I have the experience — both professional and civil — the vision, and the leadership abilities to continue to move Palm Springs forward.
I was born in Canada near my grandparents’ farm in North Dakota to parents who were both American citizens. I was born in a Canadian hospital because it was the closest hospital to my grandparents’ farm — but yes, I am an American citizen!
While living in Chicago, my parents divorced when I was 2 years old. As a young boy growing up in Chicago, life was pretty meager. My mom Elaine and I lived in a one-room apartment.
I got my drive and passion, and learned many life lessons from her and my stepfather, an electrician. They firmly instilled in me an understanding that life can be tough, and you don’t always get what you want. I learned at a very young age that nothing is free, and any success you can achieve comes only through hard work.
My first job came at the age of 14, as what was lovingly called a soda jerk at Romano Drugstore. During my senior year in high school, I landed the job I had always wanted: working in a bank. It was only a part-time after-school position, but it was my foot in the door.
I would remain at Continental Illinois National Bank of Chicago for 15 years, with the last few years in International Banking in Los Angeles. I have to say I remember the day my plane touched down in Los Angeles, and the feeling that I had arrived in the place I was meant to be.
Eventually I would join Bank of America where I would spend the next 19 years still living my dream. I eventually had the opportunity to move to San Francisco. While I had wonderful work opportunities in San Francisco, the best part of the move was meeting Michael Amaro, who quickly became my best friend, confidant, then domestic partner and eventually my husband. This coming August we will celebrate 28 years together and 11 years married.
I moved to US Bank in 2006, and in January of 2011, Michael and I came to Palm Springs to investigate living here. I think it was about two hours into house-hunting that we made up our mind. By May 2011, we were here to stay.
I retired in 2014 and spent the next year attempting to learn how to be retired. But I was left feeling that I needed to give back and needed to find my way.
I attended a City Council meeting at my friend Lisa Middleton’s suggestion. As fate would have it, that night Ginny Foat looked out into the Council chamber and asked people to consider applying for positions as Commissioners. She explained that Commissions are an opportunity to serve our community in an important way. I was inspired.
I applied to serve on the Parks and Recreation Commission. That became a stepping stone to the Police Advisory Board, LGBTQ Outreach, City Council Sub-Committee on Homelessness, the City Council Sub-Committee for the Downtown Park and the CDBG Grant Committee. I also became involved in One-PS and the Mainstreet Meetings. I value any opportunity to understand our neighborhoods and get to know and understand the businesses in our downtown corridor, and their concerns and issues.
Now, I am running for Pam Springs City Council for District #1, and asking for your vote. Let's work together to build an even better Palm Springs.