I was born and raised in Fontana, California on a small farm. Our family primarily raised registered Nubian dairy goats which I showed in County fairs as an active 4H member. It was in 4H that I learned the importance of leadership, community involvement, and the importance of volunteerism. I was very active in 4H, becoming our chapter president and reaching the position of All Star, the highest level for the County of San Bernardino.
I earned my Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz in Sociology. After graduation, I was accepted into the Harris School of Public Policy where I received my Master’s Degree in Public Policy. From Chicago, I was selected to be an Urban Fellow in District of Columbia where I designed and implemented the District’s first recycling program. During my tenure in DC, I worked in the Mayor’s Budget Office, Department of Public Works, and I served as a Budget Analyst for the University of the District of Columbia.
Leaving DC, I move to Berkeley, California where I worked in the Department of Public Works as a Management Analyst responsible for preparing, analyzing, and motoring the largest department budget in the city both in dollars and staff.
In 2000, I ran and was elected to the Peralta Community College District with four campuses serving thousands of community college students and employing hundreds of faculty and staff.
In 2004, I ran and was elected to the Berkeley City Council where I served for 12 years. During my tenure on the Berkeley City Council, I doubled the youth jobs funded through their summer youth employment program, led efforts to rebuild the four branch libraries as Chair of the Library Board, won federal stimulus funds to repave a major street in my council district, secured a neighborhood-serving grocery store for the district and put together $2million in funding to rejuvenate the largest and oldest park in the city that resided in by council district.
I retired from my full-time job as Senior Management Analyst for the Oakland Housing Authority where I worked on housing policy and was responsible for implementing and monitoring the American Disability Act and Fair Housing Policies. We sold our home in Berkeley and moved to Manassas Park to be closer to our two sons and 8 grandkids. To be able to attend their sporting events and activities, monitor their educational achievements, and just to be able to spend time with them and help shape them into caring and productive citizens.
I have been married to my husband for 25 years. He is a native of Virginia, being raised in Culpeper where most of his extended family currently lives.