As a lifelong resident of this district, she knows this community personally, and cares for it in a way that has called her to do more by choosing to raise her children here. She is committed to making sure they have every opportunity life can offer them.
Growing up in a working-class union family, her parents were both active, dues-paying members of AFSCME.
Her father Randall was a custodian at a local elementary school, where his job not only meant providing a safe environment for the children, as a member of the union steady financial security and benefits meant stability for his family. Her mother Maryann, a certified nursing assistant, also found security in her union position so she could put her compassion for those in need to work to bring comfort and care to the residents.
Being in a union meant that there was food on the table, a roof over their heads, and an insurance plan that wouldn’t bankrupt them when as a family with young children, they would need both well-child care and to be prepared for emergent care.
By the time the recession hit, Marsha was a single mother to Emilia, working two jobs to pay the bills and take care of her young family, all while continuing her education.
Like all working class families, she felt the impact. Her friends and neighbors struggled to pay their rent and bills while the most powerful corporations received huge bailouts for destroying this country. She came to realize that our economic system was designed to help the ultra-wealthy, not the people in her community, and she knew that change was desperately needed leading to her commitment to activism.
That activism began back in 2002, when she volunteered as an abortion escort to protect as many women as possible, and she organized events to protect Planned Parenthood. Her effort back then ensured that when she needed a late-term abortion to save her own life, she could receive the care she needed. The loss of her son at 38 weeks pregnant due to umbilical cord knots was tragic, and the traditionalist hospital she went to told her to keep his dead body inside her despite the risk to her life. Marsha made the difficult decision to have a late-term abortion so that her oldest child, her daughter, would be able to grow up with a mother.
After the murder of George Floyd, Marsha understood that she needed to support black and African-American people in her community. She helped local activists’ efforts to bring awareness to the BLM movement, organizing multiple peaceful demonstrations in her community.
After she graduated from Purdue Global University with a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies, she dedicated her life to helping low-income and working-class individuals and families. As an admissions advisor at a trade school, she helps hundreds of unemployed and underemployed folks every year by connecting them with the skills to succeed in good-paying jobs. Her work is a direct extension of her activism and volunteering.
Outside of work, Marsha has been a community leader. She was the Minooka Community High School alumni board chair from 2013-2016, and organized alumni football games that raised thousands of dollars for the athletic and band booster clubs. She was on the planning committee for the Bold Urban Renaissance Network, which bolsters the Chicagoland arts community, from 2014-2017. From 2015-2017, she volunteered for the Chiditarod Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at alleviating hunger through direct action.
She shows up to work every day looking to level the playing field for the working people of her district, and now, she wants to fight for them in Congress.
The horrifying historical insurrection on January 6th led to a moment of clarity for Marsha. She knew this time she needed to take drastic action, especially after witnessing far-right extremism in her own community. The message it sent was loud and clear: we cannot tolerate ANY enablers of this violent rhetoric in our government any longer.
Marsha wants to continue her fight to improve the lives of everyday families in her community and around the country by turning her activism into policy work. Universal healthcare, tuition-free community colleges and trade schools, and a Green New Deal to create millions of jobs and fix our broken infrastructure, to start.
These policies are just the beginning of what Marsha will be fighting for in order to ensure the security and prosperity of families in her district, state, and country. She is fighting so they don’t have to face the same social and economic struggles that she faced, and that millions of Americans face every day.
Marsha is ready to lead the fight and be a voice for regular, everyday people in Congress.
A supporter of vocational and technical education Marsha currently is an admissions advisor at 160 Driving Academy in Peoria, Moline, and Rockford, IL. In her free time, you can find her sewing, cross-stitching, and playing Fallout 76 with her teams, the Nuka Gals and the Wasteland Wenches. She resides in Channahon, IL and Peoria, IL with her two children, Emilia and Lincoln.