The American Dream Starts With Three Things
What does the “American Dream” look like to you? Maybe it is a subdivision on the outskirts of Boise where you drop your kids off at school on your way to work. Maybe it is your small business on the corner that you started years ago. Maybe it is your family’s farm where you raise animals and crops and fit in a vacation wherever you can. Regardless of what it looks like to you, each of these “Dreams” have three things in common. Education, Economy, and Property Tax.
Education is the Launch Pad For Everyone’s American Dream
Working as a public school teacher, one of my favorite things to do with my 6th graders was reading to them. We covered books like Johnny Tremain, Banner in the Sky, and Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. I loved reading with my students because it allowed them to see things from different perspectives, think for themselves, ask questions, and learn life skills so they could apply their new learning to their individual circumstances. Experiences like this are what make me so passionate about education in our state. Education advances skill sets, unlocks opportunities, and changes lives. As a mother of four, I know that what my kids are learning now will set them up for who they will become and what they will accomplish.
For this reason I am dedicated to making our education system the best it can possibly be to develop responsible, successful adults with strong character. Some of the ways I plan to make a difference is by thinking outside the box to help teachers have more options and tools so they can be successful. Lower class size, more internships, and precise testing instead of excessive testing are steps we can take to make a difference in education. Having been a school administrator who had to make a profit utilizing public money, there are many good business and management decisions that would make our schools more efficient, effective, and parent-friendly. I believe parent involvement is key to helping our kids succeed. We can do a lot to make our schools friendlier to parents and families and that starts with listening to what parents want and giving them options.
Small Business is the Heart of Our Economy
When I had my own kids, I left the public schools to be a stay-at-home mom. As soon as they were off to Pioneer Elementary, I decided I was ready to go back to school too. Instead of returning to the public school system, I started my own school. Together, with my husband Scott, we opened LeapFox Learning on the corner of Eagle Rd and Fairview. With hard work, a few mistakes, and some good mentoring, we grew LeapFox into one of the largest technical training schools in Idaho.
One of my favorite client stories is about our customer, and now friend Ron. He came into our office and leaned on the wobbly, old, hand-me-down transaction counter. He said, “Whoa! I don’t know about this business. Will your work fall apart like this counter?” We assured him the odds of our business “not falling apart” were greatest if we kept that old counter another 3 months until we could earn enough to pay cash for it. In the end, our fiscally responsible attitude did result in success. In the last 20 years, we have sold 3 businesses for a profit and never had a business fail. Did we have hard times? Absolutely! Were there times we had to skip paying ourselves? Yes. But we never missed a pay day for our employees and were able to weather every storm, including the challenges in 2008. I count building a profitable business from scratch to sale as one of my key accomplishments.
I have definitely lived the “American Dream” and now have a deep admiration for all those who take risks and work long hours with or without a paycheck , to keep our economy rolling. That is why it is important that Idaho has an economy that works, where businesses have a stable, limited-regulation environment to grow in. When our economy hums, it gives our kids opportunities to work hard and chase their “American Dream” right here in Idaho.
Keeping Taxes Low Ensures All Americans Can Keep Their American Dream
As I think about my American Dream, being able to retire is a part of it. While myself and many like me are saving and planning for the days ahead, I want to ensure that I am well taken care of no matter what happens. One of the major factors we as Idahoans have to keep in mind is property tax. I want to know that the house where I raised my kids and grew my business will still be mine when I retire. With property taxes continuing to climb, and more people moving to our beautiful state by the day, there is a real possibility that many Idahoans will not be able to afford living in their homes. This is a especially frightening challenge for members of our elderly community who are on fixed incomes. For this reason, I plan to dedicate myself to finding a way to work with the other taxing districts to make sure growth pays for itself so the burden does not fall on families. No one should ever see the American Dream they built, fall to pieces because the property they already own became too expensive for them to live on.
As a candidate for the Idaho State House of Representatives seat 15B, I envision an Idaho with exemplary education where we raise strong, successful adults, have flourishing businesses, and can enjoy the fruit of our labors for years to come.