Let's face it - there are six people in this race and only three seats to fill. All the candidates love Tempe, we all want to strengthen neighborhoods, we all want Tempe to be inclusive, and we all want to improve what we can.  What's different is the perspective each of us will bring towards our decision making.

Here are some ways I'm different: a combination of unique skills and perspective I'll bring to the Council.

  1. Parent of a special needs child - This was a major motivation for me to finally run for office.  I've been faced with decisions like whether I had to quit my job, change school districts, file suit, or hospitalize my child because there weren't services to "reasonably accommodate" my special needs child. We have some amazing and caring staff and teachers in Tempe, but even they struggled to help.  Having gone through this fight to get my daughter an education and services, I'm ready to fight for Tempe families.
  2. Executive MBA (ASU) - No other candidate running or current Councilmember has an MBA.  The Executive program affords me an edge of leadership, the application of how public policy affects businesses, global business experience, and accounting and finance acumen. Government is NOT a business, but we can use solid business practices to make for more efficient government. Tempe is also a desirable place for businesses, and I'll be a Councilmember who can discuss the business case for locating in Tempe and advocate for corporate social responsibility to improve our community. 
  3. Business experience - For 20 years, I have worked for large publicly-traded and private companies, small local businesses, and am currently a small business owner and entrepreneur exploring a software opportunity.  I know what it's like to start and sustain a business, and the grit it takes to be competitive. I'll bring this spirit to the Council to champion local businesses.
  4. Human services - I've volunteered or served on the Boards of nonprofits that span human services needs. It's the diversity of experience that makes me different; I've worked with homeless, domestic violence survivors, veterans, differently abled, food insecure families, job training programs, at-risk youth, and at-risk seniors. This has never been related to my profession or identity, and I've rarely been able to afford to donate funds.  Instead, I fundraise or give of my time and expertise because there is more need than there are resources to help. 
  5. Strategy and Change - I have helped organizations from multi-billion-dollar global companies to small software companies to local nonprofits with developing strategic plans and managing their changing environment. Tempe is growing and more than ever, we need the experience of someone who has managed rapid change, someone with knowledge of emerging technology, and someone with the mediation skills to bring people together towards Tempe's brightest future.
  6. Process Improvement - Holding a Six Sigma Green Belt, I have over a decade of experience in analyzing and improving processes for efficiency and effectiveness. Process improvement can help save money, improve quality of service, increase transparency, and minimize error or unintended discrimination. This isn't just about flow charts - it's about assessing what is working and empowering staff to make needed improvements and changes.
  7. Relatable- As a woman of color, I know what it's like to be discriminated against because of my name or what I look like.  As a working family, we live the challenge of managing the rising rental costs of living in Tempe, student loan debt, raising children in public elementary and high schools, and finally recovering from the recession. As a working mom and small business owner, I balance managing clients, my financials, marketing, administrative work, and growth challenges, while raising happy, healthy children. These are not unique experiences in Tempe; I relate with voters of Tempe because they too experience these challenges in some way. Tempe should be represented by someone who has lived the struggle Tempeans are experiencing, because a Councilmember's job is not to be an expert on the inner workings of the City - it's to connect with the needs of the whole community and align City resources toward the best quality of life for all Tempeans.