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San Joaquin County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Celeste M. Garamendi

Candidate for
Mayor; City of Tracy

This information is provided by the candidate

About Celeste

Celeste Garamendi is a working health care executive, mom, volunteer, and community activist. Celeste is a proven leader in both her civic involvement and her professional work.

Celeste moved to Tracy 18 years ago when she married Mark Connolly, a fifth generation Tracy resident and local attorney and cattle rancher. Celeste and Mark have two daughters, Katherine, a junior at Tracy High School, and Bridget, a seventh grader at Jefferson Middle School. Katie and Bridget play soccer, volleyball, basketball, run track and cross country, are in band and choir, and take part in many other school and community activities. Celeste is a school volunteer and she knows firsthand as a soccer mom the issues around adequate sports fields and recreation facilities. Celeste is also a member of the West Side Pioneer Association, Historic Landmark Committee, TRAQC Educational Foundation, Friends of Tesla Park, and St. Bernard's Parish, and a Neighborhood Watch Captain.

Through these activities, Celeste has supported downtown historic preservation, needed city services to make neighborhoods safe, historical educational programs for 3rd graders at the Historic Lammersville School and Tracy Historical Museum, development of a Tracy History Video Project with Tracy High School students, production of a local environmental education activity book for elementary school students, initiation of the Tracy Poppy Project for our schools, and expansion of recreational opportunities for all residents in the region. Celeste's professional career is in health care management where she has worked for 30 years, including in senior executive management positions. Celeste attended UC Berkeley receiving her Bachelors and Masters in Public Health Administration. Celeste knows how to lead large organizations through change and will bring her extensive business experience to the city. Celeste, with her brother Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, grew up on a family cattle ranch in Calaveras County outside of the small town of Mokelumne Hill where family, community, school and church were joined. As a child she went on summer backpack treks in the Sierra with her Dad, and now she does the same with her kids. In addition to her other community and professional work, Celeste also helps her husband work his family cattle ranch, along with their daughters. Celeste's background adds to her business experience with a deeply engrained work ethic, knowledge about land use and resource management and her belief in community involvement. This broad experience has helped shape Celeste's commitment to enhancing and protecting our Tracy community as we grow. Since 1998 Celeste has been actively involved in city and regional public policy issues as an advocate for fiscal responsibility, open government, needed community services, and balanced growth that creates jobs, builds a quality community and protects our environment. Celeste was a founding member of Tracy Region Alliance for a Quality Community and helped write, pass and defend Measure A, Tracy's Smart Growth Law. Celeste will meet Tracy's needs today and the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow bringing vision, leadership and independence to the City of Tracy.


Celeste will NOT accept donations from developers. She has demonstrated her independence from the residential developer lobby that controls too much at City Hall. Celeste will report ALL financial contributions to her campaign and will not hide contributors by using the $100.00 reporting limit. As Mayor, Celeste will fight for open honest city government free from special interest control.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: November 3, 2008 10:31
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