With Ken Mintz (who was first elected 30 years ago) not seeking re-election as a SRVUSD school board trustee, we lose a great resource of historical knowledge regarding funding, policy, ed code (law), procedure, process, broad community awareness representative of all school sites (Alamo, Danville and San Ramon) along with the uniqueness of students, teachers, administration, staff and partners connected to those sites. As someone who has attended many school board meetings, town halls, served on district committees and volunteered from the classroom and beyond, Jerome was the only name I recognized when reading the announcement of the 3 candidates that filed for the Area 1 School Board seat for the November 8th election.

Jerome has been attending meetings as long as I’ve lived here, consistently showing up for our schools in addition to having served as a longtime volunteer for the SRVUSD from 2015 through 2021 on the SRVUSD Facilities Oversight and Advisory Committee, including more than 3 years as chair. This committee ensures transparency for taxpayers in spending on school campus construction projects and provides recommendations to District leaders on project design to deliver the promise of the school bond enacted by voters.

School Board Trustees oversee the biggest government services in our community. They set local policy relating to constitutional principles (examples: separation of church and state, freedom of speech, equal protections for all under the law). By profession, as a lawyer, Jerome understands the weight of this role. In fact, he ran for school board against 3 long standing incumbents in 2014 – something no one in this community has done for decades. He was brave enough to run then and continues to show resilience now by running again.

As a product of this district, he is the only candidate that has lived the SRVUSD K-12 experience first hand. He believes so strongly in this community that he returned here to start his family. He won’t need a learning curve. He’ll be ready on Day 1. Our teachers agree as he is the candidate they have endorsed (including an endorsement by our State Superintendent, Tony Thurmond).

Jerome will put kids first while also supporting staff and understanding the needs of our community. He will approach this role with a district lens, not with national non-profit and organizational views. With a deep understanding of budgetary issues our district faces, he will do the work to provide a safe, supportive learning environment for parents, teachers, and students at all SRVUSD schools. He will ensure all schools maintain longtime traditions of excellence as well as build on that excellence. His calm temperament, collaborative leadership style that respects others’ views, a desire to work to build consensus and ability to balance discussions of the business of running our district while paying close attention to the district’s priorities and strategic plan will be a welcome addition to our school board.

To learn more about Jerome or contact him.

No Place For Hate At School Board Meetings

I urge you to consider advocating for legislation to protect the civility of public school board meetings and promote local codes of conduct for meeting participants without limiting the right to dissent. We need to support our school districts and boards by arming them with the legislative control necessary for their safety, students safety and the safety of our community.

School board meetings should not be placed in the same governing framework as City Council or County Supervisor meetings in regard to the Brown Act. Designated school campuses that are “No Place For Hate” shouldn’t come to a pause because the school bell rings for dismissal and a school board meeting starts. Campuses should be seen as sacred ground in which is a second home for students.

Over the course of the past 3 years, I have witnessed things at school board meetings in which if these same adults were students attending schools, they would be reprimanded and seen as bullies. Many adults that speak at open comment show no filter even when children are present. This is beyond swearing at our Superintendent (which has happened). This is also about the damage speakers are doing to students (minors) who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community and BIPOC. “Child abuse is more than bruises or broken bones. While physical abuse often leaves visible scars, not all child abuse is as obvious, but can do just as much harm.” Source Homophobic slurs should be seen the same as racial slurs. Recently I witnessed someone at public comment say the following things in front of children who were invited guests: 

  • “The trendy dysphoria dujour is the psychosis that is deflate from reality is transgenderism – a delusion which declares insanely that men and boys can become women and girls and vice versa or that people can simply be non-binary or gender fluid.”
  • “Rational people call this madness insanity.”
  • “Homosexual Gender-Bender Promotion.”


At the June 7th, 2022 San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board meeting I witnessed another person at public comment say the N word. Not just once, but multiple times. The N Word: As witnessed (time stamp 3:23:40).

We can not be seen by the very students we serve as hypocrites that contradict school policies, California Ed Code and mission statements. While these are examples to what I have personally witnessed, a quick search of headlines across our state tells me that they are not isolated incidents. Can we work together in starting this conversation?

ACT NOW. Join me in contacting our elected officials to help bring this topic to their attention and start this important conversation:

California Superintendent of Schools, Tony Thurmond.

The California State Board of Education.

Contra Costa County, Superintendent of Schools, Lynn Mackey.

16th California Assembly District, Assemblymember, Rebecca Baurer-Kahan.

7th District, Senator Steve Glazer.

Road Trippin’ with a Puppy!

Now let us drink the stars, it’s time to steal away…

-Red Hot Chili Peppers, Road Trippin’

I’ve been up and down the California Coast and I’m pretty proud that since moving here in 2014, I now wear the badge of personally driving by hugging the coast down from San Diego all the way up to Fort Bragg! We’re lucky to live in such a diverse state- we can literally go to the beach and mountains for snow in the same day if we wanted to! Whether you are standing in the shadow of our giant redwoods in one of our many forests or soaking up a west coast sunset, it’s hard not to fall in love with this state. There is something magical about being able to live where you’d want to vacation.

That said, I had an itch to see what is north of us… in Oregon! Now that travel has opened up and we were all able to get vaccinated, we thought visiting Oregon would be the perfect road trip. Our first trip since 2019 due to the pandemic and travel mandates (#SIP). We adopted a puppy the week of Thanksgiving of 2019 and we couldn’t leave her behind. So, I researched pet friendly resorts to stay along our route and was surprised how pet friendly the entire state of Oregon is. We really lucked out with the timing of our trip too because we traveled right before a horrible heatwave hit the state, followed by fires.

We viewed packing for our pup as if she was a toddler. Food, treats, a few favorite toys, a familiar blanket from home and a collapsable water bowl. We did pick up a few extra things for the trip: a dog paw cleaner (for when we went hiking and to the beach) and a dog stake and tie-out cable. We made a cozy spot for her in the back where she could lay or stand. She did great!

Our first stop was 3 hours away in Redding, California to see the Sundial Bridge.

A little over 2 hours from there was our first resort stop at Running Y Ranch in Klamath Falls, Oregon. This ranked as our second favorite place to stay and we will definitely be back! We loved how quiet and peaceful it was. We had fun playing table tennis, basketball, swimming and eating on site. Even with restrictions and limited staff, this place was very hospitable. There were lots of other dogs here too- and they have a doggie park.

On the second day we work up early and headed to Crater Lake. We heard that a lot of National Parks fill up fast to capacity so we were sure to purchase our tickets online. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day to visit Crater Lake. It was 75 degrees and there was still snow on the ground! At 1,943 feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States.

After our time at Running Y Ranch and Crater Lake, we were on the road again… We stopped at Bend for lunch at a very dog friendly Deschutes Brewery. This was well worth the stop! Pup Bailey agrees that it was one of the best beverages and burgers we’ve ever had. She loved hanging out on the patio while waiting for her food.

Three hours from our lunch spot was our next place to call home for a few days…in Washington! While I’ve been to Washington before, this was the first time it wasn’t in the Seattle area.

Skamania Lodge was quick to welcome, Miss Bailey and even had a special gift bag for her waiting in the room. Her own water bowl, blanket, extra leash and big dog bone.

You certainly can’t beat the view here, but over all we don’t plan to come back to this place. The property is dark inside and really showing its age. While we understand that many places are struggling with staffing, there were often times over the duration of our stay that the kitchen stopped taking orders (at 4:30p.m. and told us to keep trying back after an hour) or it took over 90 minutes to pick up food. Being outside on the lush lawn was our favorite part- day or night.

We also had fun at the miniature golf course. Miss Bailey may have added a few extra hits on some plays. She couldn’t help herself!

There are lots of hiking trails on the property which was a bonus.

Back across the Columbia Gorge River to Oregon, where our next chapter would lead us through Portland for a 2 hours drive to Cannon Beach.

The Hallmark Resort and Spa on Cannon Beach at Haystack Rock was hands down our favorite spot! Direct Beach access made for long strolls and exploring from sunrise to sunset. “The history of Hallmark Resorts, Inc. can be traced back to a cocker spaniel named Sissy. In 1948, Bill and Georgie Hay’s dog (Sissy) sniffed out a For Sale sign sitting high on a bluff overlooking Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. The couple soon turned this special site into the Hallmark Resort & Spa in Cannon Beach.” (Hallmark Resorts, Inc.) We loved the bag of goodies they gifted Miss Bailey upon arrival; a frisbee, special dog cookie, and a water bottle that has a flexible cup attached so that you can squirt water directly into it for your dog to drink. Also, a portion of the room fee for renting a pet friendly room goes to the local animal rescue.

Beautiful, dog friendly downtown with lots of breweries and places to eat.

Rise and Line! Favorite Coffee House directly across the street from where we were staying. Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters (SO worth the wait!)

Our resort had blue chairs available at the beach for guests. This was really a nice touch!

As we made our way back down to our next destination, we stopped off at Tillamook Creamery for lunch… ice cream!

Bailey approved of the vanilla.

Our last stop on our bucket list was Silver Falls State Park. We may have all sparkled in the sun on our hike like the Cullen’s Family (this is one of the locations the movie Twilight was filmed), but it was just because around this point in our trip, Oregon started to heat up. This park was one of the most beautiful and peaceful places with so many different shades of green.

After a week and 62,000 steps later, we headed back home to California from our epic road trip with puppy! In the end, we drove 1600 miles. The people of Oregon (and Washington) were so friendly and nice. We continue to think of them all and will certainly be back!



“Being a member of a youth commission allows for professional development, encouraging young people to pursue a career in the public sector and participate in local civic activities. They are a resource that provides youth a voice in the political process and community input for local government. When a city, county, or special district creates a youth commission, they are investing in a new generation of public employees and change agents.”
-Institute of Local Government

Inspiration comes in many forms and in this case it showed up 2 years ago when a high school student showed up at a meeting applying for a role on the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County. It was my first commission meeting when I asked to be tasked with the creation of a Youth Advisor role because it’s important for our youth to have a seat at the table, share their lens and hear their voice. It’s also important to cultivate an environment where we welcome and encourage civic engagement and participation early on. After all, the youth now will one day be our future leaders.

From the initial research, framework for a draft for a change in our by-laws, information packet, interview questions down to the graphics and stepping up to mentoring, I’m always willing to do the work needed to support our county with initiatives that directly make a positive impact on so many lives. With a heart for service, I’m thankful for a Commission that supports this effort and Board of Supervisors that sees value it. My hope is that this lays the foundation for representation by our youth in every Contra Costa County district and perhaps, nudges other commissions and boards that lack youth representation to inquire about widening their circle for such a role.

Our first youth advisor has been so incredible to work with and support. As an intelligent, enthusiastic, creative, insightful, compassionate, organized and joyous collaborator that loves to bring people together as a Champion of the Arts, Youth Advisor Carolyn Considine has truly paved the way and set the bar for first ever county role.

  • She was the one that created our first ever live streamed panel for youth artists on 8/27/2020 for Artist Café which has a reach of 3.6k!
  • When Covid-19 hit, she pivoted to find a way for youth artists to continue to express and showcase their work—in the first ever online art exhibition for our county which showcased over 100 works of art from 27 different high schools!
  • She is the mastermind behind the Justice Murals of “Project WE.
  • She worked directly with Contra Costa Department of Education last summer to create the first ever county wide high school art exhibition in the offices in Pleasant Hill.

Our first Youth Advisor’s term ends in the summer of 2022, but our application just opened for the next Youth Advisor to apply! In only 10 business days, this application closes so don’t wait to apply for a chance to represent youth in a county of 1,165,927 million (per County Costa County website). As a youth advisor to the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County, participants serve not only as a volunteer but an ambassador for the county. A Youth Advisor provides an element to the commission in which their perspective enhances the mission, contributes to the conversation, entertains ideas of collaboration, representation and engagement for youth in Contra Costa County. Youth Advisors interact with county officials, learn about local government and civic engagement. Youth Advisors are to attend regularly scheduled Arts and Culture Commission Meetings once a month. Youth Advisors are assigned a mentor within the commission who are to be a point of contact for questions and support. Youth Advisors are expected to complete a service project and create a portfolio or resume during their year with the Arts and Culture Commission. Youth Advisors are expected to maintain a high level of responsible behavior and good standing in school as well as the community- including social platforms.

Application forms can be obtained from the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors by visiting the County webpage at, calling (925) 655-2000, or e- mailing To learn more about the work I’m involved in on the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County visit

Let’s all cheer on our youth while also giving them a platform to use their own voice!

Breathing Free Together

I don’t often tear up at artist receptions, but I did today as I watched the many artists of all ages and backgrounds receive recognition for sharing their lens and talent for the public art project, “Breathing Free Together,” organized by a phenomenal grassroots organization, The San Ramon Social Justice Collective. SRJC is lead by some of the most beautiful, compassionate and empowering people I’m proud to know (and to have had the pleasure of meeting in person today after Zoom calls and emails!). The work they have done is not easy. The work have done is not for themselves. The beauty of their work is that they are helping create a legacy for their community.

Using public art as a medium for awareness, communities are able to challenge some of the biggest issues of our time. Public art in an innovative way to reach people in their everyday environments and confront easily overlooked issues. “Breathing Free Together” is the union of both of these things. The “Breathing Free Together” art project has a unique way of moving the needle forward by encouraging dialogue on racial equity and justice. It gives a platform for those who feel voiceless, leading to healing through collaboration and understanding- a true service to the community.

Public art should reflect the community around it, and represent the hopes and lives of all community members. This is a day that will linger in heart for quite some time. Knowing the hill SRJC had to climb to make this possible, well,…proud doesn’t seem enough to sum it up.