|I have been a Santa Monica resident for more than 25 years, and have lived almost all of my life in LA County. I grew up in Van Nuys, where I attended Los Angeles Unified School District public schools and then went on to UCLA.
My commitment to public service, which has continued throughout all of my adult life, was already evident back then, when I spent a summer as a volunteer teacher in "La Colonia de Oxnard." In 1967 I represented UCLA (along with former Santa Monica Mayor Christine Reed) at the National Student Association Congress in Baltimore. I also became active in the Peace Movement and the Women's Movement. In the 1970s I was a founding member of the Westside Women's Center and the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women. While living in Venice I was elected to the original Venice Town Council.
In 1976, I married Gene Oppenheim and accompanied him to Seattle where he completed his Family Medicine residency. While living there I gave birth to our first two children and helped start a community school. I was also part of a coalition that worked successfully to repeal the sales tax on food.
Gene and I, along with our sons, Jonas and Lucas, returned to Southern California in 1979, at which time we bought our present home in Santa Monica. The following year we opened our Family Medical Practice in Santa Monica, where I took on the role of business manager. Six weeks later our third child, Jed, was born.
In addition to running our practice, as my children were growing up I became active in the PTA and the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). I was a PTA board member at Franklin, Lincoln and Samohi schools as well as a PTA council vice-president. For AYSO, I was a commissioner, with Gene, for 6 years and also served as Region 20 Registrar.
Working to ensure a high quality education for all of our students remains a passion for me. This commitment led me to serve for 8 years on the Santa Monica-Malibu USD Board of Education, including two terms as its president. I have continued to be involved in school-related issues by serving on the District's Special Education Advisory Committee and on various bond and parcel tax committees. I also continue to serve on the District Intercultural Committee and the Financial Oversight Committee.
Another longtime concern of mine is affordable housing. I currently serve on the Board of Directors of Community Corporation of Santa Monica, a non-profit that builds and maintains affordable housing in Santa Monica.
I am also currently serving as vice-president of the Bayside District Corporation, which manages the public space in downtown Santa Monica, where my business background, both in our Family Medical Practice and with my family's retail establishment, has been a tremendous asset.
Public service has also been a high priority for my family. My husband Gene is a member of the Library Board of Santa Monica and a former member of the Commission on Older Americans and volunteer at the Venice Family Clinic. All three of my children, now young adults, have become volunteers and activists themselves.
I am now ready to put my many years of experience, in both the public and private sector, to work as a member of the Santa Monica City Council. I hope to bring my skills --of setting priorities, balancing budgets, and collaborating with others-- to help us build a better community.