Pleasanton Unified School District Trustee Valerie Arkin announced Monday that she will seek election to the Pleasanton City Council in November with her school board term expiring this year.
Arkin, who is in her 12th year on the PUSD board and works as a manager for a local nonprofit, said her primary focus would be to use her elected service experience and educational background in health sciences and business to help the city government address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My first year on the school board marked the launch of the Great Recession of 2008 and an extended period of budget constraints that required us to make do with what we had," Arkin said in a statement announcing her City Council campaign on Monday afternoon.
"As we emerge from the current pandemic, the ability to leverage the city budget in a way that will support local businesses and maintain city services will be paramount," she added.
Arkin becomes the fourth City Council hopeful to confirm their candidacy during the past week. Two regular council seats -- for full, four-year terms -- will be completely up for grabs on the Nov. 3 ballot, as incumbent council members Jerry Pentin and Karla Brown are terming out. Mayor Jerry Thorne is termed out this fall as well.
Arkin's decision will also open one spot on the PUSD Board of Trustees, as her seat is one of three due up for election on Nov. 3 -- trustees Steve Maher and Jamie Yee are up for re-election as well, but they have not yet publicly announced whether they'll run again.
In announcing her City Council campaign, Arkin pointed to years of experience on the school board focused on high-quality academic programs for students, transparency on school issues and fiscal responsibility.
"My role on the school board and as school board president contributed to the top-rated education, academics and improved facilities in the Pleasanton school district," she said. "Our students are consistently accepted by top universities and become industry, business and community leaders. I want to bring this level of excellence to our city government."
Among her other top priorities on the City Council, Arkin cited preserving Pleasanton's historic downtown, evaluating the impact of future development on local schools, traffic and the water supply, and protecting the local environment and hillsides.
"My long-term tenure on the school board gave me the opportunity to collaborate with city staff and elected leaders for more than a decade, where I gained great insight into the challenges and opportunities facing our city," she said.
Arkin was first elected to the school board in 2008 and earned re-election in 2012 and 2016. She also has prior service experience on the city's Library Commission and on the boards for the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council and Tri-Valley YMCA.
She works as a manager for Hively, a local nonprofit supporting families in need. She holds a Bachelor of Science in health sciences (California State University, Northridge) and a Master of Business Administration (California Lutheran University).
To learn more about Arkin's campaign, visit www.votevaleriearkin.com.