Candidate: Sheena Tahilramani
Education: University of California, Irvine, Bachelor of Arts; Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, Master of Science in journalism.
- Please describe your relationship/history with the City of Pasadena:
I moved to Pasadena in 2012 from Washington, D.C., and of all the places in Southern California that I considered in my transition back to the West Coast, I chose Pasadena for the economic, social, and educational opportunities that it provides to residents of all ages. One lifelong community member that I recently had the opportunity to sit down with said it best, “Think of anything you could possibly want to do or be at any point in your life – you can do it all in Pasadena.”
- In your opinion, what is the most significant issue in your district?
Currently, there are development projects in District 7 that have emphasized a “vision” disconnect between District 7 stakeholders and city council. As a candidate for Pasadena City Council, I believe that our vision for the city should drive progress and have an influence on everything from development projects to the types of trees that line our streets. This vision should be top of mind for every decision the city council considers and makes. Only dialogue and an inclusive planning process can drive long-term solutions.
- What are the City of Pasadena’s greatest strengths?
The City of Pasadena’s greatest strengths are its people, its neighborhoods, and its character (which includes that of its neighborhoods and people). As we endeavor to create and carry out a future-focused vision for the city, it’s imperative that we preserve our character and neighborhoods and recognize the expertise of our citizens to help guide growth.
- What qualities distinguish you from the other candidates?
Effective city council members must be good liaisons and engage the public in decision-making to encourage community buy-in and support for initiatives and projects. Prior to founding Pasadena-based SVN Public Relations, I worked in Washington at The White House Office of Political Affairs and then at Karl Rove & Company where I served as the company liaison to high-level clients and external organizations such as Fox News Channel, The Wall Street Journal, Simon & Schuster, and the Harry Walker Agency, amongst others. Actions that promote transparency and foster trust in the process, along with dialogue that engages the public in decision-making, are the only way to get to long-term solutions – Pasadena’s issues are much more intricate than “YES/NO” votes on a ballot.
- If elected, how will your presence contribute to the dynamic of the council?
I’ve worked in public relations long enough to know that perception is reality and we need a representative in District 7 that is willing to listen and understands when and how to pivot when local projects and initiatives run counter to public interest. My background in communications and public relations lends itself well to working with the citizens of Pasadena, our thought leaders, and businesses to make sure the needs and expectations of our community are not only met but also exceeded. As a small business owner and resident of Pasadena’s District 7, I am committed to ensuring that local stakeholders – residents and businesses alike – are contributing to the city’s economic development in a manner consistent with the best interests of our citizens and the community.