Arvada's style of a city manager for government is actually a lot like a non-profit structure with a board, executive director, and staff. I am well qualified to serve on city council, which acts as the board for the city, because I've worked in this type of structure my entire working career. I know what typically costs organizations the most, where we can cut back on waste, and how to ensure that we have a diverse source of revenue to keep our local economy stable.
I enlisted in the Army in 2001 at a Nuclear Biological Chemical Weapons Specialist. Since it was in the National Guard, I could go to college at the same time. I worked for a non-profit while attending college called Hand of Hope, where we offered assistance to the unhoused by working with supermarkets to take food donations and give it to the people who needed it the most.
In college, I attained a certification in non-profit management demonstrating excellence in fundraising, budgeting, strategic planning, human resources, operations, volunteer programs, and service effectiveness. My major was in political science because I knew that NGO's had a positive affect on government and studied the intersections of government and non-profits.
I worked for a fundraising consulting firm, Paul J. Strawhecker and then for Woodmen of the World, a non-profit membership based life insurance society. During this time I felt called to ministry and began working on my Master's of Divinity. I served on multiple non-profit boards for veteran, poverty, and voting right causes during this time. I also worked for Church of the Larger Fellowship.
Moving to Denver after my enlistment period concluded, my first job in the area was as the communications and political director for Padres & Jóvenes Unidos, now Moviemiento Poder. I then was called to a congregation in Carbondale Colorado where we worked with the undocumented community to provide basic protections from federal government over reach. Working at the intersection of faith and politics, I was tapped to be the national faith engagement director for the Pete Buttigieg campaign, and then the western states director.
I then worked with Election Defenders, using my military, faith, and government experience to bring together clergy and veterans to defend polling locations from white supremacists. This program helped over 2 million voters stay safe at the polls, and trained thousands of voter protection volunteers.
Today, I work for the Rainforest Action Network on the climate and energy program, working with corporations to listen to those voices on the frontlines who are experiencing the most harm from climate disaster. Our organization works with corporations to ensure they have the very best climate plans that make real change. I am also on the bargaining committee at Rainforest Action Network to ensure our workers have the best contract, with the help of our local CWA 9415.
In the 20 years I have worked for non-profits, unions, and the military, I have done everything from basic volunteering to building a national program that helped millions in under 6 months. My experience means I'm truly equipped to bring our community together to win the progress we need for all of our families.