I’m excited to let you know I’m running for West Hollywood City Council in 2022.
West Hollywood requires change now!
These past two years have been devastating for so many. West Hollywood demands leadership that will bring a common-sense and collaborative approach to our recovery.
I’ve lived in the same West Hollywood apartment for 27 years and have experienced so many incredible moments in our town. West Hollywood molded me and gave me the space to grow as a business advocacy executive and activist.
Now I want to bring that activism to the City Council to ensure West Hollywood returns to being a great place to work and live. We must have public safety in West Hollywood that effectively keeps our streets safe while respecting the dignity of all who live, work or visit West Hollywood. We have to tackle our unhoused crisis in a proactive way through increased outreach, compassion and services. We must actively encourage diversity in our businesses to serve West Hollywood residents and visitors alike. And we must strive for a City that is inclusive to all – elders, students, religious minorities, the disabled, our sober community and more.
I grew up in a small military town in South Carolina just slightly larger than West Hollywood. My dad was a truck driver and my mother worked a variety of jobs before deciding to start her own business. We moved quite a bit until my parents bought a single family home on a dirt road in Sumter, SC. Frustrated and unsatisfied with the education provided in South Carolina's public schools, I convinced my parents to allow me to enroll in Catholic school where I worked in a work-study program to pay off my tuition while also being a cheerleader, student body vice president and an honor student. My parents taught me the value of hard work and education at an early age and due to both, I was able to leave SC immediately after high school to attend Occidental College where I studied Theatre and Public Policy.
Occidental College is a leading liberal arts college that boasts a multicultural curriculum and a legacy of activism, inclusion and protest. There, I learned the many issues facing communities of color, LGBTQ+, and women - issues not discussed in the red state where I'd been raised. Like Barack Obama, it was at Occidental College that I first began to take the world of books and ideas seriously, and was awakened to the notion that I could make a difference in the world.
I spent several years creating and advising organizations dedicated to LGBTQ social justice. For over a decade, I was contracted to help strengthen organizations in Seattle, Nevada, Miami, Atlanta, New York and of course, Los Angeles.
In 2009, I was nominated to join the board of the Los Angeles LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce (LAGLCC) by the late prolific LGBT film and television producer, gay rights and animal activist JD Disalvatore. After years as president, I became the organization's Executive Director and for over a decade, I have worked to grow LGBTQ+ and allied businesses through business development, marketing and networking as well as legislative strategy incorporating LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBE®) in corporate and governmental supply chains. In 2019, I secured LGBTBE Inclusion in the City of Los Angeles, making Los Angeles the largest city in the nation to do so. Later, I helped launch Los Angeles County's LGBT certification and provided two years of testimony to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) during the LGBTBE rule making process that resulted in a decision that will yield $600M of diverse spend with LGBT small business owners. In my 10 years in my role, I have helped thousands of businesses thrive. I am motivated by knowing that a thriving business is not just a legacy for the owner but is important for job creation as well as local philanthropy. Because of my work with the chamber, the LAGLCC won the prestigious "Affiliate Chamber of the Year" award, a recognition of global significance, from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
I am endorsed by West Hollywood City Councilmember John D'Amico, have been a resident of the City of West Hollywood for 27 years and have proven my commitment to serving my community through service. I served on the Lesbian Visibility Board for the City, helping to plan, program and also emcee the historic West Hollywood Dyke March. In 2015, I was appointed and served as Co-chair for the Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board to advise city council on matters affecting LGBTQ residents including the execution of the City’s Rainbow Key Awards and was later appointed at-large to the Human Services Commission which vets and provides recommendations on the City of West Hollywood's social services agencies. In 2021, I was appointed by Councilmember John D'Amico to the West Hollywood Planning Commission where I serve as Vice Chair. The West Hollywood Planning Commission provides recommendations to the Mayor, City Council, and Director of Planning on land use policies and proposed development projects.
Because I have been a staunch advocate of LGBTQ rights, I was one of the first recipients of KCET’s LGBT Local Hero Award and I also received the Pat Parker Award from Christopher Street West and a L.A.C.E (Lesbians Active in Community Empowerment) Award from the Los Angeles LGBT Center.