- Born Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 28, 1960; married; 2 children.
- Graduate Bay View High School. Bowhay Institute Fellow, La Follette School, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2001; Flemming Fellow, Center for Policy Alternatives, 2003.
- Former small business manager.
- Member: Delegate–US President Electoral College, 2000; American Council of Young Political Leaders, Delegate to Israel and Palestine, 2001; Milwaukee Committee on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; Wisconsin Civil Air Patrol, Major; Milwaukee City Council Parents and Teachers Association; Bay View Historical Society; Bay View Neighborhood Association; State Assembly Milwaukee Caucus (chair 2005, 2003).
- Former member: State Minimum Wage Council (governor's appointee), 2005; Assembly Democratic Task Force on Working Families (chair), 2003.
- Recipient: Wisconsin Environmental Decade Clean 16 2000; Wisconsin Ob/Gyn Physicians’ Legislator of the Year 2000; Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence DV Diva 2003; Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Certificates of Commendation 2006, 2005; Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Conservation Champion 2016, 2014, 2011, 2009, 2007; Wisconsin Women’s Alliance Legislation Award 2009–10; Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Legislator of the Year 2010; Wisconsin Grocers Association Friend of Grocers 2010; Cudahy Veterans’ Service Award 2010; AMVETS State Legislative Advocacy Award 2011.
- Milwaukee School Board, 1991–98.
- Elected to Assembly since 1998. Leadership positions: minority caucus sergeant at arms 2017; minority caucus secretary 2001.