What is your background in public service?
Over the years, I have served on a variety of boards and commissions at the local level in both appointed and elected positions. Some examples are:
Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees, Trustee,
2008 to present
First Five Solano, Commissioner,
2009 to present
Good Neighbor Steering Committee,
spokesperson, 2003 to present
Affordable Housing Affiliation,
Board Member, 2005-2008
City of Benicia, Sky Valley Open Space Committee,
Valero Community Advisory Panel, Member,
Joe Henderson PTG, Board member,
Solano County Democratic Central Committee,
Member, Vice-chair, Parliamentarian,2004 to present;
California Democratic Party Executive Board,
Solano County Representative, 2005 to present
Other Community Organizations
Rotary Club of Benicia
Member, Paul Harris Fellow, 2005 to present
Benicia Chamber of Commerce
What distinguishes your candidacy and your campaign from the other candidates for this office?
I have a very broad spectrum of support from all corners of our town and beyond. As with the last election, in which ultimately no-one ran against me, I have support and endorsements from all kinds of people, parents as well as teachers, local business leaders as well as local activists, Democrats as well as Republicans.
I believe I am known and respected as a thoughtful and careful advocate for a range of positions as a result of my relatively unique position as an advocate for both political and community causes, as well as for my varied clients. While some might be made uncomfortable because I cannot be pinned down to a single static viewpoint, most who know me realize that I consider each issue on its own merits and decide my position based on the real factors, not just entrenched positions.
And while I am used to partisan politics, I do not feel the School District is a place for such choosing of sides and I have made a concerted effort to be open to and engaged with all viewpoints. With the School District, no matter our original perspective, here our collective energy should be directed towards the needs of our children, not on our differences as adults. I have a sort of “the Russians love their children too” feel about it all. While we will, at times, disagree on issues, we must do so in an open, respectful dialogue that is based on real facts and shared information (and always with the goals of supporting and educating our children in mind.) At the very least, we must do so as an example for our children of the kind of adults we hope they will become. I know the vast majority of our community agrees with me. I think that’s why I have the endorsement of such a broad spectrum of people, even those who might disagree with me one issue or another. Fundamentally, we know we share our single greatest goal - to provide our children with an excellent education in a safe, supportive environment that allows them to grow into caring and competent adults.