I was born and raised in a small town in Massachusetts. My three brothers and I grew up understanding what it means to be a first generation American. Our father and his family fled from Nazi Germany to Trinidad in 1938. After about 8 years in Trinidad, he came to the US full of energy and commitment to build a new life. He worked hard to become a U.S citizen. Our mother was a first born US citizen in her family. Her parents fled Eastern Europe, leaving their homeland and families. My parents and grandparents did not have an easy life, but hard work and commitment to family allowed them to build a stable base and allowed them to see their children pursue their dreams.
I have a Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master’s Degree (MS) in the Earth Sciences. I started my career with a strong interest in the intersection of Land Use and our fragile coast line. I spent 4 years with the US Geological Survey working in the Marine Division. Although this work was interesting, I was drawn to the world of Land Use and Planning. I worked in County government from 1984 to 1995 (Santa Cruz and Ventura Counties) where I learned a great deal about Land Use, Zoning, General Plans, CEQA and what it means to have good communication between local government and the community. My years in County government gave me a solid base and understanding of how local government works, both at the staff level and as a resource for the community.
My husband Brooks and I have lived in Napa for 28 years and we raised our children here. In 2002 I started my own small business as a Land Use Planner. I am currently in first term representing District 2 on Napa City Council. I also serve on LAFCO, Napa Flood Control District, Public Financing Authority and Marin Clean Energy boards. I have served on many other volunteer boards and non-profit organizations in Napa, which has given me insight into both the challenges we face and the depth and commitment of our community. A few examples are: Napa County General Plan Steering Committee, Napa Valley Economic Development Corporation, and Leadership Napa Valley. I firmly believe that Napa has the tools and expertise to build wonderful community and overcome obstacles along the way.
When we arrived in Napa in 1995, it was a different place than it is today. Our 1998 General Plan said that Napa has generally had more workers who live in Napa than incommuters who find employment here. How things have changed! Over the past 2 decades, Napa developed a robust tourist based economy, which brought significant revenue and jobs to the City. This growth also contributed to an environment where more people now commute into Napa than existed in 1998. Then in March of 2020, the global COVID 19 pandemic became our new normal. Tourism revenue took a dive and we had many residents without a job. Recovering from this tragic pandemic was our greatest challenge in decades.
Since taking office in 2020, we have navigated back to a “new normal”. Top of mind are the health and safety of our residents and a vibrant and sustainable economy. We took lessons from these tragic events to support a new Napa that prioritizes housing for all, a sustainable economy, a cleaner environment and strong community connections that celebrate our diversity. In 2022 we approved our 2040 General Plan which will help guide Napa’s development for the next 20 years. I am confident that my many years of experience working in Land Use and Planning and my experience as a Council member will continue to be an asset to the City Council as we work together to ensure that Napa thrives as a healthy and vibrant community.