I considered running this election for District 3. I was encouraged by friends, family and neighbors. But then recalled my aversion to long meeting zoom meetings. The City Council should consider and enact a policy that all private electronic communications with the public during a meeting should be made part of the public record.
When I evaluate new candidates, I first the examine the relevance of a candidate’s personal and professional experience – relevant to ascending to council being a council member - especially experience with city commissions that have voting authority.
I was intrigued by Chelsea Nguyen's background - 40 year MP resident and Air Force veteran. When I ultimately met Chelsea a few weeks ago, I knew Menlo Park deserves and should have someone with constitution on the Council. What I observe as her largest strength: courage, a part of her DNA. Her volunteer work is exceptional: being a single working mother with a special needs child and still putting all her energy anytime she's needed.
Chelsea is passionate about the issues. She gets emotional when talking about them. For her, it's never about the talking points, just to get elected. She is an independent thinker, not a puppet for anyone. I know if elected, she will listen and do what is best for Menlo Park. She is not swayed by money, power and politics. She told me if elected, she will probably be the poorest City Council member ever. She is as real as they come.
Chelsea mentioned in one of our conversations that she is not ashamed of her life challenges life has tossed her path. When she related that she came from Vietnam I had images of helicopters landing on the rooftop of the American Embassy in Saigon; of being poor, being harassed, discriminated against, other social injustices. She told me her life is the "sum" of who she is, all good and bad roll into one, and she is glad for it. She has grit.
We have never had anyone like her running in our City. She is real. She is a breath of fresh air. She has all the right stuff.
Please join me in welcoming her to the council. We need someone like her: integrity, courage and not easily bought.