"ALL IN FOR AURORA"
Aurora is a vibrant city that is inclusive and celebrates the rich diversity of our community. That’s the Aurora that attracted me. Aurora has been acknowledged as a well-managed and fiscally strong city. The city is more progressive in thinking about transportation options, is welcoming to our immigrant and refugee populations, and supportive of our military and the needs of our veterans and seniors. We are doing a lot of good things in Aurora, but the city is changing and growing quickly. We need to make sure that all the things that make Aurora unique continue to set us apart from other cities in the metro area.
During the four years I’ve been on council, there are three principles I think are essential as leader of the city: know who you represent, be honest and transparent, and ensure that our city is fiscally responsible. Community engagement is important in all aspects of City business especially as the city grows. The purpose of the civic engagement academy is to educate residents about city government and the roles and responsibilities of the city leaders and other department services within the Aurora.
I have, and will continue if re-elected, to ensure that we more attainable housing options. People should not be burdened by spending a majority of their income on rent or mortgage. We have to continue our work on the council in finding creative solutions to addressing the housing issue in our city. We want people to come to Aurora - not move out. It is important to me that as we grow, it be done in a sustainable, balanced way so the infrastructure and public services are not strained and negatively impact residents. Having shiny new things is great, but it is equally important that we take care of what we already have. This means ensuring we preserve the neighborhoods and businesses that have been the foundation of our city for generations; finding opportunities where new businesses and entrepreneurs can come in our city; and finding a place where we can all thrive, and create jobs and innovations that will transcend to the neighborhoods they are a part of.
I was born in Fontana, California, the only child of a father who is an Air Force Veteran and mother was a stay-at-home mom. Living abroad, and at many bases where my father was stationed, was the norm for me growing up until my parents agreed to call Colorado their home in the 1970s. Volunteering was a value my parents always made sure I engaged in some way when I was younger, and through my adult years. Throughout my entire life, I was always involved in some type of volunteer activity. This early commitment of serving others, being knowledgeable, and advocating for what you believe in to make a difference has been a cornerstone of my life that ended up influencing my educational pursuits.
I decided to head west to the University of California at Berkeley and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. I came back to Colorado for a job opportunity, and while working received two Masters degrees from the University of Colorado at Denver in Social Science and Public Administration. I headed to Washington D.C. after that to attend Georgetown University, where I received a Master’s degree in Public Policy. My educational pursuits are still not done as I’m currently a doctoral candidate in Public Administration.
The guiding force behind all my educational pursuits has been the enjoyment of learning and knowledge. My parents started me in educational programs at the age of 3 years old, so education has been my passion all my life. This education has taken me through many different career paths. I have worked in various industries, from technology to finance to law - all which have given me valuable private sector experience. But it has always been my passion for serving people that moved me away from the private sector and toward a career in public service.
I made the move to a career in public service in 2005, when I started working at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office as a program manager for the lobbyist unit in the Elections Division, where I oversaw the lobbyist registration program. I continued to work there for almost fourteen years.
When I originally decided to come back to Colorado to live permanently, I knew Aurora was the place that I wanted to call home. The cultural diversity and being a part of an inclusive, diverse community like I experienced on the many military installations I lived throughout my life was important to me. The opportunity to purchase a home that fit my economic circumstances was another reason I moved to Aurora. Out of any other city in the Denver Metro area, Aurora is the only place where I felt being a first time homebuyer could be possible.
I moved to Aurora because 18 years ago, I saw it as one of the best cities for me to live, raise a family, start a business, work and buy a home. And I still see it that way. I’m continually inspired by both Aurora's progress and seemingly endless potential, and I want to continue to be a part of the great things that Aurora is, and will be in 100 years.