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Why Mayor?

Since I announced my candidacy last fall, one question I often get is why I decided to run for mayor, rather than for City Council in my district, District 3. This is not a decision I took lightly, and there are a few important reasons: 

 

1) Facilitating council meetings and setting agendas 

The Mayor has the responsibility of setting the agenda and tone of council meetings, which is incredibly important in keeping the city on the right track. We need a strong facilitator as mayor – someone who will actively manage agendas, ensure that direction results in measurable progress, and tracks follow-up. 

 

In addition to setting agendas and making them accessible, there is also the important role of setting the tone of meetings – ensuring that the community has access to public comment, that council discussion is productive, and that key questions are answered prior to votes being cast. 

 

I have been a professional facilitator for many years – whether as an educator, managing non-profit programming, or in volunteer leadership roles. I've spent my entire career bringing people together, building consensus, and getting results, and I'm ready to lead that process of change in Vallejo. Strong city councilmembers can make an impact on issues, but without a strong facilitator of meetings who puts the community's interests first, these issues cannot be properly addressed. 

 

2) Advocating for Vallejo externally and changing the city's culture to promote transparency, accountability, and inclusion

My second reason is the soft power that comes with the role of Mayor. I speak often about the importance of culture and taking shared responsibility for our problems. This culture change needs to come from the top. The mayor's voice can set the tone for a change in culture – towards transparency, accountability, and inclusion – that involves City Council, staff, and community taking shared responsibility for our city and working together to find and implement solutions to problems.

 

The mayor also represents Vallejo externally, including on regional commissions. Vallejo has been chronically underresourced and underserved, particularly since the Naval base closure. We need a mayor who will put the community first and use the soft power of the role to bring in needed resources. I will build on my existing relationships with current and incoming county, state, and federal elected officials and tirelessly advocate for the needs of Vallejoans. We need to leave no stone unturned in identifying and directing resources to our community, and I intend to lead that work in collaboration with other councilmembers and the City Manager. 

 

3) Being a representative for all of Vallejo

Most importantly, the mayor is the only remaining at-large seat that represents and is accountable to all Vallejo voters. I think the shift to council districts has been an overall positive for Vallejo, but the change I speak about above requires holistic leadership of the whole city. 

 

I love this city, and I want to represent everyone in it – and be accountable to every single community. The issues facing Vallejo are dire, and intersect every neighborhood. I want to be able to work with constituents on every issue, big or small, and support councilmembers with issues in their districts. 

 

The best part about campaigning for mayor has been meeting people throughout Vallejo – speaking with residents in St. Vincent's Hill and Lofus Lakeside about the nearby encampments, and working directly with unhoused residents. Speaking with Mare Island residents about the CFD, or with business owners throughout the city. Attending community events in North and South Vallejo and speaking with residents about how our public safety crisis impacts each community. 

 

I've said before and will continue to emphasize that Vallejo's greatest asset is its people – and it's a privilege to be able to represent everyone. 

 

Of course there's also the decision to run for office more broadly, which I spoke about in my kickoff speech. I've never had political ambitions and fundamentally decided to run for office because I felt it was the best way for me to serve my community and bring needed changes to Vallejo. We have big problems, but things don't have to be this way. Vallejo is a beautiful community with amazing people that deserve better. And things can and will be better. That is why I'm running. 

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