Meet the Candidate
I live in Point Richmond with my husband of three decades and have lived in the Bay Area for eight years. I put myself through Loyola Law School’s night program while working full-time. Later I earned a Master of Science in ethics from Columbia University. I raised two children, now with careers of their own. I love to garden and enjoy working in the community.
I’m running because, as a member of the Assessment Appeals Board, I began hearing rumors about unprofessional behavior on the part of the current County Assessor, Gus Kramer. It’s worth reading the March 26 East Bay Times editorial endorsing me in this race for more on that. It concludes that after nearly thirty years, “Contra Costa voters should finally oust their scandal-plagued County Assessor and replace him with an Assessment Appeals Board member who can bring ethics and integrity to that office.”
I practiced law for fifteen years, first as a litigator with O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles, then for eight years as Vice President, Associate General Counsel of Irvine Company. In that role I helped build safe and healthy neighborhoods and managed transactions in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
When I moved to the Bay Area, I served on the Ethics Committee of Summit Hospital for five years and launched a community-based startup in the East Bay that helped create more than fifty jobs. I converted a struggling coffee roastery into a community investment and shared the capital investment with other coffee businesses. Now more than twenty brands of coffee roast at Bay Area CoRoasters (CoRo).
My immediate goal as Contra Costa County Assessor is fundamental to all professional work environments: to provide a supportive and dignified work culture in which all 120 department employees have the opportunity and inspiration to thrive. I will lead by example, respectfully instilling a policy of zero tolerance for disrespectful or unprofessional behavior.
During my first six months I will also evaluate systems to identify “low-hanging fruit” for enhancing office efficiencies. Assessors in other counties have secured state grants to upgrade systems and digitize office files and data. I will immediately investigate what state funding is available to modernize our Assessor’s office.
The job of the Assessor’s office is to value all the real estate and taxable personal and business property in Contra Costa County, totaling over $240 billion. These valuations determine the amount of taxes that homeowners and businesses pay to fund county services, cities, school districts, community colleges, our parks system, and more. It’s a big and important job. My promise is to evaluate every file and every piece of property by applying the rules and regulations without bias. Every taxpayer can trust me to ensure they are billed their fair share and only their fair share of taxes, based on professional, impartial, and transparent evaluations.
The Assessor works in partnership with the Board of Supervisors, our elected officials across the county, other county department heads, assessors across California, and private-sector leaders (e.g., businesses and community-based organizations). We need an Assessor who knows how to collaborate with others and garner trust and respect across all constituencies.
It’s time to bring integrity, ethics and professionalism to this influential position.