My Atherton story began nearly 20 years ago when my college sweetheart (now husband) introduced me to his family here in town, and we moved here in 2018. As a sixth generation Northern Californian, raising our family in the Bay Area was always the plan. Starting our family in Atherton is an enormous privilege. My family is why I am running for City Council: I am a mother fighting to preserve and enhance Atherton’s quality of life for decades to come.
My son Enzo will turn two this Fall. In 2020, when wildfires caused the skies to turn orange and ash fell to the ground like snow, my blood pressure spiked so high it forced me into early labor. Climate change had an impact on my son’s life before he was even born. Knowing he will be alive to experience the worst effects of climate change is terrifying. But, it is also what motivated me to join Atherton’s Environmental Programs Committee, which I now chair.
In only one year with the Atherton Environmental Programs Committee, I have delivered multiple initiatives to improve Atherton’s environmental quality and community outreach:
I rewrote Atherton’s Sustainability Website to aggregate all available rebates/ incentives/ programs for residents to take advantage when performing green home improvements.
I wrote and edited the Special Earth Day Edition of The Athertonian, which featured data about Atherton’s climate emissions and content from Atherton’s partners (CalWater, GreenWaste Recovery and Peninsula Clean Energy) on their emission-reduction efforts and services.
I organized Atherton’s Earth Day Festival, which saw participation from hundreds of residents and featured numerous Atherton organizations (the Atherton Arts Foundation, ADAPT, Tree Committee, Parks & Recreation, Atherton Library, Atherton PD, Menlo Park Fire District and Sacred Heart School students).
To give residents a fun opportunity to experience electric leaf blowers while Council considers a gas powered leaf blower ban, Earth Day featured an Electric Leaf Blower Bowling Battle between City Council members, our police and fire chiefs, and town staff, meriting a writeup by The Almanac.
On behalf of the Environmental Programs Committee, I advocated for reach codes – stricter building standards designed to curb our emissions from residential buildings. I encourage you to read my memo to learn how home electrification will save residents money, improve our health and increase our home values.
Professionally, I have more than 15 years experience in communications, including running my own consulting practice for seven years. I have worked with some of the biggest names in technology and entertainment. I can quickly learn and communicate complex issues; I can foster community; and I can connect with diverse audiences. This background makes me ideally suited to authentically represent the interests of our community.
In my free time, you can see me riding around town on my e-bike with my son on the back and my dog in the front basket. I have spent many hours walking through the neighborhoods of Atherton; my daily walks kept me grounded during my pandemic pregnancy, and I continued walking with my son strapped to my chest. Sadly, once my son outgrew his carrier, I no longer felt safe navigating my nearest busy streets (El Camino and Atherton Ave) with a stroller. We now drive to parks for our daily walks and can frequently be found at Holbrook-Palmer Park. This experience made it clear to me that many of our busier streets are unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly for children or the disabled. It is critical that we invest in bike lanes, crosswalks and pedestrian walkways. A more walkable, bikeable Atherton is a safer, happier Atherton.
Atherton can emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. We should continue to invest in our public spaces and prioritize sustainability, safety and accessibility. I believe the City Council can drive these changes, and that my experience makes me the right person for Atherton City Council. It would be a pleasure and an honor to serve.