My bio

My family- Loren Alegria Phd at Harvard, Veronica Alegria JD California Federal prosecutor in Sacramento, Daniel Alegria MD retired , Orion, German Short Haired Pointer, Mary Hufty MD Candidate, Annie Mills Cavalier King Charles Dylan Alegria MD Neuro-Intensive Care Physician at Dignity Health in Sacramento – Photo in Tahoe.

All politics is local.

 Our environment is local. 
Local politics drives the environment.

And the environment drives local politics.

 I have been in love with Portola Valley since I arrived here in 1968 for college. My husband, Daniel Alegria and I raised two hispanic sons in Portola Valley who attending town public and private schools and have watched them progress through an outstanding education at Stanford University. Still I know how it feels to be stereotyped and overlooked because of your last name or your skin color, a mother’s pain for her children is unbearable. Since my own education at Stanford I have actively sought to understand the cultural and aesthetic roots of the Foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Particularly. I am drawn to our indigenous predecessors and their sacred sites where  these lands were stewarded  before the European settlement, the Muwekma People. They were in tune with this landscape, we are imposing an unsustainable format on the land.

As a family, we rediscovered Portola Valley after medical training and after starting 3 family practice offices in the Sierra Foothills for the rural underserved with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and with the Chapa-De Indian Health Center in Auburn. After our children were born in Auburn California we moved to Portola Valley to be closer to Daniel’s parents and to experience the wonderful schools in the Bay Area. After selling our medical practices in the Sierra Foothills, I practiced medicine at the Mayfield Public Health Clinic of Santa Clara County and then joined the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. For 25 years, I worked as a family doctor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation as well as founding and chairing the committees for Preventive Health Care, which transitioned to manage the preventive health care guidelines for the Sutter Medical System, and I founded and chaired the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Environmental Impact Committee, working to assess the impact of our practice of medicine on the environment which is critical to the health and well-being of the service area of the Bay Area.

 I am a trained and experienced listener. I am proud of my 30 years as a docent at Stanford’s glorious Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve teaching environmental science to students of all ages. I have a deep respect and knowledge of our local flora and fauna. Beginning with an honors degree in Biology at Stanford and continuing through a life-long commitment to field stations throughout the world which provide the knowledge, when the world is ready, to save us from climate change and sea level rise, serving on the board of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) .

I also have extensive experience teaching medical students and nurse practitioners and designed curriculum in general practice for midwives to provide services in underserved areas.

My desire to serve has extended to the town. I was elected in a contested election to the Westridge Architectural Supervisory Committee, and I currently serve on several local, national and international not for profit boards.  In 2020 it became apparent that Portola Valley town priorities were moving dangerously away from our founding fathers’ unique and shared vision for the future of Portola Valley and i decided to run in our first contested election in Portola Valley since 200.

This year I was part of an effort to bring neighbors together as Portola Valley Neighbors United to deepen the community investment and understanding of the issues of Fire Safety, Open Space and Affordable Housing in Portola Valley. PVNU is working for an equitable outcome in our General Plan and a revision of town policies to further protect our environment and our homes by enacting promises for fire safety that were made almost 10 years ago. We need a Building Inspector and a Safety Director to orchestrate safe building and complete the evacuation exercises that were previously recommended and adopted.  

This is no time to be postponing disaster preparedness. Over the last 2 years, every town owned open space was vulnerable to town financed, high density housing and it was with great effort and research that serious environmental and safety issues were revealed.   Portola Valley has a unique offering to surrounding communities- We are combatting sea level rise by improving our watershed, we are stabilizing our environment by saving open spaces, we are reaching for a carbon neutral footprint with our sustainability efforts, and we strive to do our part to alleviate Climate Change while enjoying truly democratic access to open spaces, trails and outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, running, trail riding, botanizing and caring for our beloved four footed friends.  

I am humbled by the huge gift of time and hard work the Council and all the committee members give to this town. Keeping the town engaged takes patience and openness I feel ready for the challenge and I believe that the Council will benefit from a contested election despite the great work and commitment they have been offering throughout this time of crisis.

Our Town leadership is critically important, as we recognize our responsibility in managing the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) and its great vulnerability to fire and to unsafe development. We are in the midst of a time of crisis with equity, housing, and with a terrible pandemic. We need to pay attention. i have the experience and strength to pay attention and make changes for a safer and healthier Portola valley.

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