Q: What is one cool aspect about what you do that people may not know?
A: I’m a singer. For the last 5 years I’ve been part of the Vocal Arts Ensemble, a choir directed for over 40 years by local legend, Gary Lamprecht.
Q: What unexpected success came out of something that at first felt like a failure?
A: I wasn’t able to achieve my dream after high school. I wanted to go to culinary school in France. Since I was in elementary school, I had dreamed of being a chef. I started cooking and working with caterers and restaurant chefs and owners as of seventh grade. I started studying French in junior high, so I would be prepared to study and train in France after graduation. However, my parents had other plans and wanted me to get a 4-year degree. Thankfully, I came to Cal Poly and found my passion for getting involved and serving others in a different way. I am fortunate “the dream” didn’t work out. My Cal Poly education in and out of the classroom shaped me into the outgoing, problem-solving and connected person that I am today.
Q: What is your spirit animal?
A: Pandas. I have loved pandas as long as I can remember. They are black and white like me. They are strong, friendly and make me smile. Watch a video with pandas and you will smile. How can you not?
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges SLO faces over the next decade & what are some ways to address it?
A: Diablo closing and the unfunded pension liability – we will need to review all of the services and programs that the city provides to determine new and creative ways to support our needs and services. Communication, collaboration and partnerships with PG&E, SLO County, cities within our county, the school districts, Cuesta and Cal Poly will be necessary to maintain high levels of service and a smart long-term financial plan for our budget and reserves.
Q: What are your thoughts on rezoning and redevelopment of commercial buildings and shopping centers to housing? Any other creative housing solutions you support?
A: I think we need many options to provide housing at different price points. The work/live idea for housing is definitely one of those options. Rezoning and redevelopment of commercial buildings and shopping centers to housing should continue. We need a number of creative projects to provide different types, sizes and price levels of houses for all types of people at all stages of their lives.
Q: What do you think is the city’s role in attracting more young professionals to live and work in SLO? What more can the city do?
A: The city can increase transportation and housing options to bring projects online that match the desires of a more diverse workforce. Within this process, the city can also take a more aggressive approach of engaging groups that represent the full spectrum of our community.