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Why I'm Running for Mayor

Dear friends and neighbors,


I'm writing to confirm the rumors. I will be running for Vallejo mayor next year. We are actively building the team and strategy, and will be launching the campaign next month.

When I think about it, sometimes I can't believe it myself. I never aspired to run for office, nor do I have political ambitions. I'm an introvert! But life takes twists and turns that you never predict, and I've realized that I cannot sit idly by and watch our beloved Vallejo continue to be taken advantage of. It breaks my heart to watch corrupt bureaucrats, politicians, and special interests extract from our community and mismanage our resources. Things are not going to change on their own, and I am in a position to step up and do something about it.

Of the hundreds of Vallejoans I've met over the past several years, I haven't heard anyone who is happy with how the city is run. Folks may disagree on specific issues, but we all agree the status quo is not working. And the last thing we need is to backslide and retread the same politicians that got us into this mess.

We desperately need strong, ethical leadership to right the ship and move the city forward, not backward. My proposal is this - an outsider who will challenge the status quo and isn't beholden to a single special interest. An economics professor with a background in public policy, who knows how the city runs and can be trusted with our tax dollars. A fighter who will put the best interests of the community first, lead from a position of strength and inclusivity, and who will do the work needed to tackle our problems that have been festering unaddressed for decades.

Yes, the mayor is one of seven votes on council. Yes, the city manager has more power than the mayor. But let's not underestimate the power of culture, and the power of strong, ethical leadership. The power that comes with having a strong facilitator of council meetings, a strong representative of our community advocating for our needs locally, regionally and beyond. Someone who will speak up if something is unethical, and ensure that wrongdoers are held accountable.

As you all know, if I see something that's wrong, I say something. And as mayor, I would be able to not just say something, but to do something about it.

Shortly after I moved to Vallejo, I began volunteering with an organization called New Politics, which aims to recruit national service alums (military and civilian) to run for office and build a network of servant leaders to combat our toxic politics. I joined as a facilitator because I wanted to contribute to the mission, never imagining that 6 years later, I would become a candidate.

Talking with people over the past few weeks and months, I've been humbled and overwhelmed by the positive response to my candidacy. It has reinforced not only that running is 100% the right decision, but that we can and will win this – together.

It would be foolish to think I can do this alone, or that it will be easy. We are taking on a deeply entrenched establishment, and all of the special interests associated with it. It's going to take all of us, together. I want this campaign to be the model of what Vallejo's leadership can and should be - inclusive, unifying, honest, transparent, and unrelenting in pursuit of the public good. And I hope you'll be part of it!

In service and community,


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