Many of the community-rooted experiences that I had before taking office have helped me deal with the challenges of serving on the council. My schedule was flexible so I was able to volunteer in the classroom at the Lopez schools and participated in many out of classroom learning experiences. Later at the urging of some of the teachers I acquired a substitute-teaching certificate. The Lions Club showed us how the community volunteers to get things done and comes together to help each other.

As a small business owner, I joined and was later president of the Lopez Chamber of Commerce. When some teenagers came with a $75 in a pickle jar and asked not for a teen center but for a skate park, I worked with the Lopez Island Family Resource Center to find a place and gather community support to get it built. This unique organization serves as an umbrella social service organization providing services for those in need and a summer recreation program.

Finding housing that is affordable on the wages that are paid in this county is difficult. The Lopez Community Land Trust helps to fill that void. I have worked on some of the homes with other volunteers and discovered the diversity of education, background, and means that makes up our island communities.