Tonight at 6pm we’ll be covering some of the most pressing issues in Palo Alto - housing, our schools, the criminal justice system, and healthcare & mental health services - and how to make sure we’re taking an intersectional approach and engineering solutions that also account for the LGBTQ+ community.
I’ll be joined by four lifelong public servants:
Panelist John Laird served in the California State Assembly from 2002-2008 and authored 82 bills that were signed into law. John Laird is currently running for California State Senate to expand state efforts against climate change, guarantee universal health care coverage, develop affordable housing, and protect our public education system. Laird understands the November election will now be a referendum on the efficacy of public health and science, how we will take on racial and social injustice in our state and country, and the right of everyone to vote.
Panelist Rich Gordon has spent his life in service to others. Rich Gordon served as a member of the California State Assembly from 2010 to 2016, and saw 70% of the legislative ideas he pursued signed into law. He did significant work in the areas of planning for sea-level rise, environment, election law and transparency, and water policy. Prior to public service he served as a minister in the United Methodist Church, in the nonprofit sector, and founder and Executive Director of Youth and Family Assistance.
Moderator Michael Vargas is an attorney and law professor. Michael also serves as Director of Issues for the Santa Clara County Democratic Party, Co-President of Silicon Valley Stonewall Democrats, and an elected member of the SCC Democratic Central Committee. Michael’s expertise and interest areas include: LGBTQ rights, legal developments, economics, business and labor issues, higher education, housing policy, civil rights and local politics.
Panelist Katie Causey is running for Palo Alto School Board. Katie has been volunteering in the community since she was 14 and has spent the last several years fundraising for local nonprofits and community efforts, applying the values she learned as a student at Ohlone, JLS and Paly. Katie holds a BA in Women’s Studies from The George Washington University, where her studies focused on examining intersectional approaches to addressing systemic inequality in communities and schools.
This panel will be hosted by the Silicon Valley Stonewall Democrats.