My father’s parents and my mother’s grandparents emigrated from Mexico to build a life for themselves in America. Their journey guides who I am today and why I am running for Santa Barbara City Council. I want to give a voice to people like me; people who have traditionally not had a lot of representation.
I was born and raised in Crown Point, Indiana, and completed a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. Following graduation, I handled multi-million-dollar budgets as an Art Department Coordinator on film productions in Southern California. My passion for the environment on the central coast led me to the Santa Barbara area, where I have since worked for several non-profit organizations including the Community Environmental Council (CEC) and serve in the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission, where I am honored to fight to ensure that budget and policy decisions enhance our community and benefit all residents, with a focus on our children, working families and seniors.
My hobbies include running, yoga, playing the cello, tap dancing, baking and cooking, writing and most any activity spent outdoors with my husband, environmental attorney Nathan Alley and our two dogs.
My community, specifically my neighbors on the Eastside inspire me everyday. I am running for City Council because I want to represent working families, bicycle riders and transit users, renters, young people, and all residents.
I have chosen to run now because our City, like the nation, is moving out of a financial recession and into a bright, more financially optimistic future; and I want to be part of the leadership that listens to the entire community and makes mindful and deliberate choices to restore and rebuild our city.
As I mentioned above, my father’s parents and my mother’s grandparents emigrated from Mexico. They worked hard and stressed the value of giving back to the community – the idea that together we can do great things. Joining the Santa Barbara Latina Leaders Network is a representation of this inclusive thinking.
It saddens me to hear reports that my generation is not engaged, or that the majority of us think our country’s best days are behind us. I am an optimist, and I am confident that we can energize our peers to get involved. I’ve heard over and over that “we need representatives from a new generation” or “we need to elect women” or “we need more people of color” or “we need a fresh perspective” – WE are all of those things. With the support of the Santa Barbara Latina Leaders Network, I have the confidence to run in order to become a visual leader in our community’s government. I am excited that we have a network of Latina Leaders that will engage and work hard to create a pipeline of Latina Leaders.
Being a leader is about mentorship. I strive to be a mentor and role model to women, and particularly women of color. In college, I was a member of a sorority that was committed to the advancement of women of color and our outreach activities encouraged students to achieve.
When I worked in the film industry, I did the same. I mentored young women seeking to enter the art field, and many of them are still working in the field and support other women as they were supported.
My campaign is currently mentoring three dynamic young women interns who want to work in campaigns and/or public policy. I am thrilled that they have put their trust in me. When I am elected, I will continue to be a mentor and serve as a role model for all young women and particularly young Latinas. I hope to be able to implement an on-going internship program, as well as mentor other women who share my progressive values to seek appointed or elected office, and pay it forward as others have done for me.
If you would like to nominate someone for our Latina Spotlight, we’d love to hear from you!