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 Kamei Nursery, Inc. on Bryant Avenue circa 1950s.

Kamei Nursery, Inc. on Bryant Avenue circa 1950s.

Ellen's Story

My roots in Mountain View

For me, Mountain View is home.

Born and raised in Silicon Valley, I am the daughter of a first generation Chinese and Puerto Rican American mother from New York City and a third-generation Japanese American father born at Heart Mountain Internment Camp in Wyoming. I am multiracial and multilingual, learning to speak Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin.

I lived a humble life growing up on my family’s ten acre flower growing nursery. The nursery was first located in Mountain View and later moved to Morgan Hill, the two cities where I grew up. My grandparents lived in Mountain View, and along with my younger brother, I would spend many days with them at their home in Waverly Park, planting the seeds for my roots in the City. These childhood experiences brought me back to Mountain View when my grandparents fell ill. They have both since passed away, but I have been fortunate to be able to stay.

Call to Pubic Service

Inspired by community service since youth, I began volunteering in elementary school and haven’t stopped since. I hold the steadfast values of participation and assistance, especially to those in need within the community. Driven to service, my career has taken me from Japan to the East Coast and back home to Mountain View. My professional experience spans city, county, state, and federal government. I have helped work on national issues to public safety within Mountain View. I currently serve as District Director for a member of the California State Assembly.

Serving Mountain View

In addition to my professional experience, I am a graduate of Leadership Mountain View, and serve on the Leadership Mountain View Advisory Council.  I am a member of the Mountain View Public Safety Foundation Board, volunteer of the Mountain View Firefighters Random Acts non-profit assisting in the Annual Fire Drill 5K/10K Race and Pancake Breakfast. I assisted the Mountain View Historical Association, of which I am a member, with their Spring Panel on “Japanese in Mountain View” to celebrate May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and to reflect on the 75th anniversary of Japanese internment in 2017.

For nearly six years, I have been a member of the City of Mountain View’s Environmental Planning Commission, serving as Vice Chair in 2014 and Chair in 2015.

Why I am running

Our middle class is shrinking and our diverse community is changing. I am running to make sure opportunities continue for our next generation as well as our family-oriented community. I will pair my leadership, experience, and skills with the passion of the voices of the community to ensure that Mountain View continues to stand in support of all its residents, and that it is a welcoming and safe community.

I live near the Moffett Boulevard/North Whisman neighborhood with my partner, Chris, and look forward to meeting you during the campaign.

EDUCATION

  • Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, State and Local Government Program for Senior Executives in Leadership Program

  • University of Pennsylvania, Fels Institute of Government, M.P.A.

  • University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A. English

PROFESSION

  • District Director, CA Assemblymember Marc Berman

  • Policy Aide, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian

  • Local Government Management Fellow, City of Fremont, Office of the City Manager

  • Congressional Aide, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo & Zoe Lofgren

  • English Language Teacher

HONORS

  • American Council of Young Political Leaders, Delegation Member

  • Asian American Recovery Services Legacy Award, Recipient

  • Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute Alumni Pacesetter Award 2018

  • Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute, 120 under 40

  • Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute Civic Leadership Program

  • Emerge California

  • International City/Country Management Association Fellowship
    University of Pennsylvania, Fels Institute of Government Institutional Service Award

  • Leadership Mountain View

  • Presentation High School, Outstanding Young Alumnae Award

  • New Leaders Council - Silicon Valley

  • Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club, Rising Star Award

  • U.S.A. – Japan Council Emerging Leaders Program, Delegation Member