A resident of Belle Haven in Menlo Park, Cecilia will bring her passion for education, social equity, and the desire for positive change to the Menlo Park City Council.
“While I was being interviewed by the New York Times, many things came to mind to ensure that integrity, transparency, accountability, and equity are a priority when I speak. The Chan Zuckerberg Institute awarded a grant to my organization because work cannot be done without financial resources. We are a grassroots organization that has boots on the ground, knocks on doors, and attends community events to engage with the community. We want to learn what the needs are, and to find out if we are effectively meeting those needs.” Read Article
“The health and safety of children in the community and seniors has always been one of my biggest priorities. The primary focus of safe routes is on educating youth about the safe ways to get to and from school, walking or biking. Our neighborhood absorbs approximately 70,000 cars per day as our streets are used to access the Dumbarton Bridge, Bayfront, and Highway 101. The entrances to our community are connected to highways and freeways. We must prioritize creative solutions to protect our school-children and improve pedestrian safety. Read Article
“My goals have been about being effective and encouraging my community to be engaged in civic issues. After my initial run for city council, I became more aware and involved in the everyday needs of my community and now, every day is about working towards how I can do my best….” Read Article
“As I sat at Mr Clark’s funeral and listened to his accomplishments during the years he lived in Menlo Park, it saddened me that none of our local elected officials were present. I felt that Mr. Clark needed to be honored and the idea was born about naming a park after him. The significance of the park is that he helped build the Boys & Girls Club across the street. He was also key to building the Onetta Harris Community Center, which is the heart of our community. Mr. Clark deserves all the glory for his contributions to the community of Belle Haven.” Read Article
Cecilia is the Founder and Executive Director of Belle Haven Action, an advocacy and social justice group. Its mission is to work with corporate, city, and civic organizations to encourage transparency and accountability, engage with the community, and connect those in needs with local resources. Read Article
Cecilia is deeply passionate in serving the community through different roles and positions:
Menlo Park Rotarian
Belle Haven School Site Council Member
Member of the Belle Haven Neighborhood Association, Bayside of Menlo Park
Board Member, Willow Lending
Member of Community Trust
My family has lived in Menlo Park for three generations, so Menlo Park is my home. After attending local schools, I attended San Francisco State University where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. I also earned a Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Cañada College. Since 1985, I have worked in the education field either as an instructor or tutor.
For more than 10 years, I served on the Adhoc Advisory Board for San Mateo County Housing Authority and as volunteer for East Palo Alto Teen Home, and as a volunteer tutor for a Homeless Shelter. This community service experience has educated me on what quality of life means to children and adults and/or given me the tools to find where I can be most effective.
In addition to my work as a private tutor for youth and adults, I’m committed to improving the safety, economic development, and prosperity of Menlo Park and its residents.
When I see my neighbors and my community, I often contemplate our quality of life. Are we safe in our homes and on the roads? Is my neighbor financially sound or is she at risk of being pushed out of Menlo Park as result of the insufficient supply of affordable housing? Are there adequate employment opportunities for residents of all incomes and educational levels? Is there equity in public services and education across neighborhoods in Menlo Park?
I have made it my goal to educate my neighbors on the power of civic engagement and encourage them to actively participate in the meetings and events that shape the present and future of Menlo Park. I know civic participation is a powerful tool, a tool that has the power to influence and enhance the state of our neighborhoods and our general quality of life. I regularly attend our city commission meetings, I’m actively involved in the Connect Menlo project, and I attend and participate in our community events.
Through my active community engagement, I believe that we as a community need to improve safety and reduce traffic impacts, increase the supply of affordable housing, find ways to expand residents’ employment opportunities, and ensure equity in public services and education.
I want to ensure that Menlo Park residents are aware of the issues that our City faces and that all residents’ voices are heard and sincerely considered when decisions are made at the government level.
As a renter, I want to protect our community from constant turn over and outrageous rents. As an educator, I want to ensure that our children are receiving equitable education regardless of the neighborhood we live in. As your neighbor, I want us all to be safe inside and outside of our homes.
Now is the time for the City of Menlo Park to encourage positive and responsible development for all our communities. From the hills to the bay, all neighborhoods need preservation from the unprecedented growth our City has approved. Menlo Park can and must be creative, innovative, and progressive in how it manages growth.
Menlo Park. Five Districts. One City.
Contact Cecilia to help with her campaign.