Cities are important. As a Brazilian-American born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I am globally aware of the importance of building capacities in our communities and cities. As a child, I experienced a culture where communities were either significantly disadvantaged and vulnerable or exceedingly abundant and affluent. I recognized a need for increased knowledge and civic participation that is necessary for advocacy, government accountability, and social progress.
After a career in investigative journalism, a Community-Based Economic Development graduate course in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Hawaii at Manoa led me to urban planning. I resonated with the diverse and international student body on global issues and collaborated on a community-based economic development plan for Hawaii. In the process, I fell in love with the Hawaiian Islands and sought to better understand its people and their values.
My research focuses on environmental, economic and equitable land uses toward meeting Smart Growth and Climate Action Plan goals in San Diego. I study San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan, The San Diego General Plan, Community Plans and Climate Action Plan. I recognize the increasing need for effective policies and supportive legislation aligned with achieving healthy, sustainable and resilient cities.
I work in Long Range Planning at the City of San Diego where our team is currently updating the Mission Valley Community Plan. Additionally, I volunteer with Citizens Take Action where I am creating a Civic Engagement Hub and seeking support for an amendment to overturn Citizens United.
As Legislative Director on the Associated Graduate Student and University of California Student Association boards, I collaborate with graduate and undergraduate student leaders across the University of California campuses on student policies and governance. Collectively, we represent over 238,000 students across ten campuses on issues including yet not limited to student housing affordability, food security, college affordability, and diversity.
My husband and I live in San Diego with our dog Watson. He is a daily reminder of the
importance of accessibility to basic needs; a place to call home, healthy food in the bowl, safe water, open spaces to run, the love and support of the community, high-quality training and an opportunity to earn treats. Together, we travel often, hike, and spend a lot of time in the ocean.