I am a mom of 2 boys (9 and 13) and a business attorney working for a number of amazing small companies – and also In House for Lundberg Family Farms in Richvale, CA (part-time and remotely).
I’m also a candidate for San Mateo City Council in the November 7, 2017 Election. I’m the only woman candidate of the seven running and the only non-incumbent candidate that has local governance experience. I’m an advocate for equity, inclusion, stability and wellness in our community and have served as a volunteer, an organizational leader and currently as a Governing Trustee on the San Mateo-Foster City Board of Education. In each of these roles, I’ve been accessible and responsive, made well-considered and thoughtful decisions, and have shown through my actions that I courageously address tough issues and work toward collaborative solutions. My campaign website is http://www.ChelseaBonini.com.
Before going to law school, I was a kindergarten and first grade teacher in South San Francisco as “Miss Doerrie.” I have also served on the San Mateo-Foster City School Board for the past 4 years with the primary goal of ensuring that the District provides equitable learning opportunities for all students in San Mateo and Foster City. I attended a women’s college in New York called Russell Sage and U.C. Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. My full bio is available at https://www.linkedin.com/in/chelseabonini/.
Tell us a little about your childhood and the impact your mother had on shaping you…
I was raised by one of the most independent, outspoken and strong women on this planet. For much of my childhood, she was a single mom working multiple jobs to keep me fed, clothed and in a nice and safe home. The grace and boldness with which she addressed a time that she now fondly refers to as “me raising her” was inspiring and really shaped my view of the world. I never realized until I was older, how much she sacrificed to have me at a young age and to make sure that I had what I needed. She taught me to stand up for what I believe in, to be an active participant in the community, and to always remember that life is a balance of things we have to do and things that make us happy, and we must do things that we enjoy. It is really my mom’s influence that has made me independent, ambitious and inspired to always look for a new way to make an impact in the world. She is my toughest critic and my strongest supporter in everything that I do.
What has been a “spark moment” or “moments” that set you on your path?
My life has been filled with many blessings and also adversity. I can not say that one moment or another set me on the path that I now travel, but it’s really a culmination of my experiences. I am blessed in many ways, and I have been resilient in ways that I sometimes wonder how it was possible. I was a shy child, I attended a different school every year of elementary school, I had to make new friends frequently, we did not have a lot of money, but I always wanted to do my best. I had the things that were important – a loving mother, a strong desire to do well in school and I was always willing to try new things, which enabled me to make a lot of connections. I always preferred to be busy, and I enjoyed time to myself, which is still true. There are many things that could have stopped me from graduating from college or law school, from enjoying my work or from having a family, but I truly believe that deciding that personal, financial or family struggles will not impede achievement of my goals has been my greatest asset.
What is your passion and purpose (the “P” in EPIC)?
I put my heart into everything that I do. I volunteer to do many things and to support social movements in our community because it’s the right thing to do, to make a positive difference. I put my whole self out there without concern that someone might disagree or fight back. I always say that I love a good challenge, and I really do. This is even true in my political endeavors. I stand up for what I feel is right and just, even when it might not be politically savvy. I believe that to move the needle forward on social justice issues, we have to be empathetic and address issues courageously. This might win the day, or it might not, but it’s the only way that I truly feel comfortable engaging in this realm, and this is how I live my life.
What are you currently reading or listening to for inspiration?
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
What is one message or affirmation you tell yourself to ground you on your quest?
Keep going, you can do this!
In one word, what are you seeking most right now on your Quest?
What challenge or offering would you like to share with the Mother’s Quest Community?
Be involved in the democratic process in your community at whatever level you are comfortable with, and never dismiss the notion that you can be a leader. I have had the opportunity to take on leadership roles in many organizations, and this is partially due to the fact that others did not want to do this. We need women to continue to take on leadership roles at all levels of governance — parent-teacher organizations, sports boards, advisory committees & elected positions at all levels of government. I truly believe that we naturally bring a greater sense of empathy and consideration to the important decisions that are made. Be confident, be brave and make your corner (or more) of the community (or world) a better place.
How did you learn about Mother’s Quest?
I was lucky to have an introduction to Julie by a mutual friend last year!
What have you appreciated the most about Mother’s Quest?
I appreciate the conversation that Julie inspires among women to reach for their best possible self. My “Milestone Hike” with Julie was very impactful in allowing me to acknowledge and address the challenges that I was facing in my life at that time and has really been a guide for me as I embark on new endeavors.
I’m also excited to have the opportunity to talk about women in politics and my upcoming run for City Council and answer questions at Julie’s first “Listening Party,” this coming Saturday, October 28 in San Mateo. We’ll come together after listening to her episode with Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin on the Age of the New Heroine and Intersectionality.
I’m excited to announce the first listening party for the Mother’s Quest Podcast. If you are from the Bay Area, join us in person at San Mateo and connect face to face, ask questions and discuss how we can all step forward into more political leadership.
We will have a Q & A with Chelsea about Ep 24: Intersectionality and the Age of the New Heroine with Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin.
If you’re local to the Bay Area, I’d love for you to RSVP by replying to this email and join us.
Mother’s Quest Circles
A Signature Experience to Spark Your E.P.I.C. Life:
First Review of Applications starting on September 10th for the MOTHER’S QUEST CIRCLE Pilot happening FALL 2017. Learn about the Power of Reflective Circles and How They’ve Changed Me by reading here. To send your application, click on this link.