What ties do you have to Culver City?
I am a life-long resident of Culver City. My grandparents originally emigrated from Mexico to Culver City as they looked to settle in a safe and diverse community. I grew up alongside my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles all within walking distance. Many of us attended St. Augustine Catholic School and CCUSD including Lindwood E. Howe. I remember spending weekends at the old Studio Drive-In and Culver Ice Rink.
My parents rented an apartment at 10022 Culver Boulevard, just down the street from Downtown. In the mid-90’s, a Culver City loan program for first-time homeowner’s provided my parents the opportunity to purchase their first home in one of the more affordable parts of town, now known as the Culver City Arts District. Three years ago, I had the opportunity to become a Culver City homeowner myself in the community of Fox Hills. My entire extended family still resides in Culver City, all within walking distance.
What experience or expertise do you have which qualifies you to serve on the GPAC?
I am a professional relationship builder, matching organizational needs with the interests of their constituents. This experience has allowed me to hone my people management and problem-solving skills. In order to be successful in this capacity, I must be an effective and empathetic communicator and listener. As a result, I am able to maximize efficiency within organizations and build partnerships by identifying common goals. I currently do this as Director of Development for the West Coast for the University of Maryland. I earned my B.A. from UCLA and a Master’s in Public Administration from USC, a program that prepared me to identify ways to improve governance and management structures within public and nonprofit organizations.
What other resources (foreign language skill, participation in a local organization, practical skill, etc.) might you bring to enhance the quality of the General Plan process?
Much of my volunteer work and personal interest resides in community outreach and advocacy, particularly around equity (both in housing and education). I have extensive experience in project and volunteer management. I am also bilingual in Spanish. I served as an active member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Fox Hills Alliance.
What motivates you to participate in the General Plan process?
Growing up in Culver City, I have seen the evolution of our community: it has gone from a hidden small town to a bustling mini metropolis. Our local mom-and-pop shops now compete with artisanal beer stores while new multi-unit luxury developments tower over single-family homes. While change is expected, it demonstrates the need to formulate a plan that will balance the diversity of our evolving community while preserving its identity. As a new homeowner and life-long resident, I am excited to help shape a general plan that will inform future growth and establish a framework to insure equity and inclusion for both current and future residents of the city we love.