I believe strong families make strong communities. Strengthening our families should be a priority and we do that through investing the resources necessary to increase access to healthcare, housing and educational programs. As a Council Member, I will consider the impact on our children and families when I make decisions.
What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
The three top issues are (1) housing; (2) mental health; and (3) education. As a member of the El Camino Healthcare District Board, I have supported programs that address these 3 issues and as Council Member, I will continue to do so. This includes partnering with community based organizations, school districts and other public entities to implement and fund programs that tackle these 3 issues in our community. As the mom of a young family, I see how these issues affect our families on a daily basis.
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
I will identify ways we can tackle these issues in our community and push to have monies set aside to support such programs that benefit our children and families. As a former YWCA Silicon Valley Board Member and a Member of both the El Camino Healthcare District Board, I understand that these programs will only survive and do well if they have the necessary funding. Therefore, saying it is a priority alone is not enough.
What steps will you take to address the high cost and lack of availability of quality child care and preschool programs in our communities, especially for low-income children and English language learners?
As a Council Member, I will support and look for opportunities to make it easier for programs to operate in Los Altos and work with the providers to ensure they are meeting the needs of the community. To the extent possible, I will also encourage these providers to make it easier for low-income children and English language learners to participate in their programs. Many low income families don't have the resources to do summer camps and other camps during school breaks. I have volunteered for such programs and understand the need. As a Council Member, I would support such programs.
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
Children with special needs and disabilities are part of our community and we should ensure our programs support should inclusion. I will also ensure that if the City provides funding or contracts with any programs, they will include terms that make it clear that their programs need to be inclusive. Los Altos has several big projects its working on over the next couple years. As those plans go before Council, I will ensure that accessibility for all is a priority and all children will be able to participate and engage fully in our community, including public spaces.
Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the "opportunity gap" that low-income children and children of color experience, including lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors and enrichment activities. If elected, what steps will you take to address this issue?
I will bring the voice and perspective of these families when we make decisions on Council. Although we live in a wealthy community, a significant number of our community falls within this group. We need to increase awareness and have programs that will help bridge the gap, without isolating these students. As a Council Member, I will partner with our schools, healthcare facilities, County and cities, and community based organizations to fund and support programs to reduce this gap. I will also use my position as a Council Member to work with officials in Sacramento to make this a priority.