My Midwestern parents, a first generation Irish-American/ French-Canadian computer programmer from Chicago's southside and a dietician from Kansas whose family traces back to Plymouth Colony, moved to Saratoga in the 1970s for work. When our large extended family gathered, usually over a meal, politics was always on the table, too. Civic engagement and political discourse were expected from an early age.
From my mother and father, I learned the value of education, self-discipline, and integrity. My father inspired me to work hard and meet any challenge, acknowledging what was overcome on the road to success, rather than to accept anything less than the best from myself. My parents each also gave me a deep appreciation for the spectacular diversity in our world, especially the beauty of nature. They both taught me to treat others as I want to be treated and to always carefully consider opposing views.
When I was still young, my parents' marriage ended and I eventually moved away from serene Saratoga, going on to attend high school in the Central Valley. My first job was growing and harvesting fruit and nuts on a small Northern California family farm, much like those that previously graced Saratoga. Farming instilled in me the work ethic required to be successful and it motivated my higher education.
When I eventually decided to go back to school after working a number of years, I chose West Valley College, and I eventually transferred from there in 2008. Throughout my education and career, I have come home to Saratoga to spend time with my family and friends here on countless occasions, and this will always be my hometown. I deeply understand our heritage, small-town values, and our orchard roots in a unique and personal way. More importantly, I have the education and legal experience to make the smartest decisions for our city.
West Valley College, Associate of Arts (A.A.) Social Studies with Honors, 2008
-Chapter President, Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society, 2007-08
University of California, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), 2010
-Major: Political Science
-Cal Boxing Club 2008-10
UC Hastings College of the Law, Juris Doctor (J.D.), 2015
-Class Representative, Associated Students of UC Hastings, 2012-13
-Executive Communications Editor, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 2014-15
Legal Career Highlights
Public service organizations that I've worked with include:
-Homeless Legal Services, Law Clerk: Legal assistance for people experiencing homelessness
-California Appellate Project, Law Clerk: California State Bar sponsored provider of appellate counsel to condemned inmates
-Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Executive Communications Editor: Oldest constitutional law journal in the country
-Positive Resource Center, Staff Attorney: Legal assistance for older adults and differently-abled persons with Social Security, Medi-Care, etc
-Pro Bono Project Silicon Valley, Staff Attorney: Legal services for victims of domestic violence and family law for people incarcerated
As a consumer protection attorney (lemon law):
-Handled up to 100 active cases, from start to finish, including:
researching and writing all legal filings, propounding and responding to full discovery sets, taking and defending depositions, writing and arguing motions, and settlement negotiations
-Have settled hundreds of cases for millions of dollars in total repayment to my clients' for their lemon vehicles
-Proud to hold automakers to safety standards guaranteed to consumers and everyone on our roads
More About My Work, Life, and Leadership Experience
From a young age, I dreamed of helping people achieve justice, of protecting the ideals of our democracy, and fighting for the rights of others. I set a goal to become an attorney, but first gained several years of work, life, and leadership experience in a number of other industries before beginning college. This gave me a better understanding of different walks of life and taught me to consider all perspectives before making a decision.
I continued working throughout much of school. During summer and winter breaks at the Unversity of California, I was a manager of the Cal Sailing Club. There I rescued capsized small-boat sailors and stranded windsurfers from the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay near Emeryville, CA. I will serve our city with the values that I built working there, including decisive leadership, selfless service, and commitment.
In law school, I volunteered with Homeless Legal Services, helping to clear legal obstacles to housing for people living in a city shelter. I won an award for "Best Oral Argument" in my Moot Court class. I was one of a small group of law students who met directly with state legislators to increase funding for higher education. In my spare time, I encouraged healthy social activities for fellow law students by organizing softball and flag football games.
Since becoming an attorney, I have primarily focused on areas of law that benefit the people, including helping individuals with severe disabilities apply for benefits like Social Security, protecting the rights of domestic violence survivors, and consumer protection in lemon law. As a lemon lawyer, I help Californians who bought or leased a broken vehicle (AKA a lemon), many of whom could not otherwise afford to hire a lawyer, to ensure these clients, their families, and everyone else on the road the safe transportation guaranteed by automakers.
Saratoga is my hometown, where I am continuing my family and where I will raise my children one day. My education in government and law, career as an attorney, and real-life leadership experience makes me the right choice to lead our city.