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Tuesday November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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Sonoma County Junior College DistrictCandidate for Board Member, Sonoma Area

Photo of John Kelly

John Kelly

School Board Trustee
9,266 votes (33.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Our college suffers from declining enrollment, and we need to effectively communicate to the residents of Sonoma County that we offer a remarkably high quality education at a very affordable price.
  • We need to ensure our college is sustainable in the long run financially, so that our staff and students, as well as our community, can count on our programs being in existence and their prerequisites being met on time.
  • I would like to encourage and participate in lobbying our state and federal leaders to increase funding for community colleges, and would look to build relationships that will foster that kind of attention and interest in our community colleges.



Profession:School Board Trustee / Attorney
Attorney, Private Practice (2003–current)
School Board Trustee, Sonoma Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees — Elected position (2016–current)


  • Trustee, Sonoma Valley Unified School District (2016-).
  • Barrister, Richard M. Sangster American Inn of Court (2007-).
  • Counsel, pro bono publico, Sonoma Ecology Center (2012-).
  • Counsel, pro bono publico, Sonoma Valley Athletic Club (2008-). Incorporator, Sebastiani Theatre Foundation, Inc.
  • Chair, City of Sonoma Budget Advisory Committee (2005-6).
  • Chair, City of Sonoma Community Services & Environment Commission (2004-6).

John has been in private practice as an attorney in Sonoma since 2003, generally handling probate, real estate, and small business matters, including litigation. John graduated from UC Berkeley’s law school in 2002, where he was the Co-Editor in Chief of the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, and where he earned the Jurisprudence Award in Copyright Law. Before becoming an attorney, John developed technical expertise working as a webmaster for a software startup, and as a web developer for a commercial finance company.

John graduated from UCLA in 1997, with degrees in history and political science, earning his Bachelor's degree in three years. He graduated from Santa Rosa's Cardinal Newman High School in 1994, where he was all-league as a linebacker, and captain of the defense for the Cardinals' football team.

John is a regular player of recreational soccer, and enjoys watching football, drinking wine with his winemaker wife Gianna, and laughing at the ridiculous antics of their three daughters, Siena (10), Allegra (8), and Margaux (1).

J.D., University of Califomia, Berkeley, 2002.
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1997.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Sonoma County Democratic Party
  • SEIU Local 1021 (Represents classified staff at SRJC)
  • SRJC All Faculty Association (Professors, Instructors, and Teachers at College)

Organizations (15)

  • Teamsters Local Union No. 665
  • Teamsters Joint Council No. 7
  • Sheet Metal Workers' International Association Local 104
  • Sprinkler Fitters and Apprentices Local 483
  • International Union of Painters & Allied Trades Local 83
  • International Union of Painters & Allied Trades District Council 16
  • Carpenters Local 751
  • National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 183
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 551
  • Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Local 38
  • Coalition for a Better Sonoma County
  • North Bay Labor Council
  • Sonoma County Latino PAC
  • Sonoma County Conservation Action
  • Teamsters Local Union No. 856

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Our college needs us now.

For 100 years our Santa Rosa Junior Collegehas taught technical skills and prepared us for higher education; made second chances and second careers possible; brought us together for dialogue on tough topics; contributed to our economy; and drawn fresh energy to our community. But, nearly half of all current jobs won’t exist in 20 years, and our college needs to prepare students to be successful in a rapidly changing, uncertain future. 

Trustees must: 1) actively engage students, staff, and business and community leaders so students are adequately prepared; 2) drive financial stability; and 3) incorporate evolving technologies to anticipate workforce and community needs.

As a Trustee for the Sonoma Valley Unified School District, (a feeder district for SRJC), I’ve led the process to achieve accountability and long-term financial sustainability. As a lawyer, I have the experience to put us on a stronger footing. And, as a father, I understand the importance of an energized college for future generations.

It’s time we had a Trustee with the energy and determination to meet the challenges of the future. I’m dedicated to making sure our college will remain a modern resource for our community and our students for another 100 years.

Candidate Contact Info

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