for California & the North Bay
I am an environmental advocate who has been working at the intersection of law, politics and policy for the past 20 years. My mission is to leave a livable planet to the next generation through equitable climate action that centers working people.
I am the daughter of immigrants and my father worked in the oil industry, so I grew up in the highly developed areas of Orange County, California and Houston, Texas. Living in Houston, I breathed some of the worst air quality in the country and had very limited access to natural areas. This led me to focus on environmental protection and justice from a very young age. I went to college (go Gauchos!) and law school with this sole purpose in mind and have never wavered from it.
For over a decade, I worked for nonprofits and philanthropy to protect and expand access to clean water and rivers, bays and the coast. In 2017, I had the honor of being appointed to the California Coastal Commission, and served for five years, making decisions about land use and infrastructure development in our coastal zone. In all these roles, I aimed to be a voice for communities who are most burdened by environmental harms and have the least power to address impacts. This is especially true of climate change.
When the devastating wildfires of 2020 caused the air quality in the Bay Area to become hazardous and turned the sky orange, and the sun did not even seem to rise, I felt compelled to step forward in a new way. My son Henry was quite young at the time, and I do not want his life to be punctuated with intensifying climate disasters--drought, wildfire, mudslides, extreme heat.
In 2021, I embarked on my first political campaign and decided to run for the California Legislature to accelerate climate action, and to become the first woman in 20 years to represent Marin and southern Sonoma in our State Assembly. Although I did not win the race, I brought climate and gender issues into focus for voters, and earned the endorsement of 50 sitting state legislators, several labor and environmental organizations, reproductive rights organizations, and local leaders.
In March 2023, I was appointed by Governor Newsom to serve as a Deputy Secretary in the California Natural Resources Agency, where I focus on federal opportunities to accelerate climate action and resiliency. In December 2023, I was appointed as a Trustee on the Kentfield Unified School District Board.
I live in Central Marin with my husband Max and son Henry. You can find us on the Mount Tam trails, or sometimes paddling on the Bay or Russian River.