Who I am
I grew up in a blue collar family in South Texas in a segregated community. My father was a former merchant marine turned carpenter after World War II. Because of my mother’s money management skills, we owned our own home and had few debts. Neither of my parents had a formal education. From my father, I learned that anything worth doing should be done to the highest standard. From my mother, I learned that each human being is unique as she often recounted in Spanish: “cada cabeza es un mundo”—each head is its own world.
I saw higher education as the only way that I could get past limitations set by ethnicity and gender. As a young woman out of graduate school with limited work experience, I came out to live in the Bay Area, imagining a more tolerant society but finding discrimination against women and people of color. Yet Oakland has been a place where I’ve built a happy life of over three decades and where my husband and I have raised two children.
Thanks to the opportunities created by a good education--including a Harvard MBA and an undergraduate in business economics--I have enjoyed a diverse work history. I have served as executive to several nonprofits in direct services: impacting women, the working poor, and low to moderate entrepreneurs; in advocacy: consumer issues impacting the most vulnerable; and in philanthropy-advancing charitable giving for people to help themselves. I have been self-employed and also owned my own small business. I’ve worked in the accounting and regulatory arms of a larger corporation, and in city government on local policies and strategies to support community development including small business development.
If you should so graciously give me your vote, I will bring the value of these experiences to the City Council.
1. Community economic development to create jobs in all areas of our city:
2. Secure quality management of all city services in all areas of the city, for all of our residents.
3. Promote collaboration and bridge building to achieve outcomes