I grew up in Houston watching my father make a difference in people’s lives every day through his dental practice, and It was his example that inspired me to pursue my own career. Today, I am a woman on a mission, to give people great smiles, boosting their confidence and sense of self-worth. Thanks to years of hard work and perseverance, and with the support of the best staff any small business owner could ask for, I own a successful dental practice with two locations serving the communities of the 22nd Texas Congressional District.
My practice was not my first venture into owning a business, however. Shortly after graduating from Atlanta’s historic Spelman College, I started a company called Safe Hands selling latex gloves. While I felt sure I wanted to follow my father into dentistry, I wanted to gain experience managing a business first. I quickly learned that managing a small business is one of the toughest things you can do—and I was hooked. The rewards of running my own business gave me the courage to return to school and pursue my dental career.
Being self-employed has helped me develop a well-rounded perspective on the challenges faced by middle income families today. I am confronted by the flaws in our healthcare system every day. I’ve found it difficult to find affordable, adequate coverage through the plans available to small employers like myself.
If the heart of the American Dream is the ability to control your own destiny, then we need legislation that empowers people to innovate and forge new paths. Rather than hamper would-be entrepreneurs with unmanageable healthcare costs, we need to fix the Affordable Care Act for all Americans.
I know I’ve been lucky. I chose a great career, and I was born at a time when a middle-class girl’s fresh out of college could launch a company, then build up a business to be able to overcome the inevitable bumps in the road. The opportunities available to young people of people trying to change careers today are not the same as those I or my parents had.
These are not small problems. I’ve watched middle-class families get squeezed from every side by a political process that’s left their lives hanging in the balance. I decided it wasn’t enough to be angry about it anymore—it’s time to take action. I’ve served my community as a health care provider and an employer. Now I want to serve the people of Texas’ 22nd District in Congress.