When I decided to run for the City Council nearly eight years ago, I called around for suggestions of who I could recruit to work with me on the field portion of my campaign. I knew I was the underdog — I had no institutional backing from labor or business — and that to win I would simply have to outwork my opponent. From various folks the answer came back: Joe Devlin. I clearly remember our first meeting at the old Temple coffee on 10th Street. He had done his homework on me and laid out a winning strategy for the campaign. I hired him on the spot.
For the next 21 months, we spent more time together than we did with our families. Knocking on doors, attending events, raising money, and strategizing about the campaign pretty much filled our lives. During that period, I got to know Joe well and decided that if I won, I would offer Joe the chief of staff job. I could not have made a better decision. It did not hurt that Joe lived in Curtis Park, served on the SCNA Board and understood the neighborhood.
Over the past six years, our district office has been aggressive and pro-active in attempting to meet the needs of the many neighborhoods we represent. Clearly, our work in Curtis Park is no exception. From our initial involvement in saving heritage trees in Curtis Park Village and rescuing the funding for the Curtis Park Court Senior Project to dealing with the Curtis Park/Crocker Village project, Joe has been with me every step of the way His counsel and support have been invaluable.
Joe’s combination of skills covers policy and practice. Now he is transitioning to a new position in the city, chief of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement. While Joe’s leaving is a loss to the district and the council, I believe he will be a great asset to the city in his new position. As we sort through the complexities of cannabis, it is imperative that the city have someone in the lead who can balance the issues of public and neighborhood safety on the one hand and potential city revenues and jobs on the other. I know Joe will be successful in his new role. On behalf of myself and the District, I cannot thank him enough for his work.
Replacing Joe is no easy task, but I am excited to welcome Allison Joe to the district. She comes to us after serving six years as deputy director of the California Strategic Growth Council, under the Governor’s Office. She worked on affordable housing, transportation and health equity policies. Her previous jobs included stints as a senior planner at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and at the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Allison earned a master of planning from the University of Southern California and a bachelor of arts at Claremont McKenna College. Locally, Allison served two terms as a commissioner on the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, and she is an active volunteer with several housing, community development and arts organizations. She’ll make a great addition to the team. Please help me welcome Allison to District 5.