating family-sustaining jobs.
I am a Milwaukee native, graduate of Bay View High School, and resident of the area since 1986. My husband Allan is a physician at St. Joseph's Hospital. I also have three children - Lauren, Jimmy, and Whitney.
I have been a practicing nurse since 1976 and have served for 15 years as Assistant Professor of Nursing at Columbia College of Nursing, instructing students in the fields of community health and mental health.
I have been long been a proponent for treating mental health issues. I coordinated Milwaukee's Crisis Intervention Team and was the founder of the Crisis Intervention Partner program. I also served four terms as president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Milwaukee, a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with mental illness.
In the Assembly, I am the ranking member on the Assembly Committee on Public Health and Public Safety and the Joint Legislative Council. I also serve on the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy, and Small Business, and the Assembly Committee on Health.
Among other committees and boards, I serve on the Midwest Council of State Governments' Health and Human Services Committee, National State Legislatures' Health Committee, Wisconsin Women's Council, and State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.