I am a land use lawyer with 40 years of experience representing public agencies, developers, builders, Indian tribes, and non-profit organizations, in connection with a broad range of land use and environmental issues, including water resources. I hold a Ph.D. in urban planning and have been admitted to the American Institute of Certified Planners. I have taught courses in law and urban planning at the University of Southern California, UCLA, UC Irvine and UC San Diego, and I write and lecture regularly on land use and environmental issues.
In addition to my legal practice, I am a credentialed mediator affiliated with the Land Use & Environmental Mediation Group of the National Conflict Resolution Center. I also provide strategic planning facilitation services to non-profit organizations and public agencies.
For many years, I have been involved in policy and regulatory issues pertaining to water quality and water supply. I have served in several appointed positions relating to water, including as Chair of the City of San Diego Wetlands Advisory Board, as Chair of the San Diego City Council Water Policy Implementation Task Force, as a Director of the San Diego River Park Foundation, as a member of the San Diego Bay Water Quality Improvement Plan Consultation Panel, as a member of the City of San Diego Pure Water Working Group, and as a member of the City of San Diego Water Sustainability Stakeholder Working Group.
I am a grantwriter specializing in social and scientific/technical projects development (and also an experienced biotech regulatory affairs specialist) with a proven track record of strategically advancing the high-level objectives and achieving specific goals of mission-based organizations, both community (nonprofits) and corporate entities. I enjoy researching funding opportunities, rapidly absorbing technical information and cutting-edge initiatives to advise and engage the organizations I represent. From planning complex projects involving staff/consultant subject matter experts to producing timely, high quality outcomes such as winning grant proposals, I credit my successes to the skills of others as well as my own curiosity and commitment to accuracy (M.S. in Psychology, statistics (Tulane, 1983). I worked in-house and on contract for 30 years (starting in 1983 as deputy Chief Editor for Sociological Abstracts; Assistant Director and Director of Development for major local community services agencies [AFL-CIO Labor Community Services Agency and Neighborhood House Association]; 1994-2000 for the UCSD School of Medicine’s centers, programs and researchers; and 2000-2013 with Ligand, CancerVax and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals), where I ensured accurate documentation from planning to reporting. In planning, I often convened multi-disciplinary teams to consider relevant and impactful issues extending beyond the scope of single departments and single sectors. As a collaborative thinker, I enjoy working with and motivating leaders from different organizations, cultures and backgrounds, to help advocate and promote bridging initiatives for community/economic development (jobs, healthcare) benefits based on unifying social principles (human rights and environmental justice) as well as scientific facts and models. Water security, for example, is the advocacy issue unifying San Diego’s major industries such as biotech and brewing, since our region is at the dry end of long water delivery pipelines from northern California and the Colorado River. Western states recognize now that we must strengthen regional resilience in the face of climate change, which will increase aridity and reduce these traditional sources of water for San Diego. Given that our groundwater resources are minimal, and yet we all want to continue living here, I believe (as the daughter of an engineer and a social justice-minded programmer), that the next big project is to collaboratively solve this important near-future problem by accelerating low-energy tech innovations that maintain our water purity, along with regulations and incentives for widespread water reuse.
I am Vice Chair of the South Area San Diego County Democratic Party, the executive in charge of Democratic Party activities in the South Area of the County, an area roughly from the 94 to the border and the ocean to the mountains. In 2014, Democrats won 23 of 27 races by turning out Democratic voters, teaching them to vote all the way down the ballot and by presenting our message which is about our community engaging cross-over Republican voters. I’ve been responsible for oversight of field Campaign offices, fundraising, party and candidate strategies, communication and messaging.