Get to know Laura
Laura is a teacher, community organizer, and candidate for the Arizona State House.
I have lived in Arizona since I was two years old, and can't imagine living anywhere besides the desert. Throughout my childhood, I attended public K-12 schools and later received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona.
While attending grad school in 2004 in New York, the presidential election was an important background character in my life.
I kept thinking, “how can you make the world a better place?”
I knew I needed to act, so I left my job as a teaching assistant and my life in New York and moved back to Arizona. I earned a Master’s in Education from Arizona State University and began teaching in a Title I school. In 2010, I was named the Copper King Teacher of the Year, our school's teacher of the year award.
It was early in my teaching career when part of my classroom ceiling collapsed over a rug full of kindergarteners. Though I was focused on staying calm for my students, I felt scared and appalled. After the adrenaline wore off, I was angry. In a state with our resources, this shouldn’t happen. The legislature is tasked with taking care of our schools, and they are failing. You can count on me to take our schools and their needs seriously because I know what happens when legislators don't.
After a career as an elementary school teacher in the Pendergast Elementary School District, I turned to community organizing, knowing we must make structural changes to how and when Arizona invests in its public schools. I have spent the last several years as a leader in our community and working with local advocacy groups focused on public education, voting rights, gun violence prevention, and equality for all.
Our community is so important to me. So, I began volunteering on campaigns, at local food banks, and alongside leaders in the community fighting for the same things that I am truly passionate about. My career now is centered around helping citizens make their voices heard at the legislature through my work with Civic Engagement Beyond Voting. Through this experience, I have defended our democracy at the local level.
I am ready to take this experience and find community-based solutions in the legislature on issues like education, the right to vote, protecting access to reproductive healthcare, our water crisis, the proliferation of short-term rentals in
our district, and the many other challenges we need to tackle.