The following letters and other commentary express only the personal opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Piedmont Civic Association.

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Sep 21 2020

There is no better candidate for City Council than Conna McCarthy Craigie. 

Conna has spent over 30 years in Piedmont, serving both the school and city communities.  She has worked on several parcel tax and bond measures for the city and PUSD.  When her children were no longer in the school system she focused on city issues and concerns. She was appointed to the Recreation Commission in 2017, and the to CIP in 2019 where she was elected chair.

Conna is a team player, and serving for “the greater good”, is in her blood.  All of her past volunteer roles and work experience have more than prepared her to serve on the City Council.  She is a critical thinker and a rational and fair decision maker.  Conna will bring a clear perspective and work ethic to her position.  There is no better Piedmont resident for the job.

Matthew and Margaret Heafey

Sep 19 2020

I am writing to enthusiastically support Conna McCarthy in her candidacy for Piedmont City Council.  I have had the pleasure of working with Conna over the course of many years, from serving on Parent Boards, the Booster Board, and the Piedmont Education Foundation, to recent project collaborations in our respective roles on the City’s Recreation Commission and the City’s Park Commission.

Conna comes from a background steeped in public service and civic engagement.  She is caring, hardworking, and tenacious and will cut to the chase, but also maintains a healthy sense of humor.  Conna doesn’t shy away from asking the tough questions and will make decisions with the best interests of all community members in mind.  I know that she will govern with transparency and be accessible to the City’s residents and take heed of their concerns.  Conna will continue to make Piedmont proud.

Please join me in voting to elect Conna McCarthy to the Piedmont City Council.

Robin Wu, Piedmont Park Commissioner

Sep 17 2020

The first time I met Veronica she was working at Piedmont’s annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration, calmly ensuring that Congresswoman Barbara Lee had a designated space to park and a committed escort to show her into the Veterans’ Hall for her speech. Veronica and her family had just moved to Piedmont from Chicago less than three months before, and here she was, diving headlong into a leadership role directing the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee’s (PADC) signature event. Moving boxes still waited to be unpacked in the Thigpen’s new home yet she was mediating, problem-solving and coordinating this huge organizational undertaking, functioning as if she’d been living in Piedmont for decades.

Pragmatic leadership and decision-making, I would come to understand, are Veronica’s strengths, along with a grand sense of humor and warm, genuine nature.

Over the next two years I got to learn who Veronica Thigpen is as she immersed herself in the work of PADC becoming its co-president the following year and overseeing the organization’s diversity grants, City Council consultations, engagements with the police and recreation departments and continuing PADC’s founding focus, insuring diversity and inclusion in Piedmont schools.

I have worked closely with Veronica as a member of PADC. Veronica’s expertise in organizing, her background in education, journalism and consulting, make her well suited for any leadership role.

Over those three years, I have also come to value Veronica as a real friend. We speak often, especially now at the confluence of a pandemic, a sudden social upheaval and the real tangible impact of climate change. Veronica and I also share the challenges and joys of raising young Black girls, helping them sprint toward and take it upon themselves to become fully engaged as social activist in our evolving Piedmont community. And, I can always rely on Veronica’s sense of humor to provide levity no matter the weight of the moment.

All of these things about Veronica make her the right choice, at this time, for the Piedmont School Board. She will bring a unique perspective that has long been missing from the school board, pushing toward a new Local Control and Accountability Plan crafted to carry out the board’s newly declared commitment to equity and social justice. I stand behind Veronica Thigpen for School Board.

Richard Turner, Piedmont Resident

Sep 13 2020

We have known Cory since our kids began kindergarten at Wildwood over a dozen years ago. From the start it was obvious that she would do great things for our schools and our community.  Since then, she has done nearly every volunteer job in town: President of the Wildwood Parents Club, Chair of the Giving Campaign, softball coach, Scout leader, just to name a few.

Watching her serve as School Board vice-president, it is clear that Cory’s continued leadership is of great value to our town. She has been a consistent advocate for improved communication, for the mental health and well being of our students, and for the financial health of our public schools.

Cory has worked hard to improve communications in her role as the Board liaison.  She responded promptly and thoughtfully to hundreds of emails that were sent to the Board during this difficult time.  She answered numerous and emotional emails from us with understanding, grace, honesty and integrity. On Zoom and KCOM, we have watched Cory stand out as a critical thinker and clear communicator. She does her research, and she asks direct and transparent questions that are informed by science and best practices.

Cory has been steadfast in her efforts to help our students. She has advocated to bring students back to the classroom as soon as safely possible. She has also been working with students to create ways for them to make meaningful connections, even in a COVID-restricted world.

Cory has an MBA and her financial literacy is essential in times of increased budget challenges.  After four years of Board leadership, she also has a deep understanding of the District’s financials. Cory helped organize the Red for Ed Campaign and led efforts to lobby for increased education funding from the State so that our School District could give raises to our employees.

We are incredibly fortunate that Cory is running for a second term. Quite honestly, it’s hard to imagine the School Board without her!  Please join us in voting to re-elect Cory to the Piedmont School Board.

Pam Schwartz & Eric Wolfers

Sep 8 2020

Connie Herrick: City Council Candidate

Piedmont has been my home for 51 years. I feel deeply fortunate to have lived the majority of my life in our wonderful City. My parents and I settled in Piedmont in 1969. I attended Piedmont Middle School and graduated Piedmont High in 1975.

My husband Mark and I met 40 years ago in San Francisco. We purchased our Greenbank home in 1992. Our son Matt attended Beach Elementary, PMS and PHS. He graduated from USC currently works as a senior product manager at Electronic Arts. And we have Kapo, our German Shepherd, a recently retired search and rescue dog.

When Matt was growing up, I was a full-time working mom. I volunteered as a classroom helper, gave presentations on wellness, drove for fieldtrips, soccer and water polo games, and served as a medic for our soccer team. Mark and I are active in our newly renamed Community Resiliency Group (formerly known as Neighborhood Watch). Mark offers free, weekly meditation classes to our community.

I have a 40 year career in both the private and non-profit sectors of healthcare, financial services and marketing communications. My CV is online at www.linkedin.com/in/connie-herrick/. I earned my MBA from the University of San Francisco and hold a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I’ve been a Licensed Acupuncturist for over 12 years, and served as Executive Director for the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic, volunteering my treatment services for underserved, low-income women with cancer in Oakland.

Running for City Council was a decision I made more with my heart than my head. Living in unprecedented times has not been easy for any of us. Every day we face challenges to our health, safety and financial stability. So I felt that If there was ever a time to step up, contribute and effect positive change, it was now.

We need thoughtful decisions backed by solid critical thinking skills to drive the progress of our City. Piedmont services and capital projects must be affordable for all our citizens, represent what the majority wants and strategically be what is best for the future of our City. I thought about the skills I’ve amassed over a 40 year career and realized that my financial expertise, operational experience and solution based project management approach would well serve our City.

And, as a longtime Piedmonter, I have an unwavering dedication to maximizing every dollar we pay in property taxes. And I am now at a time in my life where I am able and want to volunteer my experience, skills, time and energy to work for you and our City. Most of all, I have a strong desire to give back and a deep commitment to volunteerism and civic duty. That is the root of why I feel a strong pull to serve and run for office.

I hope you will take a moment and visit my website: www.voteherrick.com

Thank you!

Connie Herrick, Candidate for Piedmont City Council

Sep 8 2020

September 8, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Over the last decade, I have had the privilege of working with Hilary Cooper on Parent Club Boards, the Giving Campaign, and Citywide parcel tax initiatives. Her impact has been significant and she is exceptionally well qualified to serve as a PUSD Board of Education Member. Today, I would like to look beyond her resume and share the leadership qualities that make her an ideal candidate.

Hilary’s Leadership

Hilary’s Vision for our schools is innovative and practical. As an educator, she sees opportunities for student engagement, fundraising, curriculum, and professional development. She is financially savvy and knows how to allocate resources where it makes a difference.

Hilary communicates by listening first then speaking. She asks great questions to collaborate with diverse perspectives and facilitate inclusive action. As a result, her curiosity gives constituents the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making process and support outcomes.

Hilary is passionate about her commitment to our schools and her enthusiasm is contagious. She is the first to “roll up her sleeves” to get things done and when she reaches out to engage others…. I always say YES!

Please join me and say YES to Hilary’s campaign. Engage in the conversation about PUSD efforts for school safety, innovative teaching and learning modalities, state funding/budget allocations, co-curricular programs, and academic excellence. Check out her website to see how you can get involved at hilaryforschoolboard.com.

In closing, I am a PHS alum and our children have benefited from Piedmont schools. We need to ensure the future of our schools for many generations to come and Hilary Cooper has the vision, communication skills, and passion to make it happen.

Go Highlanders!

Mary Alice McNeil

Sep 2 2020

As a City Council Member for the last four years, I have made it my priority to balance fiscal responsibility with a commitment to improving Piedmont’s aging infrastructure and enhancing public services. We are a small city with limited resources and staff, and it is essential that we budget conservatively and address past unfunded liabilities, including our streets and sidewalks, parks, and recreation facilities. Essential long-term investments will ensure a beautiful, sustainable city for our kids and grandkids. I also continue to emphasize more immediate priorities such as wildfire prevention, disaster preparedness, community health and public safety.

As a Council Member, I leverage my deep community connections to engage and promote diverse perspectives, develop mutually beneficial solutions, and increase equity and inclusiveness. I am actively involved with many community organizations to hear their perspectives and support their efforts including PUSD School Board, Piedmont Connect, League of Women Voters, Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee, Parent Clubs, Piedmont Community Service Crew, Appreciating Diversity Film Series, Piedmont Parent Network, Piedmont Racial Equity Campaign, and others.

My husband and I moved to Piedmont 17 years ago from San Francisco when we had two sons, Jackson age 2.5 and Salem, 6 mos. Our daughter Shelby was born in Piedmont shortly thereafter. Like many Piedmonters, we were drawn to Piedmont for the quality public education and beautiful city. I quickly became involved in our schools once my oldest started kindergarten. My three kids all attend(ed) Piedmont public schools and I make it my mission as a Council Member to be a strong partner for our schools in every way possible.

I earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS from the University of Illinois.  As a business professional, I had strategic and financial responsibility for large consumer products businesses and was an IT management consultant. I am honored to put my experience, work ethic, and dedication to work on the Piedmont City Council.

Please visit: www.Jen4Piedmont.com.

Jennifer Cavenaugh, Candidate for Piedmont City Council.

Sep 2 2020

Cory Smegal School Board Candidate

Click below to read the list of endorsers for Cory Smegal’s re-election to the Piedmont School Board.


Sep 2 2020
We are fortunate to currently have Jennifer Cavenaugh on City Council and residents will be well represented by electing Jen for the next four years.
Jen’s objective, critical and detailed examination of the many challenges facing Piedmont is no surprise given her business management and IT skills.
Her ongoing concern of addressing Piedmont’s aging infrastructure will be much needed as we move forward.  Yet she seeks to balance our growing needs with a realistic view of ever increasing fiscal demands placed on Piedmont residents.  I know Jen is also aware and concerned about the significant retired segment of our population and how our needs will be addressed. Jen cares.
Beyond various conversations about City affairs, I’ve had the pleasure of playing pickleball with Jen. I’d like to say I beat her often but that would be a stretch as she brings a focus and intensity to the game that mirrors her presence at City Council Meetings.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her family and observing the temperament of her three great kids; their good character is a direct reflection of the values that she and husband Dan foster.
I do not always agree with Jen’s conclusions but I know she has done her homework and that she deeply cares about Piedmont. Her probing questions to Staff and consultants are invaluable and Jen will not simply accept the consensus position because it’s the easy thing to do. Jen’s integrity and temperament are qualities that are essential on City Council.
Vote for Jennifer Cavenaugh for Piedmont City Council.
Rick Schiller


Sep 1 2020

For the past four years, I have served on the Piedmont Board of Education and am currently Vice-President.  I am running for a second term because I believe that experience is important, and I care deeply about the schools and the well-being of our students and staff.   Recognizing that California continues to underfund public education, I led PUSD advocacy efforts in Sacramento for additional state funding.  Locally, I fought for Measures G&H to guarantee Piedmont’s continued fiscal solvency. I am proud of my role in bringing a new STEAM building and theater to PHS. I also convinced the district to refinance a PUSD facilities bond which will save Piedmont taxpayers $25M over the life of the bond. As board correspondent for the past two years, I have been committed to enhancing communication and increasing community outreach.  I am proud of the board’s efforts to prioritize student mental health and to promote equity and anti-racism. But there is still more to be done.  

The COVID-related challenges the school district is facing are unprecedented. The needs of our students, families, faculty, and staff have never been greater.  At this time, we must all come together to support our schools.  We must do everything we can to prioritize the needs of our students.  If re-elected, I will continue to advocate for fiscal solvency, mental and physical health, clear communication, and excellence in education.  

Personally, I have an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.  My husband grew up in Piedmont (PHS ‘85).  We moved to town 16 years ago with our daughter, Anna (PHS ‘19), our son, Tommy (PHS ‘21). I am active in the Piedmont Parents Network, Scouts and Boosters, and in my free time I enjoy playing golf and meeting up with friends at a distance in the dog park.

If you’d like to know more about my candidacy or to endorse me, please visit my website, www.voteforcorysmegal.com

Cory Smegal