Please introduce yourself (this can include formal and informal information).
I'm a 31 year queer / bisexual cisgender female.
Pronouns she /her.
I was elected to Livermore’s City Council in 2020, representing District 3. Before joining the Council, I worked in community service and non-profit organizations, managing collaboration between diverse groups of people. Bringing together diverse communities, finding a common goal and helping chart a path forward are skills I hope to put to good use on the Council.
In 2019, I helped to create the first ever LGBTQ+ celebration in Livermore. What started as an idea for a small picnic expanded to a 3000 person event and the formation of the first ever LGBTQ focused non-profit in the Tri-Valley.
Prior to moving to Livermore, I served 3 years in AmeriCorps. In 2011, as the AmeriCorps VIP Fellow for the Cal Poly LGBTQ Pride Center, I led educational programs, a peer counseling team, and created a volunteer program focused on developing opportunities for mentorship and community growth.
I grew up in Rohnert Park, CA and earned a B.S. in Psychology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. When not in Council meetings you can usually find me at one of Livermore’s fantastic parks or libraries with my little ones.
How do you think your work with Livermore Pride influenced equity and inclusion in Livermore?
I am the Director of Community Engagement and Education for Livermore Pride helping to build out our programs. I was a founding volunteer who met with a group of strangers back in April of 2019 with goals of hosting a Pride get-together in town. The idea that started as a picnic in the park grew to a full day festival with over 3000 attendees. As a founding volunteer, we brainstormed ways to show that we as a community could be inclusive and welcoming. One of those ideas included raising the Pride flag. As founding volunteers, we brainstormed ways to show that we as a community could be inclusive and welcoming. One of those ideas included raising the Pride flag. Because of our ask, the city created a policy to raise commemorative flags at the will of the council in addition to creating an inclusion proclamation.
I alone cannot take credit for the all incredible work done in our community, but I contributed to our community and helped build connections. My work organizing the March for Science in 2017 introduced me to great people. I realized that so many of us in our community are working hard towards common goals, but are so busy we can forget to connect with other organizers. I just try my best to reach out and meet people who are doing cool things and work to connect them with other amazing community leaders. I truly believe that when we invite our neighbors to participate and take ownership in shaping the community we want to live in, we are all better for it.
How has your identity in the LGBTQ+ community influenced your career as a councilmember?
My identity plays two roles, one being an openly queer bisexual person in a relationship with a cisgender male means I have made a decision to be out. Which for me meant doing what felt right even if it wasn't going to be popular or deemed “necessary” by some. I came out fully, to friends, family, work AND online, as an adult after having children. As a bisexual woman married to a cisgender male I hold extreme privilege. No one questions my relationship or my legal right to parent my children. Although I could have continued to pass, the reality was, that I felt like being closeted was holding me back. I always felt like I was hiding something from my friends and community members. I would spend so much time telling people younger to be proud and open and honest while I myself was working to keep my identity quiet for fear of retribution from a potential client and some family and community who aren’t fully supportive.
In addition, being an active and out member of a historically marginalized community constantly reminds me to look outside of my own lived experience before making decisions that will affect all of this diverse community. What might be “best for me” may not be “best for everyone”. It reminds me that all of my decisions are a balance of support and sacrifice for this community. To support residents of all income levels by providing affordable housing in our downtown, I am expecting some affluent community members sacrifice and park a bit farther away from their favorite restaurant. That is a tradeoff that seems equitable to me. That decision is just one of many in which I needed to ask myself “how will this affect our most marginalized, most vulnerable, the residents that local governments have forgotten about in their decision making in the past?”
Tri-Valley Haven’s mission is about creating safe homes for everyone. What does this mission mean to you?
As an affordable housing advocate, I can view that literally as the design, funding and development of safe, sustainable, secure housing at every income level. Beyond that, it means creating a safe community. Having a safe home doesn’t mean as much if you don’t feel safe and welcome walking down the street, in a restaurant downtown or in your classroom. We need to be redefining what safety means. What is safety and who feels safe? We need to continue to push for sustainable alternative transit methods, ensure our libraries are spaces for equitable education and community building, and always include mental health services in our conversations about what a safe city looks like. Tri-Valley Haven is one of the most important partners in our larger Tri-Valley community to help us shape and support a safe community in Livermore. Thank you for your work.
Tri-Valley Haven would like to thank Councilmember Kiick for graciously spending her time on this interview and for volunteering with us throughout the years!