Dear Friends, Colleagues and Neighbors,
I’m Giselle Hale, a new candidate for the Redwood City Council. I love Redwood City and am grateful to be raising my family in this wonderful community. I have enjoyed serving as a Planning Commissioner the past four years and am inspired to continue to give back as a member of the City Council. I believe my combined experience as a businesswoman, Planning Commissioner and community volunteer make me the well-qualified, hard working and innovative candidate to represent you at city hall. I respectfully ask for your vote on November 6th.
My Road to
My road to Redwood City started with an eviction notice. My husband and I were newlyweds and both working but like many young people with school loans and new jobs we were sharing a rental with roommates. One day 6 years ago, we got the call from our landlord saying that they were ready to sell. Fortunately, after years of saving, we realized that with a little help, we could buy our first home together. We chose Redwood City for three reasons: the diversity, the vibrant downtown, and the close knit community values that matched our own. Redwood City has that small town charm that makes it possible to run into friends whenever you leave the house. Our own experience of housing insecurity fueled my passion for finding innovative affordable housing solutions.
Meet the Hales
My husband and I come from humble means. My sisters and I were raised by our mom and we struggled with food and housing security for years, getting roommates, visiting food banks and at times getting food stamps to get by. I started working at 14 to support my family. Meanwhile, my future husband Brian was in-and-out of foster care, and passed around his extended family moving from city-to-city because of his family’s struggles with poverty. We could have been left behind had it not been for the extended community who cared about us. That’s the same helping hand we want to offer in service to our community.
Today, we are blessed to be raising our daughters Lula (4 1/2) and Vivienne (2) in our wonderful neighborhood and both working in successful marketing careers at Facebook. Prior to Facebook I held sales and marketing roles at SC Johnson Wax, The Coca-Cola Company and Cisco after earning my MBA at Thunderbird School of Global Management. I’ve always believed in standing up for what you believe in, so in 2008 after moving to the Bay Area, I took a career break to volunteer full time for the Obama for America campaign and was soon asked to join as one of only 12 campaign staffers statewide.
Why Am I Running
Redwood City is uniquely great because we are a diverse, multi-generational community of neighbors and neighborhoods. But these qualities are threatened. I’ve seen many of my daughters friends move away, their parents pushed out by the high cost of living. I want all of our children to enjoy life long friendships they make here and to be able to come back and raise their own families in Redwood City.
Second, with the changes to our economy and demographics, there’s the possibility of becoming a more divided community. As a newer resident, deeply committed to the children in our community, I hope to bridge that divide and find the common ground from which we can build community together. I believe Redwood City's best years are still ahead of us!
Serving the Community
In addition to working full time and raising two daughters, I became deeply involved in the community when we made Redwood City our home. I joined the Planning Commission when my oldest daughter was just six months old, moved by the the opportunity to shape the City where we would raise our family. I became involved with Redwood City’s schools, volunteering for the successful Measure T and U campaigns to provide the funds our students deserve to get a high-quality education. Last year after years of volunteering, I was asked to join the board of the Redwood City Education Foundation, where we bridge the gap in funding to provide a world-class public education for every student in the Redwood City School District. We love Redwood City so much we even host a Facebook Page called “I love Redwood City” where we feature the stories of local small business owners. We participate in numerous fundraisers including Parks & Arts Foundation and the Redwood City Library Foundation and engage on local issues as members of Redwood City 2020 and Housing Leadership Council.
In addition to local issues, we have worked for the past four years to secure sick days and parental leave for working families as a leadership advisors to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
I love service and will put my heart into serving our community on City Council.
Building Our Future Together
That’s my story and over the past several months I’ve had the privilege of hearing yours, having met one on one with hundreds of residents and small business owners. It’s no secret that our city is changing and this introduces challenges and opportunities. Amid this growth it’s important that we neighbors come together to build a shared vision of where we are headed as a community. We must keep Redwood City great for all residents and the next generations. As a mom with young children, I am fully invested in the future of Redwood City. This campaign is really a symbol for a movement taking place in Redwood City that embraces what we love about our past and prepares for all the great things taking place now and in our future. Whether you’ve been here for 2 months or 20 years, I will be a voice for you on our City Council. I humbly ask for your vote. Let’s build our future together Redwood City!