“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
– Muhammad Ali
One of the most common questions I get as a candidate is, “Why are you running?” I have to admit, it is an excellent question, sometimes I even ask myself. When I put the challenges of running for office aside, I know that it is about my passion to serve a community that I love, where I have raised my family. My vision is to improve the quality of life for residents today and for generations to come. Although I have been active in my community for that past 20 years, serving as your Councilmember is a great opportunity to make real changes, and help address the most important issues facing our neighborhoods.
My passion to serve is born from my love of my sons Drew and Elliott and wanting to teach them how to be in, and of the world.
Even before they could speak, my husband Malcolm and I felt it was important to instill in them that each voice can and should be heard, that one person can make a difference and that it’s all about family. The first place for me to start was to get involved in their early education helping make things better for them, their schools and our community. It didn’t take long before I became the president of their school’s PTA. My boys were with me every step of the way at Oliveria Elementary planting flowers, painting walls, installing the school’s marque, running the Halloween festival and leading the national “Make A Difference Day” year after year. There are so many other things, it is just too much to list here.
My boys learned their lessons well. Together, as elementary students they created their Pennies for Firefighters fundraising program. Their program collected over $300 that they donated to the 9/11 first responders. At this same age, Drew was so passionate about the safety of children in war torn nations riddled with land mines, he wrote a letter to President Clinton asking him to support the eradication of this menace that causes so much suffering. President Clinton wrote back thanking him for his concern.
To say, I’m proud of the thoughtful and compassionate men my boys have become is an understatement.
Fast forward 15 years to my involvement with Centerville Business & Community Association (CBCA) where I quickly became President and the leader they were looking for at a time when the organization was struggling. In this role, I lead small businesses & schools to work on common goals that create sustained collaboration between them. Because of my work with CBCA, the Fremont Chamber tapped me to represent Centerville on the Government Affairs Committee. The goal here was to help the Fremont Chamber create a culture of collaboration among all 5 of Fremont’s historic districts in creating a better Fremont.
My commitment to Fremont strengthened when I was appointed to the Senior Citizens Commission. The goal at that time was getting the word out about the many helpful services Fremont has to offer senior citizens. I am proud of the success we had in those public awareness efforts and am especially proud of the times my sons voluntarily stepped-up to join me in delivering Thanksgiving meals to seniors.
After my sons graduated from high school, my commitment to serve Fremont’s students continued to build momentum. I became President of the Fremont Education Foundation (FEF) and a member of the Ohlone Community College Presidents Advisory Committee. My commitment blossomed into more actions when I joined the Rotary Club of Fremont becoming a member of the Executive Board. My Rotary members are like-minded people who – like me – have an inherent drive to serve local and international causes that create a better life for the people we touch through our work.
I’m a great fan of the arts. I deeply believe that the arts give us an educational value that goes beyond decoration, that one’s spirit can shine through in many creative ways and that our souls are enriched by the learnings we get from centuries of cultural expression. I strive to keep the arts alive in Fremont. As a board member of Stage 1 Community Theatre I produce live theatre that gives young actors an outlet to express their talents. By leading FEF fundraisers, I create opportunities for elementary students to make the arts an integral option that nurtures them to become thoughtful citizens.
My sons share my passion for the rts. They were always the first to sign up for the talent shows at school and created their own skits to entertain us parents at family get-togethers. Drew was adamant about attending summer drama camp yearly and became an institution there. At Washington High School, Drew got rave reviews for his leading role in Charlie Brown and stole the show with his performance as Twiddle Dee in Irvington’s and Washington’s co-production of Alice in Wonderland.
Because of my children, I am the person you know today. Because of my family who support me to no end, I have the privilege of dedicating my life to service. Because of you, I pay the rent for my room here on earth.
I want to hear from YOU! If you have questions, concerns, or want to share what you think are the most important issues for Fremont, please send me a note. I'm here to hear you!