Sara was elected to Hayward City Council in 2014. In her three years in office, she has worked on issues related to public finances, economic development, employment, affordable housing, healthcare, and public safety. She has also championed increased community involvement and inclusion in the legislative process and City activities.
Starting in 2016, Sara began testifying at CalPERS Board Meetings and collaborating with the League of California Cities, where she chairs the statewide policy committee on Governance, Transparency, and Labor Relations. Through these efforts, Sara works to ensure that taxpayers, government employees, city government leadership, and CalPERS can work together to address the costs of pensions and healthcare.
Deeply committed to education and career opportunities for Hayward residents, Sara has mentored ten interns from local high schools and colleges since 2014. She met with students and community members of all ages and interests on a variety of topics. Working with local businesses, realtors, teachers, parents and the Chamber of Commerce, Sara has led efforts to improve Hayward schools, expand career awareness, and increase job and business opportunities.
Also committed to ongoing and emerging professional development, Sara successfully advocated for a continuing education standard for Hayward Council Members. She also completed the training required to achieve Advanced Leadership status through the League of California Cities' Torch Program.
Prior to taking office, Sara led the Hayward Community Action Network for five years, a grassroots effort to end local homelessness. Through this work, she developed a deep understanding of all sides of the issue and effective solutions. She also developed relationships with regional leaders in the social service industry and business community. From 2001 to 2009, Sara worked for Lincoln Child Center developing the Southern Alameda County Kinship Support Services Program for grandparents and other relatives raising younger relatives. In this role, Sara successfully advocated for statewide policy changes to improve supportive services for these Kinship families, who often fell through the cracks of the existing systems. She also worked at the state and national level, bringing relative caregivers and youth to Washington, D.C. and Sacramento to make sure their voices were heard.
Early in her career, Sara was the Director of Recreation Therapy at Parkview Healthcare Center in South Hayward. While working in clinical and community settings, Sara contributed to professional societies, serving as President of the Bay Area Therapeutic Recreation Association, and California State Representative for the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. She was also active in the California Parks and Recreation Society and presented at statewide and national conferences. For healthcare agencies and for Lincoln, Sara developed certified internship programs mentoring fifteen students from eight different schools in her tenure.
Sara received her Masters in Health Care Administration from CSU Hayward in 2006 and a Bachelors of Science in Recreation Therapy from San Francisco State in 1996, graduating with honors from both institutions. She completed both the Leadership Hayward and Emerge California training programs in 2009 and received a certificate in Intergenerational Programming from the University of Pittsburg.
In addition to her formal education, Sara has learned about public process and policy development through her community volunteer efforts. She built the Alameda County Tools for School Collaborative. In its eight years of existence, it provided 11,000 backpacks full of school supplies to students in need. She has lead community resource fairs and intergenerational exchange events. Sara was president of Hayward South Rotary (2002-2003) and District 5170 Community Service Chair (2003-2004). She is currently an active member of the Hayward Rotary Club and served as a board member from 2012-2014. She continues her community involvement through membership in the South Hayward Neighborhood Collaborative, Eden Area League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women, Sun Gallery, and other groups.