WENDY IS – IN THE NEWS
Monterey County Homelessness summit examines root of problem
July 17, 2022 – “We have made tremendous progress in recent years to increase affordable housing, shelter beds and services that meet people where they are when they need our help,” said Monterey County’s District 4 Supervisor, Wendy Root Askew, in her closing remarks. “It’s hard to celebrate success when so many of our neighbors remain unhoused and in crisis. We have so much work ahead of us … we need all hands on deck, aligned and working together to implement our plans.”
Monterey County Board of Supervisors vote to create integrated health system
July 20, 2022
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted to support a plan by county officials to create an integrated health system.
During Wednesday’s county media briefing, Natividad hospital CEO Dr. Chad Harris said the vision is to create a patient-centered unified, sustainable Monterey County health system committed to improving the health of the entire community. Natividad is owned and operated by the county.
“Key elements of the direction that the Board of Supervisors provided to us were that they directed the director of health, the CEO (of Natividad) — myself — and the county administrative officer to work in partnership to build this integrated health system. … The second key item was they created an ad-hoc committee to provide guidance to this process,” Harris said. “The supervisors that were appointed were Supervisor (Chris) Lopez as well as Supervisor (Wendy) Root Askew, who have been very involved with the health system for a number of years.”
Root Askew said she was impressed with the plan that has been laid out. “When I broke my arm last summer and I was upstairs with my doctor … he put in a referral for physical therapy and I walked downstairs and (they) had the referral already in the system and I was able to schedule my appointment in the same space, in the same five-minute period,” she said. “Right now, our county clinic patients don’t have that ability to have that kind of integrated care and they deserve to have that kind of integrated care.”
In this week’s Central Coast Chat Wendy Root Askew talks women in leadership and her love of Monterey County
November 13, 2020 – We spoke with her for this week’s podcast about why she loves Monterey County, her priorities once she’s in office, and advice she has for women and mothers, like herself, who are looking to run for office.
Monterey County Weekly Endorsement Issue
October 8, 2020 – Askew is steeped in how county government works, and sees how to bring everyone along. “Since March, and recently during the fires, I’ve been reminded about the critical importance of relationships among elected and community leadership in times of crisis,” she says. “I’ve spent so many hours on the phone with elected school board members, city councilmembers, nonprofit directors, faith leaders and Facebook group administrators ensuring that they have accurate and timely information.”
“Vote for (Wendy Root Askew) to get a supervisor who tells it like she sees it.”
October 11, 2020, By Parker Seibold-
Wendy Root Askew, who is running for county supervisor, asked to be photographed in Fort Ord Dunes State Park. It’s a place that reminds her that those who came before her fought for open spaces. She was raised in an Army family, and remembers coming here from the Mojave Desert to visit her grandparents in Carmel when she was young.
“We would drive over the hill on Highway 1 between Marina and Seaside, and my mom would point and say ‘Look girls!’ and point at the ocean.” She didn’t always appreciate it as a kid, but now she gets just as excited as her mom did and adds, “Now I do the same thing with my son.”
October 8, 2020 – by Kate Cimini
Askew declined to comment on McShane’s flyer, saying she was focused on talking to voters about the issues that mattered to them, such as housing, economic recovery post-COVID, and public safety.
“From a values perspective, I think integrity and transparency are absolutely necessary and every resident should be able to expect that from their elected officials,” Root-Askew said. “I do believe we deserve to have leaders we can trust.”
October 10, 2020 – by Jim Johnson
Askew said she remains “committed to staying in touch” with the district’s 43,000 registered voters, and is gratified by the support she earned during the primary but will continue working to get out her message on housing, health care, water supply and other critical issues.
She noted the “landscape has changed significantly since the primary election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She noted she has “been at the center of the (local) COVID response” through her work as an aide to Parker and as a Monterey Peninsula Unified School District board member.
“We need to have experienced leadership on COVID-19,” Askew said, noting her knowledge of county government acquired during more than a decade working for the District 4 incumbent, who has endorsed Askew as her successor.
October 2, 2020 – with Claudia Meléndez Salinas and Oz Lucero
Our candidate interview series done in conjunction with Salinas Underground Podcast continues with Wendy Root Askew, who is looking to take over her boss’s place on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. She lays out some of her ideas and why she thinks the voters of South Salinas should elect her to represent them at the county level.
March 28, 2020 – Monterey County Weekly
The Monterey Peninsula Housing Coalition is committed to working with local property owners and various other stakeholders to find workable solutions that keep people housed during this time.
Our responsibility to keep our residents safe, now and and in the future, requires swift and bold action. Decisions we make today to ensure stable housing for our workforce will support our efforts to rebuild our economy once the immediate crisis of the virus passes.
Askew Leads way in District 4
March 4, 2020 – Monterey Herald – Jim Johnson
Wendy Root Askew, an aide to incumbent District 4 Supervisor Jane Parker, took an early lead in the race to replace her retiring boss in the presidential primary election Tuesday night.
Askew, a Monterey Peninsula Unified School District trustee, led Salinas City Councilman Steve McShane by 964 votes of the almost 12,700 ballots counted according to the final election night results. Askew’s vote total gave her about 44% of the vote to McShane’s 36.5%.
If no candidate gets 50% of the vote plus one, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
“I’m feeling good,” Askew said at her election night gathering at Post No Bills in Sand City. “I think the voters heard the message about the issues I care about like affordable housing and public safety. I’ve been working on those kinds of issues for a decade and I’ll continue working on them in the years to come no matter what happens (in the election).”
Askew Leads in Early Results
March 3, 2020 – Monterey County Weekly – Asaf Shalev & Sara Rubin
Early results show Wendy Root Askew leading the four-way race with 5,309 votes at 43.7 percent, followed by McShane with 4,457 votes at 36.7 percent, Alex Miller with 1,311 at 10.8 percent and Wini Chambliss with 1,062 at 8.8 percent. The top two vote-getters will go to a runoff in the general election in November.
“It’s an amazing feeling to have the support of so many people who share my values,” Askew says from her campaign’s watch party at Post No Bills in Sand City where she spent the evening surrounded by supporters including Jane Parker, the current District 4 supervisor who is retiring.
Her supporters throughout the night included a who’s-who of politicos: state senate candidate John Laird, County Supervisor Mary Adams, Del Rey Oaks Mayor Alison Kerr, Pacific Grove Councilmember Jenny McAdams, Marina Coast Water District President Tom Moore, Monterey Councilmember Tyller Williamson and union organizer Hector Azpilcueta among the guests.
March 3, 2020 – Monterey County Weekly Editorial Board
Askew is in her first term as an elected official, serving on the board of Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, and works as an aide to Parker, meaning she’s already dealing hands-on with the business of county government daily, giving her a running start. She’s big on constituent services and case management, which is a big behind-the-scenes part of the job.
“There are so many problems in a bureaucracy the size of the county,” she says. “There are no departments that are working perfectly and beautifully.”
Askew is the right person to try to fix those problems.
The “fire in her belly” comes from the work she’s done on the Health and Human Services Committee, like expanding county health clinic services – unglamorous, but essential work. She’s also thinking big on issues like housing (she’s a co-founder of the Monterey Peninsula Housing Coalition) and gun violence (she co-founded the local branch of Moms Demand Action).
District 4 Candidate Forums
Local organizations are hosting Candidate Forums to help the community learn more about all 4 candidates for the District 4 Supervisor seat. Wendy has been clear and consistent in her commitment to working towards affordable workforce housing, safe schools, compassionate response to homelessness, and qualty healthcare for all Monterey County residents.
Wendy Root Askew Officially Declares Candidacy for Board of Supervisors
Contact: Wendy Root Askew, 831-601-8285
With hundreds of individual supporters, Wendy has also received endorsements from community leaders and elected officials from across the County and state including State Treasurer Fiona Ma, former State Superintendent of Education Delaine Eastin, Monterey County Assemblymember Mark Stone, former Salinas Councilmember Jyl Lutes, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Trustee Dr. Bettye Lusk, Salinas Union High School District Trustee Sandra O’Campo, among others.
Wendy Root Askew for Supervisor Exceeds Fundraising Goals
County Leader Raises Six Figure Tally from Hundreds of Donors
FOR RELEASE on July 31, 2019
Contact: Wendy Root Askew, 831-601-8285
Monterey County, CA – The Wendy Root Askew for Supervisor campaign released its fundraising numbers today, showcasing strong support for the experienced County leader and Education Trustee to continue her leadership as the District 4 County Supervisor. District 4 is comprised of the communities: Sand City, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, East Garrison, CSUMB, Salinas, and Seaside.
As of June 30th, Wendy’s campaign has raised over $100,000 ($100,745.72) from over 450 contributors. Approximatley 85% of contributions were $200 or less – demonstrating Wendy’s grassroots support and deep ties to the County as a fourth-generation resident.
“I am incredibly honored by this outpouring of broad grassroots support. The people I have served for years as a high-level County staffer and MPUSD Board Trustee know me, and the work we have accomplished together. I am ready to hit the ground running as the next District 4 Supervisor, and continue delivering the results we need,” said Askew.
“The people of District 4 clearly value Wendy’s proven leadership and work on behalf of the communities we serve. Wendy’s leadership has strengthened safe neighborhoods, created jobs, and developed regional collaboration to address the housing needs of current residents and future generations,” said Supervisor Jane Parker who is retiring at the end of her term and has endorsed Wendy for the District 4 seat.
In addition to current Supervisor Parker, Wendy is endorsed by California Assemblymember Mark Stone, Seaside Mayor Ian Oglesby, Del Rey Oaks Mayor Alison Kerr, Sand City Mayor Mary Ann Carbone, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Trustee Regina Gage, Salinas Union High School District Trustee Anthony Rocha, MPC Trustee Yuri Anderson, MPUSD Trustees Debra Gramespacher and Dr Amanda Whitmire, former Salinas City Councilwoman Jyl Lutes, and many more community leaders.
MORE INFORMATION: VoteWendy2020.com
ABOUT WENDY: MPUSD Trustee Wendy Root Askew is a long-time champion of women, families, and youth in Monterey County and top legislative aide to retiring Supervisor Jane Parker. As Education Trustee, Wendy has expanded early childhood education and championed safe and healthy schools. As an aide to Supervisor Jane Parker, Wendy is deeply involved with serving the unique needs of every District 4 community, with a focus on addressing regional housing needs, crime prevention, and economic development.
The daughter of an Army veteran and educator, Wendy grew up in the County attending local public schools. Wendy earned a BS in Business Administration from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She returned home to establish, manage, and direct a local nonprofit providing early childhood development and parent education programs for local families. Prior to joining Supervisor Parker’s team, Wendy built and sold a successful industrial food brokerage company. Wendy lives in Marina with her young son, husband Dominick, and their pal and German Shepard puppy August Lovingcup.
Monterey County Herald, James Herrera, February 5, 2020
“MPUSD is continuing to explore the possibility of building teacher and employee housing in district-owned property,” Wendy Root Askew, MPUSD Board of Education member Area 1, said in an email.
MPUSD hires between 80-100 teachers a year which represents 20% of the teaching force and it knows that in order to sustain and build upon the progress of the last five-plus years it needs to support the teachers so that they can afford to live on the Monterey Peninsula, said Diffenbaugh.
“Housing has been identified as a major barrier to teachers staying in the district long term and therefore the district is focused on finding solutions,” said the Superintendent.
Monterey County Herald, Dennis Taylor, January 21, 2020
“No other country accepts gun violence rates as high as the United States,” said Wendy Root Askew, a member of the MPUSD board of trustees. “It is insane that we fail to take action given over 30,000 deaths and 80,000 injuries occur annually.”
Felix Cortez, February 2020
“The fire in my belly the reason for my running the passion that brought me into this work in the first place is really around making sure we providing comprehensive coordinated health and social service programs,” said Root Askew.
Root Askew is also a current board member of the Monterey peninsula unified school district board. She says she’ll fight for more government accountability and fiscal responsibility, and clean up the former Fort Ord.
Monterey County Herald, James Herrera, May 22, 2019
“Our kids matter,” said Wendy Root Askew, MPUSD board member. “It’s about what they need, what our teachers need, having a united voice and bringing the community together.”
Voices of Monterey Bay, By Andrea Patton, February 28
“Monterey Peninsula Unified School District trustee Wendy Askew is urging MPUSD to consider the excess land the district owns but does not need for educational purposes to be considered as workforce housing sites as one piece of the housing crisis puzzle.”
“For me, much of my work [for the county] has been looking at social issues. We’re talking the things that families need to be successful: from housing, to social services that work for people, to having communities you feel safe raising your kids in. In so many ways, that’s what the county does, and services the county provides.” ~ Wendy Root Askew
Monterey County Herald, Juan Reyes, March 8, 2019
A panel of experts including Darius Brown of the Monterey County of Education, MPUSD Board Trustee Wendy Root Askew, MPUSD Social Emotional Support director Donnie Everett, MPUSD homeless liaison Carlos Diaz, and Adrienne “Bing” Goldsworth, National Center for Youth Law program manager for FosterEd in Monterey County talked about the rise in family homelessness in Monterey County during a forum in Seaside on Thursday.
Monterey County Herald, Jim Johnson, March 4, 2019
“I look forward to continuing my work at the county – with and for the community – to keep our communities safe, spur living-wage job creation, and address the housing needs of current residents and future generations,” Askew said.”
James Herrera, January 16, 2019
CalFresh benefits for February were issued Wednesday due to the ongoing federal government shutdown. March benefits may not be available if the shutdown continues so recipients are urged to plan accordingly, the California Department of Social Services announced Monday. Wendy Root Askew, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Board of Education, district 1 member, said in a release, “Thousands of local students rely on CalFresh. Please look out for your neighbors this month and next – your kindness and caring really does make a difference.”
Monterey County Herald, Jim Johnson, January 14, 2019
Parker aide Wendy Root Askew also emphasized the informational nature of Wednesday’s town hall. “..we are … giving space for (homeless services) organizations to share what they’re operating and what they might be considering if they were to apply for HEAP funding,” Askew said.
Monterey County Herald, Juan Reyes, December 7, 2018
Askew said the responsibility of managing a district that serves 10,000 students across five cities with an annual operating budget of $120 million is significant. She said the Masters in Governance program provides a solid foundation to serve effectively as a trustee, while always remaining focused to prepare students for success beyond the classroom. “I don’t take any of that lightly. I take that very seriously and I just want to the best that I can be and serve my community the best that I can,” Askew said. “This is just another tool in my toolbox that allows me to do that.”
Monterey County Weekly, Mary Duan, September 27, 2018
Founding members of the Monterey Regional Housing Coalition include, from left to right: Tyller Williamson, Dionne Ybarra, Wendy Root Askew (an MPUSD board member), Ian Oglesby, Jon Wizard and Alison Kerr.
NPR via KQED, April Dembosky, March 19, 2018
Askew likes California’s bill, AB 2193, because it goes beyond mandated screening. It would require health insurance companies to set up case management programs to help moms find a therapist, and connect obstetricians or pediatricians to a psychiatric specialist. “Just like we have case management programs for patients who have diabetes or sleep issues or back pain, a case management program requires the insurance company to take some ownership of making sure their patients are getting the treatment they need to be healthy,” says Root Askew, who is now advocating for the bill on behalf of the group 2020 Mom. Health insurance companies haven’t taken a position on the legislation. It’s unclear how much it would cost them to comply, because some already have infrastructure in place for case management programs, and some do not. But there is consensus among insurers and health advocates that such programs save money in the long run. “The sooner that you can get good treatment for a mom, the less expensive that condition will be to manage over the course of the woman’s life and over the course of that child’s life,” Root Askew says.
Voices of Monterey Bay, Letter to the Editor, March 15, 2018
Teachers, students, and parents have had enough and we are organizing to apply pressure that will result in stronger, sensible gun laws and policies that will protect our children and families. On March 24th at 10am we will raise our voices again with the #MarchForOurLives movement by marching from Windows on the Bay to Colton Hall. Please join us.
Monterey County Weekly, Marielle Argueza, March 1, 2018
It’s not just Monterey High School students who are pushing for change; it’s also some of the grown-ups on the board of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. Board member Wendy Root Askew proposed a resolution calling for stronger federal gun control, hoping for the board to vote on March 13, the night before the national walkout. Among the highlights of her draft resolution is a call to remove the Dickey Amendment, a 1996 prohibition on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using government funds to “advocate or promote gun control,” which has been interpreted to mean researching the public health consequences and data connected to guns. “This infuriates me,” Root Askew says. “As policymakers, we’re supposed to make informed decisions with the data given to us, but we have very little data to start with.”
Voices of Monterey Bay, Letter to the Editor, 2/21/18
As the nation mobilizes around the #NeverAgain movement, my thoughts keep returning to the massive public health impacts that gun violence has on our country and our own community every single day. Monterey County has consistently ranked among the highest rate of homicide of young people in California, with as many as 20 youth aged 10-24 murdered every year, the majority killed by guns. Since its opening, Natividad’s trauma center annually provides care for over 100 victims of life-threatening gunshot wounds.
By James Herrera, Monterey Herald, 11/6/17
“I can say this has been one of the most difficult and complicated projects that I’ve worked on, and it is going to happen,” said Wendy Root Askew, board aide to Supervisor Jane Parker. In August, the board agreed that until a safe parking program was in place, it would allow overnight camping for people living in their vehicles along Lapis Road outside Marina in unincorporated Monterey County, provided those campers move along during the day.
Just days before this article about Seaside Police Chief Robert Jackson’s racist and ignorant public Facebook posts, I shared my own concerns about the tone-deaf response of our local police chiefs to the conversations about school resource officers. Our data reflects the negative impacts of structural racism. While the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District has decreased suspensions for African American students from 13 percent to 8 eight over the last three years, black children are still suspended at a higher percentage than any other subgroup.
By Claudia Meléndez Salinas, Monterey Herald, 8/23/17
In a 5-2 vote, trustees also instructed Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh to make it a one-year contract and include language that requires data collection to evaluate the “effectiveness of the partnership.” Trustees also want to see the program modified so it focuses on diverting students from the justice system, a model already used by the Marina Police Department. The vote came after a lengthy, emotional hearing where Diffenbaugh presented different options to continue, modify, or terminate the existing resource officers program at the district’s three comprehensive high schools. Nearly 20 people spoke up during public comment, including prominent leaders of the African American community who mostly oppose having police in the schools.
By James Herrera, Monterey Herald, 8/30/17
“We’ll be watching it very closely to see what works,” said Askew. “The only way this is going to work is if the county and cities agree to make it work.”
By James Herrera, Monterey Herald, 8/14/17
According to Wendy Askew, a Parker aide, Parker and Supervisor Mary Adams met last month with Seaside Mayor Ralph Rubio, who was recently appointed to represent Monterey Peninsula mayors on the Lead Me Home Leadership Council. We will continue to work for a solution that provides people with safe places to sleep and does not simply push the problem of homelessness down the road. It is our goal to establish a county-wide Safe Parking Program and two year-round shelters, said Askew.
Bright Beginnings Newsletter, March 2017
Wendy shared an example of how MPUSD recently allocated $33 million from its Measure P 2010 school bond to improve school facilities. “Pre-School and Parent Education programs are not intentionally left off the list, but in my role as a Board member I was able to remind everyone that investments made in early childhood development pay dividends into the future, making sure that our pre-school facilities were added to the list of priority projects. As a result MPUSD will be investing $1.1 million into pre-school facilities over the next two years.”
Due to the commitment of the school board, MPUSD is now one the few districts to offer an expanded age range for children who are eligible to attend TK. The district has also increased both preschool and TK enrollment in Seaside and Marina by over 100 students. “We have done a lot of outreach by building awareness and having conversations with parents about how their student will experience a seamless transition if they’re enrolled in preschool and then go on to TK,” explained Cresta.
Q&A: Wendy Root Askew impressed with MPUSD board
By Claudia Meléndez Salinas, Monterey Herald, February 20, 2016
I’ve been incredibly impressed. The board has been so kind, so warm, so welcoming with good suggestions, good advice, willing to answer questions. The way they work as group is very impressive, very collaborative. They’ve done all the work to bring some internal pieces where they can function in a very productive, positive way . I just got lucky on so many levels and walked into that. I know it’s not always like that. When we walked into the county we realized there’s a lot of infrastructure pieces that needed to be put in place — performance evaluations, how does one put something on the agenda, basic stuff. MPUSD has all of that in place, we just started working on the superintendent evaluation. I’ve been impressed. I think they’re very cognizant of the past and mistakes that have been made in the past and are working really hard to make sure that they’re not going to do that again.
Mothers rally to improve maternity care
KSBW, Jacqueline Mazur, September 6, 2014
“There’s a lot of different reasons why care is provided the way that it is and sometimes it’s just because things have always been done that way,” said Wendy Root Askew, a rally participant. “But really, we’re asking all our local hospitals to look at their policies and look at why they provide the care that they do.” Supporters said expecting mothers should have the right to make their own informed decisions from the start of pregnancy up to the birth of their child. The group told Action News that 90 percent of women in America receive maternity care that increases risks for both mother and child. Now they’re asking for local hospitals to review their policies and align them with recommendations from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Root Askew said.
By Kera Abraham, Monterey Weekly, Sep 8, 2014
”Our message isn’t about natural birth versus medicated birth. It’s not about hospital birth versus homebirth or birth-center birth,” Improving Birth representative Wendy Root Askew writes by email. “It’s about women being capable of making safer, more informed decisions about their care and that of their babies, when they are given full and accurate information about their care options, including the potential harms, benefits, and alternatives. It’s about respect for women and their decisions in childbirth, including how, where and with whom they give birth; and the right to be treated with dignity and compassion.”
Supporters of Pacific Grove’s Parents Place Issue School District a Challenge: Commit to Steady Funding, Or Let Nonprofit Take Over
By Kera Abraham, Monterey Weekly, 6/13/2013
Facing a shrinking budget from the Pacific Grove Unified School District, supporters of the popular Parents Place program at Pacific Grove Adult School are asking the cash-strapped school board to make a choice: Either keep funding the program at the last year’s levels, or sever it from the district and let a nonprofit take over operations. Wendy Askew, board president for the nonprofit Friends of Parents Place (FOPP), says a change in the state funding formula left the school district in a tough position. Money once earmarked specifically for adult-school programs can now be spent on K-12, she says, which is the district’s priority mandate.