I was raised by a small business owner, and I raised a small business owner.

My father was born – the son of two Italian immigrants – with a passion for food and for bringing his neighbors together to celebrate their friendship. Soldati’s restaurant and catering company exemplified the broader New Hampshire spirit that all work is noble work and that no matter one’s background, if you work hard and connect with your community, you will succeed.

My son, who worked his way through a masters degree at the London School of Economics, returned to his home state and city of Somersworth to carry that same torch – by opening a restaurant and community gathering space.

Like my father, and my son, I know the challenges, and joys, of being a small business owner, because I was also one.

This entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t just give me a bias toward taking action – it has also shown me that the policies and actions at a national level can help – and more often hurt – the folks who are trying to make a difference for their families and communities.

We hear a lot about simplifying the tax code – but policy after policy from this administration and treasury department seem to favor simplifications for the wealthiest, who already have an upper hand in taking advantage of tax loopholes.

Our tax code is a statement of our priorities as a country. It tells us who we think needs the most support and what kind of activity we think is important. With my first-hand experience of the tax code – and the unending complexities, forms, and deductions which can take months to navigate – I will fight for America’s middle class and those small and independent business owners who sacrifice every day to put food on their families’ tables and provide employment for our community.