Dublin City Councilwoman Melissa Hernandez announced this week that she will run for the mayor's position, rather than seek re-election to a regular council seat, during the Nov. 3 general election.
Wrapping up her first full term on the City Council this fall, Hernandez said as mayor she would prioritize top goals of retaining and supporting businesses in Dublin, improving neighborhood safety, alleviating traffic, expanding city-school partnerships and protecting Dublin's open space.
"I'm incredibly grateful for the encouragement and support I've received so far. I am answering the call to take my leadership on reducing traffic, maintaining Dublin's parks and open spaces, maintaining Dublin's 9-1-1 medical response capacity, and supporting our excellent schools to the next level," Hernandez said in a statement launching her mayor campaign on Monday.
"In these challenging times, I'll ensure Dublin is ready for any emergency while maintaining the quality of life the people of Dublin expect and deserve," she added.
Hernandez's decision to run for mayor -- which will be wide open on the ballot, since Mayor David Haubert is terming out -- means that one regular, four-year seat on the City Council is guaranteed to change hands in the election because Hernandez's council spot is due up for re-election this fall as well.
First elected to the City Council in November 2016, Hernandez has nearly three decades of experience as a small business manager in the dental and health sector. She currently works on the staff of Alameda County District 1 Supervisor Scott Haggerty, as an assistant in charge of health care and human services.
She ran in this year's primary election to succeed Haggerty on the Board of Supervisors upon his retirement in the fall, but she finished in third place in a tight, four-candidate race on the March 3 ballot. Hernandez was 0.71% behind Haubert for a spot in the two-candidate runoff election that will also appear on Nov. 3 ballot this fall. (Fremont City Councilman Vinnie Bacon is the other finalist.)
Turning her attention now to Dublin's mayoral seat, Hernandez said her experience on the City Council, including serving time as vice mayor and representing the city on multiple regional agency boards, makes her the best candidate to lead the community through and out of the coronavirus crisis and economic downturn.
"One of the most challenging issues we have had to navigate thru in the last several decades has been COVID-19 and I have been committed to our residence (sic) and businesses. I will continue to work hard to keep families safe while getting us back to work, school and normal business operations," Hernandez said on her campaign website.
"Simply put, I understand the needs of small businesses as well as Alameda County and the importance of a viable and sustainable local economy," she added.
Currently, Hernandez represents the city on the governing boards of Alameda County Stop Waste, East Bay Community Energy, Livermore-Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) and the Tri-Valley/San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority (Valley Link). She's a longtime Dublin resident and mother of two teenage children who has also volunteered in the community, including with the Dublin Rotary Club.
"We continue to be a growing city that has had a long tradition of strong leaders who believe in civil discourse while solving challenging issues," Hernandez said. "I will be committed to continuing this tradition to keep our community the great place we love. I want Dublin to adopt smart growth policies and I will support projects that continue to preserve our 'New American Backyard.'"
To learn more about Hernandez's campaign, visit www.melissaformayor.com.