Jenni grew up in the Santa Rosa City Schools. She went to Brook Hill Elementary, Herbert Slater Junior High, and graduated from Montgomery High School in 1987.
After high school, she spent a year at the Santa Rosa Junior College, ultimately earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA, and her law degree from Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law, where she founded and led the school’s Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Election Protection team.
After working as a lawyer specializing primarily in real estate law for nearly 15 years, Jenni shuttered her law practice to become the founding executive director of Generation Housing. As a lawyer, Jenni is most proud of her work facilitating the conversion of the Palms Inn into permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans and vulnerable civilians.
Jenni is finishing her second term on the Santa Rosa School Board. She was chosen by her board colleagues to serve as Board President for three consecutive years. Jenni’s service has included spearheading new enrollment policies that increased the diversity in the district’s charter schools; the move from zero-tolerance discipline to restorative practices; a shift in graduation policy that eliminated tracking in high schools and ensured equitable access to college-preparatory curriculum for all students; and joining the City of Santa Rosa in revising impact fees to spur housing development in Downtown Santa Rosa.
Jenni has always been active in local community leadership, having served on the CASA, YMCA, and Sonoma County Public Library Foundation boards, as co-chair for SoCo Rises, and on the Measure N steering committee. She is currently serving on the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber advocacy committee. Jenni also founded and serves as the co-chair of the College Tee Project, a nonprofit that aims to create a college-going culture for low-income and first-generation students.
While serving on the Board and especially as president, Jenni witnessed the impact of housing – both positive and negative – on the district’s students, families, and staff. She is passionate about her work with Generation Housing to fight for safe, stable, and affordable housing for all in our community and sees it as dovetailing with her work on the School Board. Looking forward, Jenni knows that addressing structural inequities — both in our community and in our District are critical to improving educational outcomes for the District’s students.
In her free time, Jen enjoys spending time with her family, friends and dog Lulubelle, and cycling. She always wears crazy socks on Saturday.