I practically grew up on Arkansas’s waterways. When I was a kid, I took my horse Brownie everywhere. Brownie was a sure-footed horse, and I loved taking him to the Illinois River, into the forests around Lake Wedington and the Ozark National Forest.
My dad was a Scout Master, and in 5th grade, I went to my first big Summer camp on the Buffalo River at Camp Orr. Back then, there was a lot of disagreement, even among my dad’s friends, about how to handle the Buffalo because of property rights. But my dad was a nature lover; an early environmentalist. He loved the White River, but so many places of his youth were lost when the White River was dammed at Bull Shoals. He couldn’t stand the idea of damming the Buffalo because it was so beautiful. And so, he became active in the efforts to save it as America’s first National River.
When I was just 16 years old, I went to my first government hearing at the State Capitol in Little Rock. The topic was about coming up with a Master Plan for protecting the Buffalo River. That experience stuck with me. I saw how people who care about the environment can make a difference through good government.
As an adult, I’ve worked with nonprofits like the Ozark Headwaters Group of the Sierra Club, and I’m a big supporter of grassroots groups like the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance.
For the past 7 years as a Fayetteville City Council Member, I’ve taken my environmental activism and helped turn it into policy:
- We’ve passed a Streamside Protection Ordinance to keep our local waterways clean.
- We’ve become one the first cities in the nation to approve an Energy Action Plan aimed at reducing our carbon footprint.
- We've preserved hundreds of acres of Open Space for public use.
- We recently closed a loophole in our Tree Preservation Ordinance, that certain developers were exploiting to clear-cut land with no immediate intention to build.
I’m proud of the many achievements we’ve made as a city. But there’s only so much we can do locally.
Hog farms and other sources of contamination are again threatening the Buffalo River and other waterways. The hard work of generations of Arkansans could be undone, and we must work to stop it. As chair of Fayetteville’s Water, Sewer and Solid Waste Committee, I’ve already dealt with agencies like the ADEQ and the EPA to get our own waterways protected, and I know the intricacies of how they work.
That’s why I’m running for State Representative for District 86. I have the Proven Progressive Leadership to get good environmental protections passed in Arkansas. I’ve already done it for our City. Let’s take Fayetteville Values to the state level and stop the tomfoolery that threatens our state's natural resources. I’m ready to get things done on Day One.