A SCIENTIST DRIVEN TO PUBLIC SERVICE

Dear Neighbor,

 

I will work for you in the State Assembly to address California’s core challenges: housing, homelessness, and climate change. As a scientist and neighborhood leader, I will tackle these issues with all my technical training, the urgency they demand, and a commitment to improving your life, your family’s life, and our community.

Being a scientist has taught me to look at a problem carefully, dig into the data, and ask the right questions. I have a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Chicago and I have been a researcher at UCLA and the Carnegie Observatories. Science is a tool I use to map out complicated systems and understand why things happen. Science helps me break down daunting problems into manageable pieces and find solutions that work in the real world. 

My life in science was a privilege, but after the 2016 election, I felt compelled to join other Californians in standing up for our values of truthfulness, compassion, and justice. Volunteering for the California Democrats as a door-to-door canvasser in LA County, I listened to the hopes and fears of hundreds of people. These connections made me want to do more, so I ran for my Neighborhood Council, the level of government closest to the people of Los Angeles. 

Going door to door in my neighborhood, I heard a common story: my neighbors were worried about being able to afford the cost of living in our community, and they wanted to do something to help their neighbors living on the streets. These problems are not separate from the dire manifestations of climate change we are facing, and their solutions will require a systemic approach and an attitude of civic grace.

Here are some of the pressing issues I have addressed as my neighbors’ elected representative on the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council:

  • When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, I led an effort to make sure every senior in Hollywood had enough to eat. For two months, I worked with hundreds of volunteers to fight isolation, hunger, and fear as we delivered over 32,000 lbs of fresh fruit and vegetables and made check-in calls to more than 700 seniors in 5 languages. That work brought together residents, nonprofits, police officers, the chamber of commerce, and every government from the neighborhood to the federal level. It has grown into The Hollywood Harvest, a new, award-winning nonprofit where I serve on the founding board.
  • Along with directly helping unhoused people get the services and housing they need, I brought the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition’s neighbor-to-neighbor street outreach to Hollywood and became a founding board member of Hollywood4WRD–a coalition of residents, service providers, and business leaders dedicated to ending homelessness. 

I am a renter and live with my partner Dr. Lindsay Young, a professor of health communications at USC. I like to cook, eat, run, and do the crossword. My parents, now retired, live in New Jersey where I grew up. They raised me to believe that our Jewish faith requires a commitment to building a better world. My grandfather, a veteran of D-Day on Omaha Beach, taught me to stand up for what I believe in—and I believe it is our duty to make a good life possible for everyone in California.

My neighbors and Neighborhood Council experience have shown me what we can achieve together. State government must do more to live up to our values of opportunity and inclusivity. When most of my neighbors are paying more than a third of their income in rent—forcing them to choose between paying their bills, saving, and buying the basics—and when 460 people in my neighborhood alone are living on the streets, I know that Sacramento has to change. The first step is to change the people we send there.

I want to serve you in the State Assembly, but I can’t do it alone. If you share my vision for a more just and prosperous California, please sign up below to join our campaign.

Work for California.

Work with us.

 

Service is a core ethos of our campaign, we have many volunteer opportunities available, but we are also happy to connect you with other organizations doing great work.