I love civic engagement and I am good at it.

In the 2012 and 2014 elections, I led efforts to register over 10,000 voters, mostly students. I am passionate about representing young people, but I am more passionate about making sure young people have their own seats at the table whether or not they agree with me. I have sat in on important meetings with state legislators, city councilmembers, and university administrators. Involvement in public education isn’t new to me.

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I know a LOT about Title IX and sexual violence.

As a survivor of sexual violence during my first semester at UC Berkeley, I had no idea what my options were. When I considered reporting the assault, it was made clear to me that nothing but more pain would come my way. Nothing would improve my life or get my assailant to leave me alone. It would be my word against his with no option for restorative justice or emotional support for me. I avoided classes he might be in, walked to campus the long way to avoid his house, and fled bookstores and street corners when I saw him. This severely impacted my ability to learn and be a part of campus life, so I joined 30 of my classmates in filing a Title IX complaint against UC Berkeley. I became a loud advocate for the rights of sexual assault survivors and institutional prevention of sexual violence across the UC system. I co-created the 6000 in Solidarity campaign to support survivors and was public about my identity as I navigated university, student, and city politics in Berkeley.

I now work at the nonprofit rape crisis center serving Sonoma County, where I interact with a lot of youth and their families, many of whom are residents of Petaluma. I have been a group facilitator for teens who have had issues of sexual violence and/or trouble with law enforcement, and I have seen youth struggle to feel safe and valued in their schools.

I’ve always worked with youth.

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I’ve been a tutor and mentor since I was 12. I am currently a mentor (and a sometimes tutor) to a few teens who attend Petaluma City Schools and who have had a rough time. I know we can do better for all of our kids. I have been an adult member of the Youth Commission for the City of Petaluma for just about a year, and I was a youth member for a year or two when I was in high school. The youth have ideas and opinions, but are we “adults” listening? I try to have my ear to the ground and know what is important to preteens and teens.

I worked as a Fellow with Young People For (YP4), a yearlong leadership development program for young people committed to creating positive social change in their communities. I met young, progressive changemakers from all over the country who I continue to connect with and learn from. I also served as an intern with YP4’s parent organization, People for the American Way, a nonprofit focused on reclaiming the language of American ideology like “liberty,” “family values,” and “criminal justice” for progressives and progressive causes. No one political ideology owns a value; we should all be able to agree that kids deserve a safe, nurturing environment to flourish in as they grow.