Democracy is a daring concept...a hope that we’ll be best governed if all of us participate in the act of government. It is meant to be a conversation, a place where the intelligence and local knowledge of the electorate sums together to arrive at actions that reflect the participation of the largest possible number of people. - B. Eno
I am so excited to announce my candidacy for the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC) in the June Primary Election on June 7. The DCCC registers voters, meets to take positions on key legislation, and endorses candidates. I am seeking election to the DCCC from Assembly District 19, the westside of San Francisco, where there are 10 seats up for election (and over 20 candidates in the race!).
I am running for 3 primary reasons:
To bring education issues to the forefront of the Democratic Party. I am in my second term on the San Francisco Board of Education, having just completed my tenure as President, and it is very clear to me that that party must prioritize education, locally, state-wide, and nationally. While state funds are flowing to school districts at the highest levels in recent years, we are barely reaching funding levels equal to what we had in 2007. California continues to rank towards the bottom of all states in per pupil funding. This must change. Education is too important to continue to short-change. We need to register more parents and young people to get results.
To put responding to the scourge of human trafficking on the party agenda. The FBI has named San Francisco on its top 13 list of cities for child sex trafficking. According to State Attorney General Kamala Harris, California is one of the nation's top 4 destination states for human trafficking. We need to raise awareness among voters to end modern day slavery.
To elect a Democrat to the White House. The country is at a turning point in terms of national politics. We have witnessed a presidential candidate engage in rhetoric riddled with overt bigotry. We must stand up, fight back, and elect Hillary Clinton as President!
I have been a life-long Democrat. In a previous life, when I worked in Tokyo, I served as President of Democrats Abroad Japan. In 1992, I represented the club at the Asia Regional Caucus in Hong Kong where we introduced a platform plank condemning hate crimes. I took the proposal to the Global Caucus of Democrats Abroad in Rome and to the 1992 Democratic National Convention held at Madison Square Gardens. The following year, I joined the first Clinton White House as a Director of International Economic Affairs for the National Economic Council/National Security Council to work on trade issues.
Since returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996 to pursue a doctorate degree in communication at Stanford and start a family, I have been deeply engaged in public policy, first as a Commissioner on the Status of Women, appointed by Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., then, in 2004, as Executive Director of the Department on the Status of Women, appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, where I have served ever since, proud to be working for Mayor Edwin Lee to advance the human rights of women and girls in San Francisco and beyond.
My husband and I are raising two daughters who are students in San Francisco public schools. After years of advocacy for quality public education, I was elected to the San Francisco Board of Education in 2010, the first Japanese American to ever do so in the board's 160+ year history, and re-elected in 2014 as the top vote-getter, with over 80,000 votes. I have worked on anti-bullying projects, strengthening foreign language pathways, crafting a Vision 2025, and focusing on African American student achievement.
Now I am ready to work with fellow Democrats to strengthen the party, register voters, and engage community leaders on issues we care about most. Please join me!
P.S. To vote for DCCC in the June election, you must be a registered Democrat. If you are unsure, or have registered Undeclared in the past and would like to vote in the Democratic Primary on June 7, please submit a new voter registration card (go to Voter Resources on my website). Also, my name will only appear on ballots in Assembly District 19. Please help me spread the word to voters on the westside of San Francisco. Every vote counts!