Professional executive and education advocate PJ Shelton said she believes she has the experience and vision to help guide Danville into a more prosperous future if elected to the Town Council on Nov. 3.
A Danville resident with a passion to "become the change I would like to see in my community," Shelton's platform primarily focuses on supporting educational services in Danville and ensuring that every member of the community feels they have a seat at the table when it comes to town governance.
"The town of Danville is evolving, and as a candidate for Town Council, PJ’s platform is to become the voice for those who have not been heard, to listen to their concerns and fears as the world moves forward into the paradigm of a new 21st Century -- of economic discourse, injustice, racial inequities and radical educational system changes," Shelton said in a candidate statement.
Campaigning on "strategies to optimize policy (STOP)," Shelton's platform revolves around a number of issues that for the most part promote inclusion and strive to ensure that every Danville resident feels spoken for by their hometown government.
Policies include improving language accessibility for public meetings and documents and the creation of an "Equity Action Plan" that would look at demographics on town commissions and staff to ensure diverse perspectives. Shelton would also work to ensure that development projects are evaluated through the lens of equity and inclusion.
Further adding onto the themes of celebrating diversity and inclusion, Shelton said she would strive to formulate a framework for a town "Cultural Diversity" podcast and develop an "Alliance" composed of community members to exchange ideas in an honest and supportive environment.
Referring to her past in the education field, Shelton is also advocating for supporting parents during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"I will communicate with and listen to the problems of parents who are now becoming ‘teachers’ for their children as an aftermath of this horrific coronavirus pandemic," she told DanvilleSanRamon.com "I will provide a voice to the constituency in parts of the town who have expressed a desire to be recognized and heard."
The Nov. 3 election will not serve as Shelton's first foray into politics; she said in college she ran a campaign for Michigan's state attorney general. She also became closely involved in local politics while living in Detroit where she says she "created a political platform for young women" and "generated some to take up politics as a career.
"I understand the fear of wanting to speak up, but fearing you might not be heard," she said.
Shelton began her professional career in the transportation, global trade and logistics industry while working at FedEx during its early days of conception. That led to a more than 30-year career working with multiple companies within this same industry.
She said she eventually earned a master's degree in Education at Concordia University-Portland as well as a Ph.D. in organizational systems at Saybrook University in Oakland.
After gaining her master's, Shelton became a deputy sector navigator at the Peralta Community College District and currently works as a senior business consultant at the Alameda County Office of Education, according to her LinkedIn page.
"Effecting change is not the problem. Having dialogue with the right people within the community who are affected by others turning a blind-eye to change, is the problem," she told DanvilleSanRamon.com. "As a newly elected member of the Danville Town Council, my commitment is to seek input from the entire community and to be available to listen and hear your concerns."
Shelton has not yet unveiled a campaign website.