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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 25

Photo of Anne Kepner

Anne Kepner

College Trustee/Attorney
12,823 votes (13.6%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Public education - protecting and promoting affordable, quality education for all Californians from universal preschool through college.
  • Healthcare - providing universal, affordable healthcare, including mental health services to all Californians.
  • Addressing the needs our state’s most vulnerable populations: living wages, pay equity, fair employment practices; affordable housing, renter protections, services for housing/food insecurity; environmental justice for all Californians.

Experience

Experience

Profession:College Trustee / Attorney
Trustee, West Valley-Mission Community College District — Elected position (2014–current)
Board Member/Board Chair, Board of Managers of the Central YMCA in San Jose — Appointed position (2001–current)
President, Buchser Middle School PTA — Elected position (2019–current)
Board Chair, Mission City Community Fund Board of Directors — Appointed position (2019–current)
Member, City of Santa Clara Housing Loan and Rehabilitation Committee — Appointed position (2005–2013)

Education

University of California, Hastings College of the Law J.D. (1975)

Biography

I grew up in San Jose and was raised by a single mom who instilled in me the value of education and hard work. That used to be enough to find a good job and provide for your family. But today, it’s so much harder to get ahead. I am running for Assembly to create solutions to our biggest challenges, from addressing homelessness and affordable housing to ensuring all kids receive a quality education and improving access to healthcare. That may sound ambitious, but with the growing economic and social divide in Silicon Valley, and skyrocketing costs of housing, we need bold and innovative leadership. 

As president of the West Valley-Mission Community College Board, I championed the expansion of our scholarship program and passage of a $698 million dollar bond to modernize facilities. I’ve dedicated my professional career to fighting for justice as an attorney whose firm represents people who otherwise would not have a voice in our system, from cases involving pesticide and toxic exposure to wrongful deaths, catastrophic injuries, and elder abuse. As a community volunteer, I serve on the Board for Central YMCA of Silicon Valley and as Board Chair for Mission City Community Fund. 

In the Assembly, I will continue working on long-term solutions that ensure our children have access to affordable college and job training, our families have good paying jobs and our communities have affordable housing with the resources to address homelessness to get people off the streets for good. I’d appreciate your vote.

While a student as San Jose State University, I worked and volunteered as a community health education peer to peer counselor. While a student at UC Hastings, I served in student government and was Editor-In-Chief of the Women’s Law Journal. My strong desire to lead and serve my community attracted me to working for the State Legislature after graduating from law school and thus I began working as a district aide to Assemblymember Dominic Cortese. After passing the bar exam, I elected to begin my law career at a local San Jose firm that was representing women who had become ill due to having breast implants. I joined the Santa Clara County Bar Association and chaired the Barristers’ Section and later served on the Association’s Board of Directors. For many years, I have been an active member of the Consumer Attorneys of California, participating in legislative lobbying days to promote bills that improve the lives of individuals throughout California and participating in its political action committee. I also volunteer in the court system serving as a neutral evaluator.

While my legal career has been rewarding, my service to the community has become even more satisfying.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time when I was 25 years old and she and I became strong supporters of the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (then called the Breast Cancer Fund) fundraising and advocating for identifying the causes of breast cancer. Since my mom’s death last year from metastatic breast cancer, my sister and I have continued our involvement with this critical mission, leading her fundraising team, Lizzy’s Legions.  I continue to advocate for identifying and eliminating the environmental causes of breast cancer.

In 1999, I joined a local Rotary Club and soon began serving on the executive board.  I was recruited in 2001 to join the Board of Managers of the Central YMCA in San Jose. Their mission to address some of the most pressing social needs of the community and promoting the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility have been a guide for the organization as well as for me. I have been a board member for nearly 20 years holding various leadership roles including board chair from 2007-2009.

Once I became a parent, I began volunteering in my children’s schools: I set up a non-profit, Friends of Wilson Preschool, to support the activities in the classrooms; I joined the Washington Open Parent Faculty Group and served as the fundraiser for 2 years and the President for 2 years; I am currently the PTA President at Buchser Middle School; and I am the Secretary to the Parent Board for Boy Scout Troop 611.

I was appointed to the Housing Loan and Rehabilitation Committee by the Santa Clara City Council in 2005 and served until 2013.  In 2014, I was elected to the West Valley Mission Community College District Board of Trustees, serving as the Vice-President for 2 years and am now serving my second year as the President. In 2018, I actively participated in the successful Measure W Campaign that raised nearly $700 million dollars for our colleges. More recently, I was selected to join the Mission City Community Fund Board of Directors and am currently serving as the Board Chair.

 

The most difficult personal success I had recently was running for and winning my election for the trustee position on the college district governing board. It was my first ever political attempt and I entered the race approximately 3 months before the election. I was running against a term-out incumbent San Jose City Councilmember who enjoyed great name recognition within the district. When he entered the race, I was discouraged from running. Courage coupled with tremendous community support and hard work paid off. I earned 60% of the votes. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed campaigning and connecting with residents and stakeholders. Being a public servant has been one of the more rewarding experiences of my life.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $431,110

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Needham Kepner & Fish and employees
$90,800
2
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and employees
$23,150
3
Employees of Murgitroyd
$9,600
4
Employees of Dreyer Babich Buccola
$9,400
5
California Nurses Association
$9,300
5
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
$9,300
5
Professional Engineers in California Government
$9,300
5
SEIU California
$9,300
5
Sheet Metal Workers Local 104
$9,300

More information about contributions

By State:

California 97.84%
Maryland 1.10%
Oregon 0.49%
District of Columbia 0.47%
Other 0.10%
97.84%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.47%)
Small contributions (0.53%)
99.47%

By Type:

From organizations (45.92%)
From individuals (54.08%)
45.92%54.08%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am running to represent the people of our community and to be a part of the solution to a number of financial, environmental and social challenges that our state faces. The solutions to 21st-century challenges will require innovative leadership, collaboration across ideological lines, and disciplined commitment - qualities I have honed as a local elected official, a PTA mom and president, and an attorney representing the vulnerable. The economic divide in the Bay Area has increased rapidly and we must make sound decisions that move us in a direction that will afford all residents a better quality of life and a future of promise and opportunity. The Bay Area is the wealthiest region of the wealthiest state of the wealthiest country on the planet, and there is no reason why we cannot make room for everyone who is willing to work hard to contribute to our region.

 

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