What are the two biggest challenges facing the Fourth District and what are your plans to address them?
Housing supply for people of all income levels — I'll address this through land use and zoning to encourage more housing development in areas where density is suitable, DHHS grants for permanent supportive housing and crisis care housing, public/ private partnerships to improve transitional housing resources, and identifying incentives for developers to build additional units for a mix of incomes.
Infrastructure, including transportation networks and the management of public spaces & resources — I will utilize my knowledge of municipal and community planning, relationships with relevant agencies and stakeholders, and passion for transportation safety to advance a vision for infrastructure that serves our residents well into the future. The topic of managing our resources also touches on the need for adaptation measures to climate change, from wildfire prevention and fuels reduction to wetland enhancement and protection of valuable assets.
What is the county government's largest flaw in responding to residents' needs and how do you plan to fix it?
Fundamentally, I don't believe many people understand the workings of local government. Community members are often surprised, confused and angered by local decisions that are part of a much larger whole. I look forward to the opportunity to serve my community full-time as an elected official in the county supervisor role, and with the time available to me, I'll use a variety of means to explain and share local government processes with my constituents. I believe this will help people understand not just one issue, but the process as a whole and their opportunities for input in civic affairs.
Why are you the right person to represent the Fourth District for the next four years?
I bring the most robust, diverse, and relevant qualifications to the position. Thanks to my work experience, I also excel at thinking strategically and critically, using a data-driven approach to make key decisions, explaining complex information, applying conflict resolution skills, and conducting meaningful public engagement. I am practical, see many sides of the issues we face as a community, and work respectfully with others. I am extremely proud to call Humboldt home and am invested in our long-term success, for my family and yours.
City/town of residence: Eureka
Where did you grow up? I was born in Miami, Florida, and lived my younger years there, then lived throughout Florida and in Louisiana before moving to Petrolia! As a military kid, I didn't grow up in one specific place.
How long have you lived in Humboldt County? 16 years
Can you please provide a brief education history?
I graduated from Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida, then received my B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida in Gainesville. I planned to pursue graduate school in New Orleans and moved there for that purpose, but Hurricane Katrina hit and I moved to Humboldt six months later to do a stint of fisheries monitoring, conservation and environmental work. Over the following 15 years, I learned through hands-on work and mentoring about natural resources management, watershed restoration, trails and transportation planning, community organizing, public health projects, and much more. I am now an Environmental Science and Management graduate student (the same department in which I teach) and will soon earn my M.S. from Cal Poly Humboldt.
Can you please provide a brief work history?
I worked throughout college in a variety of service-industry jobs before moving to Humboldt County as an AmeriCorps Watershed Steward in January 2006. I worked with the Mattole Salmon Group in Petrolia doing hands-on fisheries work. Then, I moved to "town" and worked in Fortuna at the Watershed Stewards headquarters, serving as a community outreach leader for the program. At various times, I also worked at the Arcata Scoop, in childcare, and for Friends of the Van Duzen. In late fall 2007, I was hired at Redwood Community Action Agency to work in the Natural Resources Services division, supporting water quality and watershed restoration projects, and I have been there ever since! I now supervise multiple staff, spearhead large grants that bring important funds to our community, and lead a wide variety of projects that advance our priorities of community and watershed health. From 2010 – 2019, I served on the boards of two nonprofit organizations: the Humboldt Trails Council (board president for several years), and the Salmonid Restoration Federation (board secretary for multiple years). In 2012, I joined the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and became an enlisted Marine Science Technician, serving on Humboldt Bay in support of pollution prevention, maritime safety, and security missions. In 2021, I received my officer's commission after nine years of enlisted service, and I now travel to serve in Marin County one weekend per month. I first ran for City Council and was elected in 2014, then ran for re-election in 2018 and was again successful. As a representative of Eureka, I serve as the board chair of the Humboldt Transit Authority, and I have previously served on the Humboldt Waste Management Authority and Keep Eureka Beautiful boards. In 2018, I began teaching coursework in the Environmental Science and Management Department at Humboldt State University (now Cal Poly Humboldt), which I continue to do. In 2019, I was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to the board of directors of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, a nonprofit organization that is leading the dam removal effort on the Klamath River. It's important to note that this information does NOT imply endorsement by the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, RCAA, Cal Poly Humboldt, or any other group listed.
What is your current occupation? Projects coordinator, Natural Resources Services division of Redwood Community Action Agency; Ensign, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve; councilmember, Ward 3, city of Eureka; lecturer, Environmental Science and Management Department, Cal Poly Humboldt
What do you consider the three most important endorsements you have received to date in your campaign for county supervisor? The Yurok Tribe, Congressman Jared Huffman and the Humboldt and Del Norte Central Labor Council.
Now, a few questions to give voters a taste of your personality:
What is your favorite movie? Amelie
What is your favorite book? Dune
What magazine do you read most regularly? The Economist (I don't subscribe, so I wouldn't call it "regularly" — I don't read many magazines, honestly)
If your campaign had a theme song, what would it be?" I'm Still Standing" by Elton John (but not due to lyrical content for the most part, just the fun vibe and triumphant aspect!)
Who is your favorite fictional politician? Leslie Knope, of course.
Who is your favorite real-life politician? Honestly, Jared Huffman!
Dogs or cats? Dogs, but I do love to watch cats lounging! I'm allergic to them, though.
What is your favorite hobby? Roller derby (my alias on the track: Brawn Luc Picard)