As an introvert growing up — working to navigate cultural differences and growing pains — the arts were an important outlet for self-expression for me. I was fortunate to attend schools in the community that allowed me to explore these different areas. My greatest aspiration was to do something in the arts — perhaps being a novelist, a historian, a journalist, or even a filmmaker or musician.
Here in Campbell, I’ve had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors of the Campbell Historical Museum & Ainsley House Foundation. My work on the board directly supports two of Campbell’s most iconic cultural institutions, ensuring their longevity for years to come, preserving our city’s history, and, perhaps most importantly, sharing the stories of our region with Campbell schoolchildren regardless of their income level or background.
Apart from this service, I’m proud to have pursued a variety of artistic avenues. I briefly worked in journalism and now run a small business in the music industry. I’ve had the opportunity on this campaign to work with incredible artists, designing the campaign’s artwork and producing short films to help tell my story. All of these experiences are why I’m so passionate about working to ensure the arts can truly thrive in our community.
Despite Campbell’s rich cultural heritage, many of our residents are unfortunately unaware of the history all around us. For example, did you know that groundbreaking punk musicians have come from Campbell, or that the members of Fleetwood Mac made sure to stop at El Burro in Campbell before every tour?
Meanwhile, COVID-19 threatens funding for local governments everywhere, and many longtime local institutions face the risk of being first on the chopping block. That’s why we have to think creatively and do everything we can to preserve our local arts and cultural scene.
The broad scope of “cultural needs” are currently folded into the Civic Improvement Commission along with at least seven other specific policy areas within that Commission’s charter. This means that the arts typically get short shrift. With the commission consisting of seven members, this also often means a lack of artists, those who know the lived realities of our region’s day-to-day arts and culture scene, represented on the board.
A dedicated Arts & Culture Commission — one representing the full diversity of our community, would bring together subject matter experts, give our artistic communities a stronger voice in City government, and move Campbell forward on public policy in relation to local arts and culture.
Currently, the Campbell Public Library is the only one in the Santa Clara County Library System to never undergo renovations, leading to safety and accessibility issues.
I will administer the $50 million dollar Measure O fund to renovate Campbell Public Library, including setting benchmarks and goals for contractors as needed, while making sure all safety and labor standards are adhered to.
Additionally, I will ensure that the library receives due resources since the money must be shared with a new public safety center.
I will ensure that cultural project benchmarks and updates are shared with the public and easily accessible, including providing regular updates at Council meetings.
In addition, I will monitor the impact on the surrounding neighborhood, ensuring traffic mitigation on residential areas. Measure O construction will also significantly impact the nearby historic Ainsley House, which traditionally relies on wedding revenue. I will improve the communication of updates between the Ainsley House and the surrounding area.
I will create the first-ever Campbell Artist of the Year Award, recognizing local artists for their work and contributions to the community.
The artists will be recognized before City Council and their artwork will adorn City Hall. The award will be administered by the newly formed Arts & Culture Commission.
As a Board Member of the Campbell Historical Museum Foundation, I helped put on our Summer Concert Series, working with local artists to host free shows downtown. As Councilmember, I will use social media to continue to promote local artists and cultural groups on the City’s behalf and showcase their work through City events.
I will also engage with these local artists and cultural groups as a voice for local issues, such as inviting them to join the new Arts & Culture Commission.
I will use my network to create exciting author signings and cultural events at no cost to the community.
Additionally, I will support children’s programming, such as participating in community storytime. These events can be held at Campbell Library, through the Campbell Historical Museum, or in partnership with local bookstores.
I will work with the Campbell Youth Commission to support student pathways to the arts in Campbell public schools.
This may include inviting the Campbell Artist of the Year or other local artists to speak with students and opening up career and mentoring opportunities. I will also work with the newly-created Arts & Culture Commission to highlight student artwork.
In the 1990s, Campbell utilized the public parking lot on E. Campbell Street (currently next to Orchard Valley Coffee) for free Movie Nights open to the entire community. These were supported from private funds and run by volunteers but free to all.
I will explore bringing these back—when public health allows—as a free community event.
"For me, this was the America of James Dean, Jack Kerouac, JFK, Haight-Ashbury, Memphis, Lubbock and New Orleans. That the vision of America these songs painted so vividly in my mind might not have been made for me never once crossed my mind."