My Pledge & Work

If I win this seat on the County Commission, I pledge to work my hardest to bring positive change for the residents of Washoe County. 

I am not running for office to advance a private career. Nor is this a stepping stone to higher office. This will be my full-time job into which I pour my heart, mind, and soul. You have my word.  

I’m approaching this campaign and election with the same energy that I’ve used time and again to launch projects that make a difference. I see a problem, come up with a solution, and take the first steps to affect that change.

In 2004, I was hired as a Deputy State Field Director for Nevada for a large Get Out the Vote nonprofit. We were successful in helping to turn Washoe “blue” for the first time in decades. 

In 2005, my wife and I started the Middle School Program and High Desert Montessori Charter School. It’s still going strong. 

In 2008 I started the Great Basin Naturalists, a youth outdoor program, when I was education director at the Great Basin Institute. It’s thriving today. 

In 2011 we started the Be the Change Project which has helped transform our socio-economically diverse neighborhood through art, gardens, and events.

In 2012 a children’s book of mine called Snakes Wear Socks was published. That was just fun.

In 2013 we were chosen as a Homestead of the Year by Mother Earth News Magazine. Since then I’ve been writing for their magazine and blog.

In 2014 I started my first of two terms on the Ward 3 Neighborhood Advisory Board hoping to affect change at the local level.

In 2015 I started the Climate Action Initiative with a former Reno council member. We convened a group of experts to collate and assess all the “green” actions done by the city over the previous several years and to plot a path forward. When a sustainability manager was hired our work provided her with direction and a jumpstart.

Also in 2015, I started Down to Earth Composting (formerly Reno Rot Riders) to bring awareness to composting and soil building. I sold the company in 2018 after transforming more than 150,000 pounds of local food waste into compost. It now has 900 customers.

In 2017 we started the Reno Garlic Fest to bring attention to local food and farmers through garlic. It’s become so successful we had to move it out of Pat Baker Park. 

Also in 2017 I started a natural building business with a friend and mentor. We teach workshops to people hoping to build their own cabins out of earth, adobe, strawbales and wood.  

In 2018 we tested the Truckee River for the presence and prevalence of microplastics through our Rivers Without Plastics initiative. We collaborated with DRI and the University of Rochester on analysis. The upshot: there’s a significant amount of microplastics in the river, in snowpack, and in the air. 

From 2017-2019 I built the first single family home in Nevada to become part of a community land trust for affordable housing to demonstrate the feasibility of land trusts as an affordable housing solution.

This energy and creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum: it’s taken community to make each one work. That’s meant conversations, collaboration, outreach and organizing. The same skills needed to be a successful county commissioner. 

A mural