I am a first-generation daughter of Spanish speaking immigrants who exemplified the American Dream by arriving with one suitcase a piece, pursuing graduate degrees, and raising a family with love, security, and a fierce work ethic. I want every man, woman, and child in Delaware to have the same opportunities I did--a first-class public education, affordable college, a safe neighborhood where kids run around and play outside all day, and job opportunities with good pay.
My Dad was a DuPont Engineer and my mother taught school and later did social work with Catholic Charities. They raised my brother and me to make education our number one priority and to use our skills, talents, and privileges to help others once we found our own paths in life. My path was teaching English Literature and Spanish to High Schoolers in Delaware's public school system.
A CAREER IN EDUCATION
Before winning office in 2018 to become the first Hispanic woman ever elected to the Delaware Senate, I spent more than two decades in the classroom teaching and advocating for my students as they battled through homelessness, domestic violence and other obstacles many of us can hardly imagine.
Those young people and their families inspired me to fight for the powerless in the halls of government, where I have used everything I learned during my time as a school teacher to inform my work as the chair of the Senate Education Committee.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN OFFICE
With your support, we changed the way we fund our schools to direct more resources to students with the greatest need, regardless of their zip code. We increased teacher pay and added nearly 500 mental health counselors and social workers to our elementary and middle schools. And we changed the way we teach reading to our youngest students to help return Delaware to its position as one of the highest performing reading literacy states in the nation.
We also confronted some of the hardest challenges facing working families in our state. We secured 12 weeks of paid leave for families welcoming a newborn or caring for an elderly parent. We fully funded services for people with intellectual disabilities so their caretakers can rest easy knowing they have support. We reduced the risk of gun violence by passing a broad range of common-sense gun safety legislation. We protected a woman’s right to choose, and we increased access to reproductive health services. Perhaps most importantly, we made it easier for Delawareans to vote by passing early voting and same-day voter registration.
To ensure we leave behind a planet that can sustain life for future generations, we curtailed single-use plastic bags, banned the sale of invasive species that choke out beneficial plants and the animals that rely on them, increased our renewable portfolio standards, removed barriers to residential solar panels, and enabled community solar programs.
Our work is far from over, and with your ongoing support, we can continue to build a Delaware that is a diamond among states.