Community Activist. College Professor. Progressive.
Morongo Basin resident for seven years.
Why am I running?
I became involved in Indivisible Morongo Basin (IMB) early on and served on the Coordinating Council. I began registering voters and helping to coordinate local protests on the highway. My experiences in the Morongo Basin and San Bernardino County have shown me that Democrats need a stronger voice in our local politics. While there are more Democrats in the county than Republicans, Republicans hold most county seats. I hope you will join me in bringing about this change.
Several years ago, while completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Career and Technical Education, I was required to write an expository paper on a subject that I was interested in. After years of working in food service and witnessing the abundance of edible food that was going to landfills, I decided to explore the topic of food waste and food insecurity. Thus, developed my passion for food recovery and redistribution.
About two years ago, I came across a PR release in the local paper submitted by a woman of equal passion for recovery and redistribution of edible food. She and I are now on the Advisory Board of the newly formed Waste Not Morongo Basin (WNMB), a nonprofit created to reduce organic food waste and facilitate the rescue of safe and wholesome food for local food pantries and feeding assistance programs. We are in the final approval process with San Bernardino County Building and Safety and Environmental Health in order to begin renovations on our recently acquired building at the former Joshua Tree Elementary School. This location will serve as the Remote Agency Distribution (RAD) site of the two larger foodbanks that now service San Bernardino County. San Bernardino County has the highest food insecurity rate in the state and one of the highest food insecurity rates in the nation. WNMB hopes to provide much needed services to the Morongo Basin and outlying areas of San Bernardino County.
I am also a member of the Basin Wide Foundation (BWF), whose mission is to enhance life and economic vitality in the Morongo Basin through partnerships with individuals, nonprofits, and government. One of the ways in which BWF incubates community-minded groups is through their Affiliate Sponsor program. They do this by serving as the fiscal agent while new nonprofits build their programs and fulfill their mission. Without our many nonprofits, the services and the needs of this community would certainly go unmet.
In addition, I am the 2nd Vice President of the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association (CMMCA) Board of Directors. We’re one of the few private, member only-supported Community Associations in the Mojave Desert. We are managed solely by an all-volunteer group of neighbors and friends. We operate the CMMCA community center building, which provides space for a monthly USDA Food Giveaway and an emergency center in this somewhat remote area of the basin.
Professionally, I teach the Culinary Arts program at Copper Mountain College located in Joshua Tree. I came out of retirement in order to contribute to the Career and Technical Education programs offered by the college. It is so important, especially in this community, to offer students a way to build skills and get hands-on experience in a career-focused program.