The Fairfax we know and love didn't form spontaneously. It is the product of decades of community care, passionate civic engagement, and a commitment to be the best we can be.
TOGETHER, we create the community we want: thriving, resilient, and sustainable
I have the passion, the vision, and leadership needed to help carry our funky little Town of Fairfax into a future we all know, deep down, is possible and achievable. Here is why Fairfax matters to me:
Open Space Protection
With a background in public lands policy, I have fought to preserve and restore wilderness areas and national parks throughout California. Through our Open Space Committee, I have led (ongoing) multi-stakeholder discussions to explore acquisitions of various priority undeveloped parcels. As your Open Space Committee member, I have written grants, advocated for increased Measure A funding for parks and open space, kept track of old and emerging development policies, and I've continued to create processes and good governance practices to make our Fairfax Open Space Committee more effective. Proximity to the abundant and spectacular landscapes of Marin is one of the things that makes Fairfax so special. Many leaders worked to protect these lands, streams, and wildlife that call Fairfax home. It is up to us to uphold these protections. I'm committed to enforcing and upholding stringent Open Space policies to protect ridgelines, scenic viewsheds, and other visual and natural resources.
The primary climate impact to open space, structures, and lives in Fairfax is unmistakably wildfires. Living in a high fire risk zone makes home hardening, strong community networks, and our firefighters a top priority for my tenure on Council. Fairfax has a lot to be proud of in terms of emergency preparedness, with 9 Firewise communities, but there is always room to improve. We must make sure our most vulnerable households---whether that be low-income or seniors aging in place---are able to achieve defensible space and afford home hardening improvements. I support all Fairfax communities in becoming Firewise-certified. I support funding a coordinated team of block captains to ensure residents a network to share information and resources for disasters. And I will make sure our Ross Valley firefighters have the funding they need to contain the inevitable wildfires. It's not if...it's when. In graduate school, I conducted research on the increasing wildfire risks on home insurance policies, and my research recommended and anticipated the formation of a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to assess these risks regionally. I look forward to participating in the implementation of our new Marin Wildfire JPA and to creating a more fire resilient community.
The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the fractures in the foundation of our society. Health, economic, environmental, and racial inequities have only been strained further through this pandemic, and where Fairfax will come out of this crisis remains uncertain. Despite the uncertainties, I am proud to stand alongside numerous, well-respected community leaders that rushed to support our small businesses and at-risk residents when the Shelter-in-Place took effect mid-March. In co-creating the 1-for-1 Volunteer Match Program, making and distributing free masks for Fairfaxians, and (recently) proposing and realizing a temporary Rental Assistance Grant Program for low-income residents this August, I have discovered that proactive leadership and community support is needed now more than ever. As your Councilmember, I plan to stay in constant contact with our business owners and residents as we navigate the uncertainty of COVID to ensure we keep businesses in their stores and residents in their homes.
Housing affordability and stability remains one of the most difficult challenges facing our community. We all have experienced too many creative and giving community members pushed out of Fairfax as the cost of housing increases. As millennials and as renters, my partner and I wonder if and how we can afford to lay down roots here. With so little undeveloped and underdeveloped lots in Fairfax, I believe we need to get more creative and be more prudent when faced with new proposals. Fairfax doesn't need McMansions. Fairfax needs workforce housing and senior housing that is truly affordable; housing that provides access for low, very low, and extremely low income-earners. Increasing such opportunities for people to work and live in Fairfax will also ensure we reduce our transit-related greenhouse gas emissions. As your councilmember, I am excited to explore opportunities to increase housing affordability within the existing housing footprint and provide residents with pathways to ownership and wealth generation through innovative, equitable tools like Community Land Trusts.
Equity and Inclusion
I believe everyone in this community holds a piece of the puzzle that will help us find a way out of the many crises we face. I was an architect and participant in the development of the Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) Committee, and I remain committed to helping this committee flourish. We need more listening, more dialogue, more public engagement, and more opportunities to advance antiracism, skill development, and the establishment of "leadership ladders" to engage our youth and encourage an alert, robust, and involved citizenry. The listening session, the enduring public rallies, and applicant interview session on August 12th for our new RESJ Committee have been moving, beautiful expressions of a community coming together in shared purpose. There is no doubt that we are witnessing a profound, historical moment in our lovely town of Fairfax. I am excited to be in movement with you all. We have work to do.
Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Few things keep me up as the climate crisis does. And yet, few things keep me as motivated to conserve, preserve, and restore our amazing visual and natural resources here in Fairfax. To tackle the twin challenges of climate change (wildfire, flooding, and drought events locally) and biodiversity loss, we need to make sure we can preserve and manage the landscapes in and around Fairfax while doing everything we can to radically decrease our community's carbon footprint, and we need to do it yesterday. From LED lightbulbs to a moratorium on natural gas for all new developments, to microgrids, plastics reduction, and rethinking the intersection of transit and housing, we need to set the standard. In 2019 Fairfax committed to a town-wide just transition and climate emergency mobilization effort to become carbon neutral no later than 2030. As your councilmember, I am committed to ensuring Fairfax will move at the emergency speed required to catalyze our regional transition to a regenerative economy and achieve our climate goals. Our future depends on it.
Public Safety and Police
Since the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others at the hands of police, communities across the country and across the county have come to reckon with the structural racism that permeates our institutions. Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC)-led organizations directed us all to reassess the role and efficacy of current policing practices in ensuring public safety for all residents. As someone from a military family, with a grandfather who served as a police officer, I have long been aware of the challenges within the criminal justice system and the opportunities to improve services. This summer, recognizing the hurt, confusion, and questions circling throughout our community, I dove into our policing data, conversed with our police Chief, and helped coordinate rallies and town-sanctioned opportunities to center BIPOC voices and hold space for dialogue and discussion. I helped develop a new Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) Committee with a Policing Practice and Public Safety Alternatives sub-committee, represented by the diversity in our Town, to explore these questions. We must focus energies on public safety that can move us towards racial justice while tending to concerns about crime and the health of our Town's budget. These conversations are as uncomfortable as they are challenging, but as your Town Councilmember, I am committed to approaching these conversations with empathy, recognizing my need to listen and learn. I am excited to create a Fairfax where everyone---residents and visitors alike---feels safe and respected.
Fairfax has some world-class acts: visual artists, musicians, poets, social justice advocates, community organizers, and environmentalists all call Fairfax home. Through my work on the Volunteer Board, organizing the Town Picnic, the Holiday Party, the Annual Creek Walk, the highly-acclaimed Art Walk, supporting the Food Pantry, and the Community Talent Showcase--a co-creation of my very own--I've been humbled and so very blessed to observe how Fairfaxians "show up" and how this Town honors and supports our diverse and talented community. The grassroots, participatory nature of Fairfax is well-established. And we need it now more than ever. Government works best when we step up and serve.
Here is what matters to my constituents
(an interactive word map from my kick-off Zoom)