My story

It’s been wonderful living in Alameda for over 20 years and raising our four children here. I was elected Mayor of Alameda in 2014 and served through 2018). As such, I was the first and only Hispanic/Latino mayor of Alameda. Prior to being your Mayor, I was elected twice to the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Board of Education from 2008-2016.

Education is critical to me. I was the first in my family to attend a four-year university from high school; I worked my way through college (U.C. Berkeley, B.A., Sociology), paralegal school at UC Irvine and law school at night, and passed the CA State Bar my first try. I am an active California attorney and practice business litigation and family law. Recently, I have helped victims of domestic violence with pro bono legal services.

Education “give back”

From the late 1990s through the mid-2010s, when my children attended AUSD public schools and for years after, I volunteered in AUSD schools across Alameda, including schools that my children did not attend but needed volunteers. I served in numerous PTA positions in K-12 schools in AUSD, including as PTA Council President overseeing all of AUSD PTAs, as well as Athletic Boosters co-president and a substitute teacher for many years. I started substitute teaching after a principal asked me to, citing a shortage of substitute teachers. Soon thereafter, another teacher discouraged me from substituting on the West End of town. My reaction was to immediately go to District Offices and tell them that I would happily substitute teach on the West End of town, just assign me where needed. Thus, I substituted at almost all AUSD schools. That’s how I met many of you and your children.

Other volunteer efforts

I am also part of Alameda’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), joining many Alamedans volunteering and being the first City Council member to do so. Recently, I have been a leader in sharing COVID-19 information to help Alamedans make informed decisions as we navigate this pandemic, as well as an advocate for a free testing center here in Alameda. I also volunteer for Alameda Legacy & Holiday Home Tours, Alameda Museum, Kiwanis, and Mastick Senior Center, and I support many local philanthropic organizations, our art community, and Alameda businesses. I am well known and supported by Alamedans, especially as a voice for those who may not be represented otherwise, those who may have barriers navigating government or receiving services to which they’re entitled. I’m accessible and people from all walks of life reach out to me when they need assistance because they know I will do my utmost to serve them. As someone who has served as an elected official six years on the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Board of Education and four years as Mayor, I am uniquely qualified to serve as an Alameda City Council Member. Issues quite often are more complex than some may think. I am a dedicated public servant who always researches issues thoroughly, listens to Alamedans, and does my utmost to make informed, mindful decisions that are sustainable. Oftentimes, my supporters have gone through long processes with me to reach fair, sustainable, decisions that may be unique and complex but are the best for Alamedans. Please see my endorsements for individual examples. Now, we must do our utmost working together so that every person is safe in Alameda. We must rebuild public trust in our City and morale in City Hall, by ensuring that the City’s financials are accurate and expenditures focus on serving our community members, especially now during this pandemic, and through the aftermath. I will continue to vote against overdevelopment and corporate handouts. City Hall is failing Alamedans and pricing many out. We must change course. Everyone knows me: I’m independent, not beholden to special interests, and genuinely care about Alamedans. My pledge to you is to continue to do my utmost to serve you, whether it’s a personal concern or an issue that impacts many. You can always contact me. We’re a good team for Alameda! Thank you for your consideration, continued support and I’m asking for your vote.

 Leadership Experience

  • Mayor of Alameda, 2015-2019
  • Alameda Unified School District Board Member, 2009 – 2015
  • California School Board Association’s Masters in Governance, 2010
  • Substitute teacher in virtually all AUSD schools, including English Language Learners & Special Needs.
  • Raised four children in AUSD, attending Woodstock Child Development Center, Head Start, Otis, Earhart, Lincoln, Alameda High, Encinal High, ACLC, and Arthur Anderson

1,000s of hours Community Service

  • Co-Chair of Alameda Youth Collaborative, overseeing 35+ service organizations
  • Peralta Colleges Foundation Board Member
  • Alameda PTA Council President, overseeing all PTAs in Alameda – 2 terms
  • Relay for Life participant (2007 to date) & Committee Member (2008 to date)
  • Kids Chalk Art Project Steering Committee – World’s largest chalk drawing
  • Encinal High Athletic Boosters, Co-President and “Snack Shack” volunteer
  • Foreign Exchange Student host – Noemi, from France, attended Alameda High one school year
  • AUSD Wellness Committee
  • ACLC Track Team Parent “Coach”
  • Art docent at Earhart and Haight elementary schools
  • Earhart Elementary School Site Council Chair
∙ Elementary school noon supervisor
  • Volunteer at all schools my children attended, as well as Woodstock Elementary, Longfellow, Miller, Ruby Bridges, Washington (now Maya Lin), and Wood
  • “Save our Music” fundraiser for Kindergarten music in all AUSD elementary schools
  • Earhart Elementary 25th Anniversary Event Co-Chair
  • Project Youth View Film Festival by Alternatives in Action