A Veteran, IT Professional's Appeal - Kimberly Walker
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
“The military has its version of universal healthcare. As a veteran who has served her country, I believe everyday Americans should be allowed equal access to quality healthcare. Our teachers, small business owners, entrepreneurial, and wage earners all work hard to contribute to America's fabric. It makes no sense that I should be entitled to any more or less medical care than any other citizen.” – Kimberly Walker
WHO IS SHE?
Kimberly Walker (FL-12) is a U.S. Army and Air Force veteran, Department of Defense Contractor, prior Correctional Officer. She holds a Master of Science degree in Information Technology (1).
WHAT IS SHE RUNNING FOR?
She joined the race for Florida’s 12th Congressional District because she felt our country was heading in the wrong direction. An increase in Americans not able to afford healthcare like her cousin that died at the age of 49. The rising cost of prescription drugs, the disregard in global warming by this administration, and even the incumbent that occupies this district seat and the LGBTQ community continues to fight just for fundamental human rights. Kim believes she can help move America forward and will fight to empower working families and put their interests first (1).
Kimberly grew up without many advantages, but her family instilled in her the principles of hard work and getting a good education, which helped her become the person she is today. Her wife is a twenty-six-year veteran public-school teacher (1).
HOW CAN I SUPPORT HER?
Get involved with supporting Kimberly! Visit her website and follow her on social media for the most up-to-date information on the campaign:
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An exclusive Women to Win Interview with Kimberly Walker
Women to Win: You spent eight years as an active duty member of the US Army, during which time you served in Germany, Korea, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky. What did these experiences teach you about living and working under new and changing circumstances that directly influence your approach to serving as a legislator?
KW: Because of the many changes required by our military, we frequently relocated to new installations. The benefit was that we learned to work with people of varying backgrounds, cultures, and skillsets. Critical decisions made daily increased an already stressful environment where deliverables continued to change. Delegation and teamwork were vital. We had to depend on and watch each other backs to accomplish the mission. Leadership and persistence are capital in situations where the job demands success without adequate resources.
As a leader, we must make tough decisions, and there are times when those decisions are not popular but are necessary for the good of the mission. Entrusted with national security missions, we must remain independent thinkers to accomplish these complex tasks without guidance. At all times, legislators must remain open to new ideas, constructs, and be willing to move on ideals.
Women to Win: On your website, you discuss the idea of creating a program for military veterans who return home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many would be surprised to discover that there isn’t already a program in place for these individuals – what would having such a program do for the people who go through it?
KW: The United States of America is rich with American patriots who voluntarily risk their lives for our freedom [and this] should be met with a response that equals their sacrifice. In this grand experiment, we are fiscally, morally, and economically responsible for covering those who have fought for our country to make their lives easier and help them integrate back into society.
After my term of service was over in the military, I found it hard to integrate back into civilian life. To this day, I still find myself closer to veterans and soldiers than my civilian friends. Part of the idea of a reflective program is that veterans who have dealt with PTSD and have successfully integrated back into society will facilitate the process. Their success will help other veterans who continue to struggle with reconnecting with their family, finding and obtaining a civilian job, adjusting to life outside of the military, and dealing with challenges related to their mental well-being. By creating a program like this, we can employ more veterans and help them take charge of their lives and live a full and meaningful life.
Women to Win: You also discuss the competitive nature of the relationship between the US and China on your website, noting that China is rapidly outpacing us with regard to their infrastructure development in other countries, as well as their huge financial investment in artificial intelligence (AI). What can the US do to catch back up, and what role in particular could Florida’s 12th congressional district play in that endeavor?
KW: The United States can no longer sit on an island locked away from the world and think they will continue to be an influential global leader. Trump and his administration have managed to isolate America, turn our backs on our allies, and erode the trust the international community has had with us. More importantly, the Trump Administration has ignored decades of IT evolution to the point where the US is losing our competitive position regarding IT leadership. For this next election, we must elect someone who understands science and IT [and] who will surround themselves with people who can serve as expert resources in their field.
The US needs to re-establish itself as a global leader and a resource for countries that desire to evolve technological advancements. To obtain this goal, our government must work with private sectors in developing countries to expand opportunities for technological progress. Due to this position, District 12 can influence technology development. District 12 has a physical landscape that affords us opportunities to advance clean energy and is also rich in a rural population that is resultant and ready to encounter and take advantage of developmental opportunities. Pasco country citizens would welcome the opportunities to develop skills to move them fiscally solvent.
Women to Win: You are a staunch advocate for universal health care. Can you describe some successful examples of this type of healthcare system based on your experiences living abroad? Why should the everyday American support a system that is routinely shot down by Republicans as “too expensive”?
KW: I was stationed in Germany and Korea over twenty years ago. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to deal with their healthcare system. The military has its version of universal healthcare. As a veteran who has served her country, I believe everyday Americans should be allowed equal access to quality healthcare. Our teachers, small business owners, entrepreneurial, and wage earners all work hard to contribute to America's fabric. It makes no sense that I should be entitled to any more or less medical care than any other citizen. We have the opportunity to ensure all Americans have access to healthcare, especially during a pandemic.