Assembly District 65

District

BallotName

EBoard(*)

SelfIdentifiedFemale (SIF) OtherthanSIF (OSIF)

65 Jose Trinidad Castaneda No OSIF
65 April Madison No SIF
65 Aaron Wodka No OSIF
65 Miguel Alvarez No OSIF
65 Mesbah M Islam No OSIF
65 Izeah R. Garcia No OSIF
65 Jesus Beltran  No OSIF
65 Monique C Davis No SIF
65 John Vassiliades * OSIF
65 Bobbi-Lee Smart * SIF
65 Senorina Estrada No SIF
65 Carolina Mendez No SIF
65 Faisal Qazi No OSIF
65 Patricia Tutor No SIF
65 Allison N Guzman No SIF
65 Michael Rodriguez No OSIF
65 Saara Suliman * SIF
65 Alfredo Heredia No OSIF
65 Barbara Standley No SIF
65 Pamela Thakur No SIF
65 Aaruni Thakur No OSIF
65 Eric Barlow No OSIF
65 Rebecca Kovacs-Stein No SIF

Candidate Statements

My fellow Dems!

Jose Trinidad Castaneda here, running to represent you as your delegate. I have served our community and Party as a Delegate, Democratic Club Leader, Campaign Manager, City Commissioner, South Coast AQMD Youth Council member, and Fullerton School District Personnel Commissioner. I work 24/7 as a proud climate justice organizer, and have helped bring greater attention to our VOC/PFAS water contamination in Assembly District 65, and big transformative shifts towards clean energy through Community Choice Energy across the county.

I would be honored to earn your vote to represent our district. I’ve worked & volunteered on multiple campaigns to elect local Democrats, and serve as Communications Director in Orange County’s first LGBTQ dem club, the Lavender Democrats.

During this pandemic, I was fortunate enough to survive COVID. In quarantine, I battled every symptom, from shortness of breath, fevers, fatigue, coughing, vomiting, and I could not for the life of me leave out the fact that I want you to protect yourself and others by listening to the science and public health officials. Wear a mask. Stay safe!

So if you want to ensure we have great leadership that uplifts Black, Indigenous and People of Color, LGBTQ people, youth, climate activists, working families, and all Democrats that seek to improve our communities and protect the people we love, then VOTE FOR JOSE TRINIDAD CASTANEDA.

Visit josetrinidadcastaneda.com for more info. Contact jose4fullerton@gmail.com or call me anytime at 714-264-0763.

With humility,

Jose Trinidad Castaneda

Jose Trinidad Castaneda

As a current public education, middle school History teacher, I have the honor of teaching students about Early United States’ History and representative government. As a California native and resident of our district for more than 15 years, I am a concerned citizen and committed to the well-being of our great state. I have had the opportunity to serve our community not only as a public school teacher but also as a past member of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the city of Buena Park. It would be my honor to represent our district as an Assembly District Delegate. Please vote for me, April Madison. Thank you!

Watch Video

Mrs. April Madison

Fellow Democrats –

I’m humbly asking for your vote to represent our district as a delegate to the party. I believe my contributions as a campaign worker, local activists, and passionate Democrat make me the type of delegate you want representing our community.

I have spent years working on major political campaigns here in California. My background includes:

– Northwest Deputy Finance Director, Kamala Harris for the People (Presidential Campaign)

– Finance Director, Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent

– Special Assistant, John Chiang for Governor

– Finance Aide, Hillary for America

I also serve on the Democrats of North Orange County (DNOC) executive board as the Program and Finance Chair. I support the board to secure and facilitate our unique swath of guest speakers to ensure the club is engaged and informed. I also secured and led the club’s successful fundraiser with Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis that raised thousands of dollars which resulted in the club being able to give local democratic candidates hundreds of dollars in support of their campaigns.

I love our community – the 65th district – and have lived here for roughly ten years. I’m a proud Fullerton College and USC grad. I’m currently pursuing my MPA at Cal State Fullerton.

I welcome any questions you might have about my candidacy. Please feel free to email me at aaronwodka@gmail.com. I appreciate your consideration and ask for your support as we build a stronger and more inclusive party.

Respectfully, Aaron Wodka

Aaron Wodka

Throughout my career as a higher education administrator, I led partnerships for K-12 public schools, community colleges and universities through an equity lens. I have managed multi-million dollar budgets, while leading student success initiatives. Through education, I have created opportunities for students and faculty to engage in our democracy and created new clubs and programs centered in equity and inclusion.

I believe our district deserve better opportunities and greater access to critical services and resources. I will represent our district as a delegate to ensure that we have a champion who will fight for underrepresented communities.

We must build a better country, state, and local government that will support members of our community.

I am embedded in our local community and am involved with the Democrats of North Orange County, Lavender Democrats, and support local Democrats on issues that our community face.

I have made this district my home for over 20 years and am a product of this community. I am first generation college graduate who holds degrees in Political Science and Ethnic Studies.

As and openly gay Latinx leader, it is my mission to bring others up and along with me and fight for social justice and equity. I would be honored to earn your vote.

Miguel Alvarez

Miguel Alvarez

Hello Democrats! My name is Mesbah Islam. I am honored to be running as an ADEM in this crucial year. My journey into California politics began by volunteering as many hours as I could to help others win their races. Knowing how consequential an election 2016 was going to be, I then decided to make an impact and run for state Assembly when I lived in the 73rd District, the second reddest in the state. Knowing I had an uphill battle, I forged ahead to get well over 70,000 votes in this district. I then served as deputy policy director for the Orange County Young Democrats, as well as the Democratic Party of Orange County. It was the honor of my life to be able to vote for now Congresswoman Katie Porter at the 2018 CADEM Convention to be endorsed by the party, when I served as an ex officio delegate.

I am not only a child of immigrants, but an immigrant myself, having come to the United States at only 4 years old. I ran for public office at the age of 27. I served as an ex officio delegate at the age of 28 and 29. I became an officer for the California Young Democrats environmental caucus at 29. I spent my teen years volunteering for the Obama campaign. I could go on and on about the many organizations I was involved in devoted to fighting for racial justice, environmental justice, civil liberties, and economic justice. But alas, I am not on this platform and running for this seat for me.

My credo has always been one of service. I believe whole-heartedly that the purpose of life is to leave a mark, to create an impact, that will improve the lives and the lot of generations to come. No matter what we do, we must all contribute in some form or fashion to ensure that the water we drink is cleaner, the air we breathe is purer, the way we interact with our fellow citizen is more understanding and empathetic, and that the policies we pass are more transformative for those who live among us and for those who come after us.

I am not in this fight for me. I am in this fight for WE. I want to be your ADEM delegate to ensure that this Democratic party is one that fights to ensure to its fullest potential the utmost well being of every Californian. I thank you for your consideration and appreciate your vote.

Mesbah M Islam

Hello Democrats!

My name is Izeah Garcia and I’m running to represent progressives, labor advocates, and YOU as a delegate to the California Democratic Party. As a young, Latino Democrat in the 65th District, I believe that my experiences as a homegrown student of Fullerton public schools, as a national party staffer, and currently, as a local labor organizer, prepare me to represent the interests of our community.

As a Deputy Director for the Democratic National Committee I helped:

Pass superdelegate reform

Elect Senator Doug Jones (D-AL)

Campaign in battleground races across the country

Currently, as a Political & Community Organizer for the National Union of Healthcare workers I’ve helped:

Create a statewide COVID-19 testing standard for patients and hospital workers

Ensure COVID-19 protections for hospital workers throughout Orange County

Elect Democrats throughout OC and the rest of Southern California

If elected, I will use my past experience as a party staffer and my current experience as a labor organizer battling the COVID crisis to advocate for a Democratic Party that elects candidates that support the interests of working people and protect the health of our community. I loved growing up in Fullerton and believe in serving the community that helped mold me into the activist I am today.

I hope I can count on your support. If you’re interested in hearing more about me, you can reach me at igarcia@nuhw.org.

Your Friend,

Izeah

Izeah Garcia

Thank you for your consideration my fellow Democrats,

I am asking for your vote to represent our district as a party delegate. My passion as an advocate, volunteer, and lifelong Democrat makes me someone you will want representing you and our community.

My family and I have lived in district 65 and Orange County for over 20 years. As a business Executive, mother and housing advocate I understand, the changing needs of the community. My years of service and experience giving back to our community include but are not limited to:

•Volunteering for the Buena Park Community Resource Center

•Buena Park Collaborative Working Group Member: Supporting the Underserved

•Affordable and Fair Housing and Voter Rights Advocate at the Federal, State and local levels

•Campaign volunteering for Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and, Barack Obama

•Community organizer and activists for People who experienced homelessness and poverty

My passion and work experience in housing finance and providing access to housing for every Californian has lead me to this moment and to ask for your vote. I have seen how many Californians are struggling to find and maintain affordable housing, while also accessing jobs and careers that sustain salaries that make the American Dream a continued possibility.

If I receive your vote, I will work hard in making our community heard, and inclusive. I am committed to bring our community and the Democratic party together on a grassroots level to help break down barriers, solve the coming challenges ahead, and making our party stronger. I am passionate about the follow areas:

•Protecting Voter rights for everyone

•Bring everyone together to focus on our values supported by the Democratic Party

•Proving education that prepares our students for college and careers

•Safe & Environmentally Conscious Communities

•Women’s rights

•Affordable Health Care for everyone

If elected I will listen to all voices, represent our community with dignity, respect and look to the future. Please let me know if you have questions and feel free to contact me at mcdavis8457@yahoo.com.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Monique C. Davis

Link to video statement

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Monique+Davis+ADem+Statement

Monique Davis

A Pledge to my fellow Democrats,

I am honored to run again as an ADEM delegate and as your E-Board representative. Since my college years I have been a union member, first working at the Hyatt Hotel in Long Beach.

After graduation in 1982 with honors with an MSCE degree, I joined my current union, the Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG) and now am licensed Civil Engineer and Project Manager for the California Department of Transportation. I have been a lifelong democrat and a proud union member and a senior officer of PECG http://pecg.org/ for over 3 decades.

Since 2009 I have been attending all CDP E-Board meetings and in 2015 Chair John Burton appointed me to Resolutions Standing Committee which I still serve as a member. I am a devoted democratic activist since high-school and it is an honor to fight for liberty, justice and equality.

I have always volunteered for the Democratic Party for each election, registering new voters, doing fund raisers, walking precincts, in GOTV efforts, phone banking and mail handling for various candidates who run in local, state or federal elections.

I have 37 years of public service; received numerous honors and distinctions working for the State of California, from US and State elected officials and from Los Angeles Office of Education as an executive board member of LA County Science Fair committee. I have helped bring good results in Orange County by spearheading outreach events and fostering a partnering alliance between my union and the CDP. I pledge to continue this path to make us stronger, and:

•I support working peoples’ rights, organized labor & collective bargaining
•I will fight to protect public employment, fight the outsourcing of public jobs
•I support public education and will fight to improve the public-school system
•I will fight to halt the insidious scourge of contracting out of no-bid contracts
•I will work in support of the Single Payer Healthcare, protect Medicare & Social Security
•I will support human rights, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Immigration Reform
•I will work to overturn Citizen’s United & support Campaign Finance Reform
•I will work to protect religious freedom & the woman’s right to choose
•I support the GND initiative and will fight hard to protect our environment

John Vassiliades

My name is Dr. Bobbi-Lee Smart and I am hoping to gain your vote for ADEM to represent our district. I have lived in AD 65 for most of my life, at least 30 of my 36 years. I am from West Anaheim, an alumnus of Western High School, Cypress College, and Cal State Fullerton. Like Dr. Jill Biden, I have an Ed.D and am currently a part-time Sociology professor at 2 community colleges. I am also the Executive Director of an all part-time faculty union in Orange County. I am a delegate for the Orange County Labor Federation and was the Vice-President for Part-Time Faculty for a faculty union for 3 years.

I have been a delegate for the state party for 4 years and have been to every convention representing our district. I have spent these 4 years building relationships and having difficult conversations about how we move our party forward so that it represents all of us. My goals as a delegate are to get democrats elected to office and to build relationships between elected officials and community members.

As a sociologist, it is difficult for me to choose one issue to focus on as I identify as an Intersectional Feminist, which mean I understand that all of our identities are interrelated connected. It is important to me that we change our social structure so that we have a system that works for everyone. I believe we need living wages, affordable housing, tuition free college, affordable healthcare, affordable childcare, and an environment that will not kill us in the next 10 years.

As a millennial with a doctorate, I still cannot find full-time work in my field (teaching at a community college). Only 30% of faculty in the system are full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty and this impacts not just the part-time faculty, but the full-time faculty who are spread thin and the students who do not have consistency with professors from semester to semester or have professors who are working on multiple campuses and do not have the time to assist them outside of class. This also impacts our community as part-time faculty working on our college campuses are often unable to make ends meet. These issues in the community college system often go without notice and I hope as a delegate to continue my advocacy for part-time faculty and the community college system as a whole.

I hope I earn your vote and can continue being an advocate for AD65!

Dr. Bobbi-Lee Smart

Mi nombre es Senorina Estrada.

Soy una activista orgullosa de mi sindicato UNITE HERE LOCAL 11, mesera de banquetes en Balboa Bay Resort y Hilton Anaheim por 14 años, e inmigrante de Sonora, México y residente de Fullerton por un año.

Creo que el partida Demócrata necesita personas del movimiento laboral que sepan organizarse y luchar .

Prometo contribuir con mis habilidades Organizativas en beneficio de los candidatos demócratas y sus valores.

Senorina Estrada

Carolina “Carol” Mendez is a first generation, Mexican-American student in her senior year at California State University, Fullerton, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She currently serves as President of the College Progressives of CSUF, as well as Vice President of the College Democrats of CSUF. Due to her hard-earned reputation as a dedicated student leader, she was also invited to participate in the CSUF Campus Civic Engagement Working Group, where she will collaborate with faculty, staff, and other student leaders to engage the student body in civic engagement issues.

Ms. Mendez is proud to be the product of Orange County’s public education system. She graduated from Savanna High School in Anaheim, where she participated in student government and received the honor of delivering one of the valedictory addresses at her graduation ceremony in 2017. Recently, she was selected to represent her university at the statewide Sacramento Semester program, where she will begin an internship related to the development of environmental policy. She ultimately intends to pursue a Master’s Degree upon graduating university and seeks to work in promoting civic engagement at the local level in Orange County.

Carolina has experience working with local campaigns in various capacities, ranging from a congressional intern at an established organization to a volunteer at the grassroots level. She understands the importance of building sustainable infrastructures for communities to recognize and continue to amplify their political power.

Carolina Mendez is an empowered Progressive who is proud to campaign on the issues most important to those in her district, and she aspires to be a voice for the bold, transformative change that will ensure equity and prosperity for all.

Carolina Mendez

As a physician, at this time of a public health crisis, and as a recent Council Candidate for Fullerton City, I had the remarkable experience of connecting with hundreds of local residents where I gained keen insights into where we stood as Democrats. It became clear to me that while we have increased the number of Democrats in AD 65, there is still much groundwork. As we juggle the ever more critical issues of our current public health crisis, the impact of climate change, social and economic inequities, we have to deal with frivolous attempts at recalling legitimately elected Democrats as had happened in the recent past. As a delegate, I would work with our delegation and leaders on ‘recall’ reform.

As I write this statement, at the eve of the COVID-19 vaccine’s arrival, arguably one of the most remarkable scientific achievements of the modern era, my hospital (St Jude – Fullerton) has been overrun with its highest COVID census, and our ICU is over its capacity limit.

COVID-19 has proven to be both deadly and highly contagious, yet we have lacked coherent leadership to guide people through this challenging time, compounding the suffering of aggrieved families and sick/dying patients. However, very shortly, under a new administration, all this may change, and hope is once again restored. In AD 65 and at CDP, we must continue to highlight the critical lack of ‘equity’ in our society and continue to offer policy solutions to our present-day healthcare, economic and social inequities.

As a delegate, I will work with all those that

-seek racial justice,

-advocate for migrant parents who had their kids

snatched away from them,

-to reform the recall process of elected officials,

-healthcare equity,

-criminal justice reform,

-to advocate for small businesses,

-focus on economic recovery and protecting our working

families

-to place an emphasis on the mental health needs of our

young and old alike.

I humbly ask you to support me for AD 65 delegate so that together we can continue to push for a better tomorrow for all.

Faisal Qazi

Hello, my name is Mike Rodriguez, and I am excited to be running as an assembly delegate for District 65. I am a husband, a father of two, a teacher of 17 years, a site representative for my union, and a community activist who believes in change from the bottom up. I advocate for Health Care-4-All, a Green New Deal, affordable housing, Ethnic Studies, universal education for K-16, and the abolition of ICE. I believe it is time to put people before profits in order to build an economy that is fair and just. I hear about people’s struggles when I listen to my students. Some examples I have heard are stories about how a family of five has to rent one room of an apartment, how ICE is stopping mothers and fathers as agents pull into their mobile home lots to detain them, how single mothers are working two, sometimes three, jobs to make ends meet. These are just some of the stories, but together we can reverse the trends of the last forty years that have created the largest inequality of wealth in the United States since the Great Depression. Let’s enact policies that will address this pandemic and get people back to work. Please vote for the Party of the People in January!

Michael Rodriguez

Fellow Democrats:

If the last four years, let alone this tumultuous election cycle, have demonstrated anything, it’s that we still have a long way to go to ensure a better future for our country. Young voices, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are ushering in more progressive policies on the national level, but it’s up to us on the local front to create tangible, immediate change in our community where it’s needed.

I believe I can ensure this will happen, with new ideas and fresh, culturally-aware perspectives – something that we desperately need.

At the age of ten, I emigrated from North Africa with my mother and younger siblings, with not much more than hope and resilience in our pockets. For nearly ten years, I’ve been lucky to call this community my home. I’ve spent my formative years in Fullerton, attending Sunny Hills High and Fullerton College, and I’m a graduating senior at CSU Long Beach, obtaining my B.A. in Political Science.

With your vote, we can help ensure that the Democratic Party puts forth young voices like mine, progressive people and policies, to uplift our community. We all have a shared goal – let’s keep moving towards it.

Saara Suliman

I was born into an immigrant family with nothing to start off with, and it’s shaped my life to recognize, first-hand, the hardships that many marginalized communities face. My upbringing led me to register as a Democrat the day I was able to. I have remained a proud Democrat to this day.

I lost my job at the onset of the pandemic and have been unemployed since, but I’m currently working towards my BA in English at California State University, Long Beach.

I’m in tune with my community and it’s needs. I have working-class sensibilities and have vast experience in workplaces that employ a majority of this district’s residents. I’ve never lost sight of the sacrifices my family has made to get us to where we are.

The Democratic Party is meant to be a party for the people that won’t succumb to corporate wishes. I’m announcing my candidacy with a pledge to ensure the people’s voice—not corporations and the millionaire class—is represented if I’m graciously elected.

If you have any questions on where I stand on the issues, feel free to email me at alfredoheredia96@gmail.com

Thank you,

Alfredo Heredia (They/Them)

Alfredo Heredia

Hello every one,

My name is Barbara Standley. I am a proud Shop Steward in my Union, Unite Here Local 11. I work in Guest Services at the Hilton Anaheim for over 12 years. I have lived in Anaheim for 20 plus years and it is where my children and grandchildren went or are going to school now.

I believe the Democratic Party needs peolple from the Labor Movement, who know how to organize and fight. My goal is to truly listen to my community and to take action when and where needed. I believe we are on the cusp of a new beginning. Join with me, lets build a better, and stronger future together. This is our time and our moment. I promise that I will contribute all I have learn when it comes to organizing to benefit our democratic candidates and values.

Hola Todos,

Minombre es Barbara Standley. Me siento muy orgullosa

de ser lider en mi Union, Unite Here Local 11. Yo he trabajado en Servicio al Huesped en el Hilton de Anaheim por más de 12 años, y he vivido en Anaheim por más de veinte años en donde mis hijos y mis nietos fueron y van a las escuelas públicas.

Yo creo que el partido Demócrata necesita personas que provienen del Movimiento Laboral, quienes saben como organizar y como pelear. Mi meta es en verdad escuchar a mi comunidad y tomar acción cuando y donde sea necesitada. Yo creo que estamos en la cuspide de un nuevo comienzo, unamonos para construir un mejor y mas fuerte futuro, este es nuestro momento y hora. Yo prometo que contribuiré todo lo que he aprendido cuando se trata de organizar para beneficiar a nuestros candidatos demócratas y valores.

Barb Standley

Dear Democrats:

I am a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, lifelong resident and business owner in the 65th District. Over the past ten years, I have served as a delegate to represent our District for three (3) terms being elected twice and appointed once. My husband, Fullerton School Board Trustee Member Aaruni Thakur, and I are heavily involved in community activism in Fullerton where we are raising our two sons.

My background in politics began as an intern for Senator Barbara Boxer in 1998 while I studied political science at UCLA. After graduating from law school, I served as Vice President and President of the South Asian Bar Association’s Public Interest Foundation. I was appointed to the Federal Hass Avocado Commission from 2016-2017 and appointed to the City of Fullerton’s Citizen Infrastructure Review Committee from 2017-2019. I also served as Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Health Care Section and am serving as member of the OCBA’s legislative committee.

I am currently the Managing Attorney of Thakur Law Firm, APC based here in Fullerton. I believe my background in politics and the law along with my sincere passion to serve the community make me an ideal candidate for our District.

Thank you for your consideration!

Pamela Tahim Thakur

Pamela Tahim Thakur

Dear Democrats:

As a lifelong Fullerton District 4 resident, father, husband, attorney, and elected Fullerton School Board Trustee Member, I am currently serving Fullerton’s students and community. I was recently elected as the Clerk of the Fullerton School Board representing the constituents of the 65th District.

Serving as Trustee of the Fullerton School District for two years has given me insight into the issues important to Fullerton families. I also have served on the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Fullerton Library Foundation Board.

I look forward to continuing to represent this District as a Delegate to the Democratic State Convention. Recently I ran for Fullerton City Council and lost by a small number of votes, but was endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County, the Fullerton Firefighters, and the local Unions because of the Democratic values I believe in and support.

I hope to earn your vote as your representative in the 65th District.

Sincerely

Aaruni Thakur

Aaruni Thakur

I am a caretaker, community activist, and life-long resident of Orange County. I’m also a committed and proud Democrat, liberal, and progressive. It has been my privilege to represent this district as a delegate for the last 4 years and I am running to continue doing so, bringing my passion and judgment and values to the job and a voice to our community. I sincerely believe in our values, our community, and our institutions as Democrats, Californians, and Americans, but also know that belief isn’t sufficient in and of itself, but that they must be lived and worked towards. These are the things that deserve our regard and our efforts, to build them up as opposed to tearing them down. I’ve contributed, donated, phone-banked, and canvassed for candidates up and down the ballot, from local school board and city council races to our congressional delegation to the fight for the Senate and of course the White House. I’ve also most recently spent several months serving as a census enumerator, travelling far across the state and putting in long hours to ensure that everyone in California is counted and represented.

I am a Democrat for more reasons than I could articulate in a short statement, but our platform and our values are the things I support with conviction. A clean and sustainable environment, a growing and regulated economy that supports communities, workers, and consumers, racial and gender diversity/equality, LGBTQ+ rights and dignity, healthcare as a human right, living wages, labor, good governance, civil rights, fairness, decency, anti-racism, community, Black Lives Matter, opposition to authoritarianism, criminal justice reform, public education, higher education, and more are all areas where Democratic values are my values, and are right. If there’s something you care about, odds are I do as well.

In closing, I want to thank you for being a voter, thank you for being involved and taking part in selecting your delegates, thank you for your consideration, and I ask you for your support and hope I get your vote. If you have anything to discuss or any questions, please contact me at EricBarlow718@yahoo.com or text (714) 366-1926. And finally, on a personal note I will say that this run is in honor of my late grandmother, who always wanted me out there and doing what mattered to me and being involved and moving ahead. Thank you.

Eric

Eric Barlow

Honored in 2018 by the Orange County Register as one of the 100 most influential people in the county, I work with public officials, policy makers, non profits & attorneys to formulate sustainable solutions to homelessness. My time is spent developing relationships with homeless people, linking them to support services, & supporting their reintegration.

My advocacy work began 4 1/2 years ago, not long after a family member passed away after years of homelessness. Further compelled after being challenged by a peer to learn more about the issue, I felt the need to get involved. The impending dissolution of the Santa Ana riverbed encampment was where I began my current work.

I am currently a board member of OCPAC, outreach coordinator for HHROC, & steering committee member of the community health and wellness contingent of the Buena Park Collaborative & Resouce volunteer.

As part of these advocacy groups, I am engaged in addressing the immediate needs of many homeless people, while also lobbying for long-term government-funded solutions. It’s my belief that a resolution to this issue is based on a critical analysis of current homelessness policy, including the homeless “voice” in policy shift discussions, and moving forward thoughtfully, not reactively.

As a real estate agent operating in Orange County for 25 years, I’ve watched how housing market trends contribute to housing inequality, a major driver for homelessness. I’ve witnessed how outside monies enter communities and drive up rent costs not matched by living wages. Within this gentrification context, new disparities are made and existing ones are exacerbated.

Having lived in Orange County my entire life, I understand that fiscal responsibility, transparent governance, & integrous public officials are the cornerstones of our public institutions. I’m privileged to be a part of a homeless advocacy collaborative that demands local government utilize these principles to support local homeless citizens.

As your delegate, I will push for permanent housing and care management options that address a multitude of life settings, making reintegration a sustainable choice for homeless individuals. Not only will this paradigm shift better address the underlying issues that cause homelessness, it will alleviate strain on local emergency medical services, public works, & law enforcement.

Rebecca Kovacs-Stein