I hope to meet you in person out in the community, chat, and tell you more about who I am and why I should be your next State Senator. I’m pretty much an open book, so feel free to ask any questions you may have! Here’s just a little bit about me:
I am a first-generation immigrant, successful realtor, attorney, and activist. I was born in Toronto, Canada to Jamaican parents, who then decided to leave the snow and move to Miami, Florida when I was five. I come from working class parents. My mom put herself through college when I was in elementary school to become a nurse practitioner and my dad was a welder, always hard-working and good with his hands. My parents were dedicated to creating a home for me and my brother Mark so that the two of us could go to college and make a life for ourselves. Growing up in Miami allowed me to experience the beauty and value of living among so many different cultures. When it came time to apply for college, I experienced a reality known by so many middle-class Americans: my family made too much money to qualify for state and federal assistance but not enough to pay for college.
Undaunted, I found a way by earning a scholarship to attend the University of Florida. I worked my way through college and co-owned a successful local coffee shop. I graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor in Arts in Criminology, sold my stake in the coffee shop, and moved to Atlanta. I never intended to stay; but something about this city -- its culture, food, and people-- compelled me to set down roots. I earned another scholarship to attend Emory University School of Law, where I began to realize the power of the law, the incredible influence held by the people who pass those laws, and the consequences that occur if that power is misused.
When I graduated in 2008, I was offered a position as a litigation associate at an international corporate law firm. Let’s be honest: I was lured in by the prestige of a big law firm job. But the financial crisis struck and I was laid-off in 2010. Although it was personally and financially devastating at the time, I now count it as a blessing. I realized that living life in a way that served others, rather than my own financial gain and pride, would push me closer to be the person I was meant to be. So, instead of returning to corporate life, I decided to enter public service and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Courtney L. Johnson at the DeKalb County Superior Court. I facilitated cases that spanned from criminal felonies, to divorce, to contractual disputes. Throughout my four years at the Superior Court I saw people on what they considered to be the worst day of their life and saw how law and policy made an already hard day better or worse. I saw that judges can only do what the law allows and it is actually our legislators that shape our courtrooms by the policies they adopt and the laws they pass.
I then moved to the Fulton County Law Department and litigated cases involving emergency service personnel before I went to Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough where I advised school districts and defended school employees in state and federal court. My time serving as counsel for governmental entities allowed me to learn the inner workings of local government; but more importantly, I learned the true impact of local government and how it affects ordinary citizens in their everyday life.
After practicing law for ten years, I earned my real estate license and started a small real estate company. The flexibility of my new job also gave me the opportunity to expand my advocacy work. I chaired Beloved Atlanta, one of the city’s only residential treatment programs for women exiting sex trafficking, where I oversaw the expansion of the program to four residential homes serving women in Southwest Atlanta who want a fresh start. I worked with ATL Collective, an arts nonprofit that comes alongside the musicians that contribute to Atlanta’s rich culture, and spearheaded an effort to provide emergency grant funds to musicians who suffer a catastrophic loss. I served on the board for Urban Recipe, an organization that provides food stability to the economically fragile, where I facilitated a partnership with KIPP and Atlanta Public Schools to increase student performance by providing reliable food security for needy children and their families. In addition to engaging in these community efforts over the last 18 years, I have also actively served in my home church located in Northwest Atlanta.
Most recently, I co-founded The Georgia 55 Project, one of Atlanta’s largest grassroots get-out-the-vote organizations, which served thousands of citizens during the 2020 election by educating voters and ensuring we were not disenfranchised. It was during my time as a grassroots organizer that I not only saw the power of what happens when people join together with a common goal, but also realized there was a larger force trying to prevent Atlantans from voting. That was when I researched my own State Senator’s position on anti-voting rights bill SB202 last year and I realized not only did she not cast a vote on such an insidious bill, but she did not cast a single vote the entire last legislative session.
That is when I decided to run to be our next State Senator: because we deserve a senator that shows up for her constituents. We need active and thoughtful leaders who are willing to listen, innovate, and implement practical solutions that will make metro Atlanta a place where everyone has an opportunity to thrive. Our district needs to be a place where everyone can find a safe and affordable place to live, where we can get to our jobs on unclogged roads and efficient mass transit, where families don’t go to bed hungry, and where leaders can be held accountable in the voting booth.