I’m running for Congress for all of us - the underrepresented, the voices that aren’t heard, the everyday people and working families that depend on federal programs. I will put our perspective and voice into Congress to make the people the priority, rather than personal profit or partisan politics.
I am a native of Maryland’s First Congressional District, raised in historic Bel Air. Because of my professional experience, I know how the federal government works. I know where the problems are. Because of my educational experience, I know how to save the federal government money and make it run better. Because of my personal experience, I know what happens when it doesn’t work for us. I will fight to make the government work better, for all of us.
I am a small business owner specializing in federal contracting and acquisition streamlining. I have extensive experience working in the day-to-day operation of the federal government. I’ve navigated the complex regulations and processes, developed new and tailored approaches for research and development programs, introduced process improvements, and helped programs to operate on reduced budgets and deliver products faster.
I’ve worked with many different federal programs and portfolios—information systems, military medical products, multi-billion dollar rapid development programs, and more. These efforts spanned all stages of development, from basic research through advanced development and sustainment. I’ve served at multiple organizational levels, from the lowest of the unionized positions at the Aberdeen Test Center to the staff of one and two star General Officers and the Senior Executive Service. I’ve worked in many areas—Chemical and Biological Defense, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare, Defense Health, Veterans Benefits, and more. I’ve seen the challenges of running government programs first hand.
I help small businesses on the industry side as well, writing proposals to bid on state and federal contracts. My clients are primarily Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses bidding on Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Health and Human Services contracts. I know how complicated and burdensome it is to write and manage proposals and grants, how this makes it difficult to do business with the government, and how this deters companies from bidding, increases costs, and hinders innovation.
I am also a daughter of two college professors, and a graduate of a public high school and university. I’m a working single mom. I was married to an Army Veteran for more than a decade. We are now amicably separated, living in the same school district, and working together to raise our son, Ben.
I depend on the essential benefits of the Affordable Care Act to obtain the private health insurance that allows me to own my business. I know what it was like to not be able to afford private insurance, and why the high risk pool didn’t work then and won’t work now.
I have fought to obtain special education services and relied on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to obtain an Individual Education Plan for my stepson. I know the frustration of having to hire an advocate to obtain services that are plainly required.
I understand the struggles of our Service-members, our veterans, and their families. I have raised kids alone, while working full time, because my spouse’s military training as a helicopter mechanic wasn’t recognized in commercial industry and he took work out of state because he couldn’t find local work in his field. I was the breadwinner while he used the GI Bill to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I was there when he exhausted it, and we could not afford for him to complete his degree without taking on student debt.
I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck, I’ve faced job uncertainty, I’ve been laid off. I’ve experienced sexual assault—I’ve also sued, and won. I’ve been treated differently in the office because I’m a woman, and know many suffer much worse every day. I’m a homeowner. I purchased my current home using an FHA-backed loan, and the previous one using a VA-backed loan.
I’ve watched loved ones become addicted to painkillers, and lost friends to the opioid epidemic. I’ve been a part of caretaking decisions for my disabled mother, know how sickening it is to debate what is and is not covered by Medicare or insurance companies while making critical healthcare decisions, and participated in difficult end-of-life decisions.
I know how government programs benefit us, how they could be made better, and how critical it is that the government work for us, not against us. I have the perspective of the people, the perspective that we need in Congress, and the skills to fight to make the government work for working families, rather than against us.
WHAT SHAPED ALLISON'S PERSPECTIVE
- Allison struggled to obtain special education services and an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for her stepson when he was young. The process took almost an entire school year, required multiple meetings and hiring an advocate to finally obtain an IEP. Despite having services, her stepson still struggles in a traditional school setting. He would have had difficulty getting accepted into a competitive admissions program at a technical school, even though this educational setting would likely be the best fit for him.
- Allison attended a Montessori school, Catholic schools, and public schools throughout her K-12 education. She graduated from Bel Air High School, Harford Community College, and University of Maryland, College Park, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. Allison completed graduate coursework in Public Management, focusing on policy and federal acquisition, at UMD’s School of Public Policy.
- Allison likes to understand the big picture and how systems work. She has completed professional certifications in FDA Regulatory Affairs, FDA current Good Manufacturing Processes, Program Management, Business Financial Management, Contracting, Information Technology, Life Cycle Logistics, Test & Evaluation, and more.
- Allison is one of four children raised by two college professors. Her father traveled to Chile with the Peace Corps. He taught English and Spanish at Harford Community College for 45 years. Her mother was a nurse turned educator who spent most of her professional career working to expand educational opportunities for working professionals and address the lack of diversity and critical shortages in the nursing and healthcare workforce. She worked to establish the Health Systems Management Program at University of Baltimore and the Nursing Program at Morgan State University.
- Allison’s mother passed away in March 2017 after being in poor health for several years. Allison started her own business shortly after her mother became ill so she would have the flexibility to take her to doctor appointments. She understands the difficulties many face in caring for family members, and how complicated dealing with retirement benefits, Medicare, caretaker services, and end of life decisions can be.
- Allison returned to work full-time earlier than desired after having her son because she was unable to afford health insurance on the private market due to gender rate hikes and pre-existing conditions. Thanks to the ACA’s essential benefits, Allison is now able to purchase affordable private insurance, allowing her to own a business.
OTHER RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ALLISON
- Allison also likes to refinish old furniture and build furniture out of scrap wood.
- Allison can hold a coherent conversation about Formula One racing and sports cars. She likes rear wheel drive cars.
- Allison is an ordained minister, and will happily preside over your wedding if you'd like.
- In her spare time, Allison likes to take on home improvement projects. She’s gutted bathrooms and kitchens, replaced floors and light fixtures, etc. She isn’t sure where she learned this, but recalls her mother refinishing cabinets, staining floors, and patching walls and ceilings when she was a child. Allison’s attempts at plumbing end poorly.