My name is Jane Stoever, and Dave is my wonderful husband! I grew up in a family committed to peace and justice. My mom had been a nun for 11 years and was a teacher, and she eventually left the sisters in hopes of having a family. She met my father while she was working for United Farmworkers and he was teaching courses on nonviolence. Mom is joy and generosity, building community wherever she goes, and like my dad, a strong voice for peace and justice. When I was a child, my father opened a small law office in an inner-city part of Kansas City to be a community lawyer, providing legal help to those in need. Our family spent weekends at two homeless shelters (where my sister Anneliese and I were later live-in staff members), and at vigils and rallies in between my debate and speech tournaments. Anneliese and I were inspired by our parents’ work, how they lived their values, and how they were partners to each other.
I dreamed of one day becoming a lawyer or teacher, continuing in my parents’ path of working for peace and justice, and having a family of my own. During college, I co-founded the organization Working Against Violence Everywhere, worked at a shelter for teenage girls and at a shelter for homeless families, interned at the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, DC, and was the president of my university’s Commission on the Status of Women. My parents and I still remember the day I received news of my admission to Harvard Law School. I recently returned to campus to present my research, and had wonderful memories of being a student attorney in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, making close friends while learning the law, and meeting my husband in our Family Law class.
Since Dave and I met, we’ve been journeying together, building careers in public service, and creating our family. Theodore (“Teddy”) is 7 and loves soccer, chess, and piano; Emerson (“Emmy”) is 5 and loves gymnastics, reading, and writing; and Paxton, age 2, loves his family, animals, and trucks. Dave and I are law professors at UC Irvine, where I teach Family Law, represent abuse survivors through the UCI Law Domestic Violence Clinic, and direct the Initiative to End Family Violence. Our concern for the world we want for our children is what propelled Dave to run for Congress, and Dave and I have been partners in the campaign, along with so many amazing community members.
Growing up in Kansas City, I saw how my parents advocated for what was right, not necessarily what was popular or easy. Dave and I are teaching our kids to stand up for what they believe in and to be positive forces for change. Teddy, Emmy, Paxton, and I are so proud of the incredible campaign Dave is running to represent our district and better the world, and we hope you join us.