Who is Terra?
Terra is someone who sees injustice in the world and wants to make it right. Hears the needs of those around her and can’t help but feel the need to improve it. Who stands tall with all her sisters and brothers of all races, religions, and creeds and hopes to support them in their dream of becoming a part of this amazing melting pot we call home. Who will fight for the needs of all the people, not just the select few who already have it all and want to exploit us just so they can have a little more. She hopes for a strong education for all of our children and young adults, no matter their upbringing or where they live. She believes in the armed forces of this union but feels that many of these brave woman and men don’t have the support the need once they return home. And she won’t sit by and watch this country be broken apart by the very people who are sworn to serve the public.
Terra grew up in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains with a passion for theater, science, art, and helping her community. As a student, she volunteered at a wild bird sanctuary, helping injured birds, as well as fostering and domesticating feral cats. It was at this time that she started working in a training program for police officers role-playing high-intensity scenarios to help them address high-stress encounters using only words, and to better understand those with disabilities. In her small, public high school, she thrived on the debate team and the theater, later going on to graduate from the Kansas City Art Institute’s New Media Department.
In her professional life she’s worked for the City of Aurora’s Parks and Recreation Department’s after school programs helping students across a wide variety of disciplines, including art, theater, college prep, outdoor activities, health/wellness and public speaking. She has continued to participate in Police training, and is currently working for a non-profit helping people with disabilities get the support they need to live independently.
Beyond that, however, her story is one that has played out in state after state, all across the country. She graduated from college in 2008, just in time for the great Recession. In spite of that, she still worked full time, though living under the constant financial burden of student loans that are structured in such as way as to never be paid off, yet were sold as required to reach the American Dream. And despite her employer offering what most would have considered “good health insurance” at that time, by the end of 2010, she was facing upwards of $10,000 in medical bills due to much of her health care that year being classified as a “preexisting condition” and thus not eligible to be covered. It was the support of her own community that allowed her to pull though, and since then, like so many people, has been doing whatever it takes to survive in the current political, social and economic climate, the whole time feeling the same need for fundamental change that so many others do. Currently, she is working three jobs: at a non profit for those with developmental disabilities, a driver, and freelance graphic artist. Because no matter what life has thrown her way, she has always reacted the same way: rolling up her sleeves, working hard, and trying to make life better for herself and everyone around her. She is a fixer; a problem solver; and she believes that anyone working full time should not only be able to make a living, but access the American Dream that increasingly eludes us.
- Jobs and Wages: There is a significant problem with disproportionate income distribution leading to stagnant wages which have not kept up with the cost of living. The minimum wage MUST be increased. (Read more.)
- Healthcare: Healthcare in the United States has been broken for far too long. The ACA was a good starting point, but we need to go further and make Medicare-for-all a reality. (Read more)
- Immigration: Almost all Americans are immigrants. We came here looking for a better life, hoping this land would care for us, and that dream hasn’t changed. We need to create better, more streamlined legal paths to become citizens. The American dream does not diminish the more who become a part of it: It only grows stronger. (Read more)
- Agriculture: Given the recent demand for water in California, and the subsequent effect of groundwater levels, it is imperative that we be proactive to incentivize more efficient use of land and water resources. I propose tax cuts and further subsidies for farms that work to be more ecologically friendly. (Read more)
- Infrastructure: One of the most important but least sexy issues facing the USA. We need to find a way to repair and modernize our infrastructure without breaking the bank. We need to invest in better technology, especially for dams and bridges.
- Science: We find ourselves facing one the largest problems of the past 200 years in the form of widespread science denial. Science has made our country what it is today, from the Wright brothers taking flight and JFK’s challenge to one day go to the moon, we now having robots operating on other worlds. We can not lose this love of the unknown and quest to do and create the next big thing. (Read more)
- Criminal Justice: We live in a time when the criminal justice system is broken. We currently incarcerate more people than any other place in the world: 2,000,000 + people. That’s more than the population of New Mexico! We need to shift from punishment to rehabilitation whenever possible and disincentivize prisons from keeping people in the system by making all prisons non-profit. (Read more)
- Equality: California’s own anti-discrimination laws should serve as a template for the entire country, at the federal level. (Read more)
- Support for the Arts: America has some of the lowest per capita funding for the arts. I propose not only restoring, but expanding the National Endowment for the Arts. (Read more)