Knock, knock, knocking on voters’ doors!

Why I’m running for Ashland City Council...and what I’d bring to the table

Many folks ask me, “Why are you running?” or, more skeptically, “Are you sure you want to do that!?” 

I’ve been knocking on voters’ doors for about six weeks now –- over 2,200 so far! This is by far my favorite way to connect, as it gives me a terrific low-key opportunity to hear what’s on your mind. We’ve had some great conversations about housing and affordability, our changing climate, water, City finances, our local economy, Ashland’s parks, the golf course, and much more. 

So I’m starting this blog to share why I’m running, what I’m hearing, and how I think about the issues that matter most to you. Sign up here to receive my blogs in your email inbox.

Why I’m Running

Many folks ask me, “Why are you running?” or, more skeptically, “Are you sure you want to do that!?” 

I answer by talking first about some of the things I love about Ashland –- there’s so much to love!  I talk about my volunteer service in the community thus far – both with community-based organizations and on official City advisory bodies. I’ve had a unique and varied career focused on some of the same challenges and opportunities we face in Ashland today. And I believe I would actually enjoy serving on the City Council and that my skills and experience would bring a different voice that would be an asset.  

So, that’s why I’m running and YES! I am up to the challenge. Let me explain.

We have so many great community-based organizations in Ashland, and I’ve had the privilege of volunteering with several of them. (I love this work!) I was a frontline volunteer and am now a board member for OHRA and its community resource center and emergency shelter now in the old Super 8 motel. I’m on the board of the Ashland Food Co-op, and I co-teach the civics exam in Spanish required for US citizenship for UNETE’s Center for Farm Worker and Immigrant Advocacy. Our community is enriched by these and many other organizations that bring us together to support each other. My background in bringing public and private partners together leads me to see lots of opportunities to create solutions.

I also serve on two appointed citizen-commissions: I was appointed to the City’s Climate Policy Commission, which monitors implementation of Ashland’s Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP), enacted in 2017. Most people who know about the CEAP think it’s only about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They’re surprised to hear about the second goal of the CEAP: to prepare Ashland to be more resilient to the impacts of climate change – like longer and more frequent bouts of smoke, fire risk, drought, and extreme temperatures we’re already feeling. Climate change hits hardest on our City’s most vulnerable residents, and that’s what really motivates me to work on it. Addressing this reality with appropriate local solutions increasingly will be one of the core responsibilities of our governments. Again, I believe my background will help us navigate these important issues together.  

I was appointed to serve on the Citizens Budget Committee in spring 2021. I have a thorough understanding of the City’s finances, and public finance in general, which is an important skill set right now. Unless we make changes, the City will face future shortfalls in the General Fund (basically police, fire, parks, and administration). To begin to address this challenge, the Committee advised the City Council to direct staff to cut $1 million from the approved biennium budget for the General Fund over the two-year period as a “down payment,” and use 2021-22 to reassess our options and priorities and take appropriate action in the next budget cycle. Not surprisingly, this often leads to a longer discussion. (Definitely a topic worth its own blog!)

This local experience fits in with my career experience. I spent decades on the give-and-take of working with municipal and national governments in Latin America to develop locally appropriate solutions that improve people’s lives. I had the opportunity to work on a wide range of issues, from environment and climate, economic development, disaster preparedness, and social welfare. Folks recognize that these are the same issues we face today in Ashland. 

The Takeaway

I’m not running because I have all the answers. Nobody does! And I’m just one voice. What I’d bring to Council deliberations is highly relevant professional experience, deep personal commitment and passion for our community, good listening skills and empathy, and a calm collaborative approach to working with others. One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in my career is how crucial it is for elected officials to demonstrate they have heard, understood, and considered a wide range of perspectives on important issues – that they’ve looked at all the pros and cons for our people and our community at large, including the financial impacts. To me, this is what good governance is all about. If we do this process well, we get more and better options on the table, and people are more likely to respect and support the ultimate decisions. On the other hand, when we feel unheard, we lose faith in our civic leaders, and our institutions lose their ability to govern.   

I learn a lot from my conversations on folks’ doorsteps, and I love our impromptu connections that wander off in unexpected ways. I intend to keep on knocking doors right up to the election on November 8…and I just may keep on doing it as a Councilor if you elect me to the City Council!

Please vote for me this November for Ashland City Council, position #4.

Visit to learn more about me, support my campaign, or sign up to for a yard sign!

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