- Public Safety
- Open Space
Before ever settling in the beautiful city of La Mirada, my parents were forced to undergo a wild journey that led them 6,000 miles away from their homes in Romania. My father held a coveted position in Romania during the 1980s that grabbed the attention of the communist government. They sought to use him and his position to spy on foreign diplomats that came to Romania and in turn he would have been greatly rewarded. However, my father refused to work with the secret police or the communist government, which in return meant certain death for him and my mother. My father’s refusal came from a deep faith in God which he had been persecuted for his entire life in Romania. Thus they were forced to flee the country on foot, crossing the Danube River in the dead of winter, through former Yugoslavia, and eventually made their way to Vienna, Austria. During communism people were not allowed to leave the country without permission and those who did faced death or worse. After nine months in the refugee camps of Vienna, they were granted political asylum and made their way to the United States of America where they eventually settled in La Mirada.
My own story began two months after my parents arrived to America. Despite working multiple jobs and eventually running his own business, my father always made time for me and my siblings. He along with my mother instilled in us the values of hard work, perseverance, and taught us to cherish the freedom we were blessed with. Growing up in La Mirada was also a blessing as the city enjoyed great schools and sports programs. I excelled in both graduating from La Mirada High School with highest honors and then pursuing a career in professional soccer after attending Biola University. During my time playing in Brazil and Romania I learned a great many things about the world outside of the United States and how truly unique and important our country is.
After an unfortunate injury I returned home and applied to become a police officer with the city of Newport Beach. I was hired on as a police officer with the city at the age of 21 and began my career in the noble professional of law enforcement. During my time with Newport Beach PD, I served in many different capacities and was even awarded a Life-Saving Award in 2012. Additionally, while working fulltime I also returned to college and obtained my B.A. in Criminal Justice from Cal State Fullerton. From there I pursued my Master of Public Administration degree at National University, obtaining that degree in March of 2015. I also served as the Vice-President of the Newport Beach Police Association. During my time on the board of directors I got to see an entirely different perspective of local government. This experience has helped me understand the needed balance that can only be achieved through sincere collaboration.
Working as a police officer and seeing the problems that plague so many cities from a firsthand perspective I decided to put my acquired knowledge in the service of my own city. In March 2013, I was elected as the youngest council member ever to serve the city of La Mirada at the age of 25. It was also then that I married my beautiful wife Susan Sarega, who to this day continues to relentlessly support me and the city of La Mirada. Since that time I have sought to help the city grow into model for all surrounding cities while maintaining the small town community atmosphere the residents love. As a councilman and representative of the city, I have served on numerous regional boards including League of California Cities, California Contract Cities Association, Gateway Cities Council of Governments, and Southern California Association of Governments. I have spent much of my own time fighting to preserve the values that La Mirada treasures on both a regional and state level. That is also my promise to the residents of La Mirada, that I will continue to fight against destructive policies from the county and state level, while also fighting to make La Mirada a better place to live.
- Infrastructure improvement and repair is an ongoing endeavor that must be carried out to the highest of standards. If re-elected, I will strive to keep our focus on this ongoing need.
- Safe Neighborhoods. La Mirada is one of the safest communities in the region, and we must continue to be proactive in strengthening La Mirada’s Public Safety Team, while fortifying our partnership with The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
- La Mirada offers many advantages that attract and retain businesses. I pledge to further strengthen our relationships within the business community, and will work to attract the types of businesses that La Mirada’s residents want and need.
It has been my pleasure to call the City of La Mirada “home” for the past 37 years. My husband Jeff, a 50-year resident, and I have enjoyed raising our family here in the community that we love. My occupational background is in the field of finance; I am an Assistant Controller for an area corporation.
To give you a brief history of my record of public service and commitment to our community, I was appointed to the La Mirada City Council on July 5, 2011, and was elected to the Council on March 5, 2013. I was elected to the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board of Education four consecutive times, serving from 1995-2011.
Additionally, I have been active locally in youth sports leagues, serving as the Treasurer/Board Member and Coach for the La Mirada Girls Softball Association. I have also been active with the Parent Teachers Association many years, where I served in several capacities, including President of the Norwalk-La Mirada Council of PTAs.
I would like to continue serving as your La Mirada Councilwoman because I want to contribute positively and effectively to the community in which I live. I am not motivated by political aspirations or self gain. My ongoing goal is to ensure that our civic government, whose decisions directly affect each and every one of us, be conducted in an ethical, sensible, and fiscally sound manner.
With all that we currently enjoy, our city faces many critical issues. Perilous economic times, an aging infrastructure, and the need for modernization all present challenges that must be met with proven and productive leadership if we are to stay on course and plan for La Mirada’s future. I have the experience and skills necessary to meet these challenges and continue working as your Councilwoman.