Wendy’s Key Priorities

“One of Wendy’s greatest strengths is her focus on getting things done, and her personal commitment to identify and meet unmet needs in the community.”

Lisa Stewart. Ph.D.

Housing for All

Our workforce and future generations, like my son and your children, should be able to afford to live here. I’m proud to be leading regional efforts to address our housing needs which support our economy, and maintains our diversity, including: 

  • Fighting for our fair of state funding for Veteran housing 
  • Leading the effort to address teacher housing to retain excellent local educators
  • Co-founding the Monterey Regional Housing Coalition to provide focused, regional collaboration and leadership to these efforts 
  • Increasing the number of shelter beds in Marina for families in need
  • Successfully working with the community to open a Seaside homeless center

Community, Neighborhood & School Safety

As a mother and Education Trustee, nothing is more important to me personally than keeping our kids safe. As a County legislative aide, I’ve secured millions in funding to District 4 to address public safety needs, including: 

  • Successfully secured  millions in locally-controlled funding to improve school safety
  • Increased funding for the Safe Route to Schools program 
  • Co-founded  the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace (CASP) and successfully secured federal resources for Salinas — one of only six cities nationwide to receive national funding that year 
  • Secured funding for the Monterey County Gang Violence Prevention Initiative 
  • Co-founded  Moms Demand Action  to educate families about  gun safety 
  • Led criminal justice reforms to identify potentially dangerous individuals while saving taxpayer dollars.

Good Jobs, Economic Development & the Environment

As a former business owner I’m leading the effort to create local, living-wage jobs that allow families to work where they live, maintaining  our tourism economy, and create good-paying local jobs. I’ve been hard at work at the County to protect our natural resources while boosting job creation, including:  

  • Expanded job creation at Natividad Medical Center and health clinics in Seaside, Marina and Salinas to  increase community access to healthcare 
  • Successfully championed preserving the Seaside Job Center 
  • Secured funding for Early Childhood Development programs 
  • Implemented programs that focus on ensuring career readiness, and increasing job opportunities and talent in our local workforce.

Quality Public Schools

In 2015, Wendy was elected to the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Board of Education where her priorities were expanding Transitional Kindergarten classrooms at every elementary school, and investing over $1,000,000 in initial preschool classroom and school improvements. Selected highlights of Wendy’s work include:

  • In partnership with teachers and education staff, implemented long-term budget and fiscal sustainability
  • With Board colleagues and the community, led efforts to secure $323 Million in local education bonds to upgrade local neighborhood schools
  • Placed Family Service mental health specialists and trainers at every campus
  • Voted to ban use of cancer-causing pesticides at school sites 
  • Expanded nutritious, healthy free breakfast and lunch meals for students in need
  • Organized Sacramento actions to fight for our fair share of school funding
  • Increased investment in Early Childhood Development

Wendy was the first Executive Director and Founder of what is now The Parenting Connection of Monterey County, which supports parents and caregivers in developing their ability to nurture young children. She has had a long-term vision that families in Monterey County can thrive when children are parented well.

County Leadership & Track Record 

For the past decade, Wendy has been serving the residents of Sand City, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, East Garrison, CSUMB, Salinas, Seaside, and Ft. Ord as a top aide to retiring Supervisor Jane Parker, with a particular focus on healthcare, social services, and public safety.  

Currently representing the Supervisor on the California Healthcare Foundation Innovation Roundtable and CA4Health Leadership Council, Wendy’s experience allows her to hit the ground running for your community by building on the following track record of results:

  • Secured federal funding for the City of Salinas – one of only six cities that year – from the national Forum on Violence Prevention
  • Increased transparency and accountability by implementing annual performance evaluations of County executive staff
  • Increased community engagement in County decision-making and services through District 4 newsletter, website, social media, and direct community presentations
  • Scheduled and staffed  over 200 public community meetings in the District
  • Championed and served as an advisor for the Early Child Development Collective Impact Initiative
  • Advocated for  maternal health and numerous improvements at Natividad Medical Center, including trauma care, maternal labor and delivery services
  • Led efforts to establish Seaside Homeless center
  • Preserved funding for transitional housing for families with children experiencing homelessness in Marina
  • Secured Safe Routes to School planning grants for Salinas, Seaside and Marina
  • Secured Resources for all  District 4 communities to:
    • Expand school counselors
    • Fund civic engagement trainings
    • Improve counseling programs and food pantries
    • Protect Seaside’s job and social service center
    • Preserve and expand County Health Clinics in Seaside, Marina and Salinas
    • Helped establish new Seaside Family Health Center, including dental chairs, children’s playground, and expanded hours of operation
  • Increased online access to County meetings – schedules, agendas, and staff reports for transparency
  • Developed local legislation reducing ability of underage kids to purchase tobacco
  • Established Maternal Mental Health Task Force to raise awareness of post-partum depression
  • Leading efforts in Seaside to reduce consumption of sugary beverages in children and teens
  • Advocating at the County level to reduce greenhouse emissions and promote electrical vehicle use
  • Early advocate of successful County pension reform, before State implemented its own reforms
  • Helped lead efforts to establish Farmers Market on East Alisal in Salinas, and expand access to nutritious, free fruits and vegetables countywide

As a founding member of Salinas’s Community Alliance for Safety and Peace, Wendy secured federal funds to combat gang violence in our communities and dedicates staff time on a weekly basis to support a high quality, sustainable collaborative of citizens, nonprofit leaders, the faith community, government leaders, and community safety partners. As mentioned, Wendy also secured County funds laying the groundwork for Salinas to be selected as one of only 6 cities for the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, a program commended by the Monterey County Grand Jury for its groundbreaking work.  

She remains an active participant of the Seaside Youth Violence Prevention Group and secured funding for the Monterey County Gang Violence Prevention Initiative.

Contact Wendy!