For me, it’s always about the mission.
It’s why I joined the Marines. Stood up for victims of sexual assault as a Uniformed Victim Advocate. And successfully fought the ban on women holding top jobs in the military.
My next mission is to run for San Diego County Supervisor.
Because while our County is finally moving in a new direction, we need to keep up the pace. Urgently.
The challenges we face are big ones, and they won’t be solved by any one person. Working together, and listening to the community, we can build a County that truly lives up to the values we share.
Will you join me?
Courageous. Compassionate. Committed. Whether wearing a uniform or serving as a nonprofit leader, Janessa has never met a challenging obstacle she didn’t want to overcome or a tough problem she didn’t want to solve.
Janessa is a decorated Marine Corps veteran who, in addition to deploying overseas, fought a policy banning women from top jobs in the military and stood up for victims of sexual assault as a Uniformed Victim Advocate.
She is the CEO of Vet Voice Foundation, a national nonprofit organization with more than 1.5 million members that gives veterans and military families a bigger say on the issues that matter -- like lowering costs for families, confronting the climate crisis, standing up for workers’ rights, addressing inequality, and ensuring safe and healthy communities.
Janessa is an experienced policy advocate who knows how to turn an idea that starts in the community into a political reality. She successfully worked with the Biden administration to secure the largest expansion in veterans health care benefits in 30 years to more than 5 million veterans nationwide and played a leading role in safeguarding more than 550,000 acres of federal public lands for future generations.
At the local level, Janessa has fought for union jobs, equal pay for women - in particular, minority women, resources to prevent veteran suicide, services for the LGBTQ community, common sense gun safety measures, affordable and middle-income housing, and services for homeless youth. Janessa is a deeply invested leader in our community and serves on the County of San Diego’s Behavioral Health Advisory Board, the board of MANA de San Diego, UCSD’s Chancellor’s Community Advisory Group, the San Diego Mayor’s LGBT Task Force, and is the past co-chair of the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s board.
Janessa grew up right here in San Diego County and cut short her career in the Marines to come home and take care of her mom, a retired public school teacher, in her final fight with Alzheimer’s. That experience made her a fierce advocate for all caregivers. Janessa believes we can and must do so much more to support parents, children, and seniors because she knows first-hand the disproportionate impact that unpaid caregiving work has on women.
In the 134-year history of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, a woman has never been elected to represent the 4th District. Janessa has fought to break down barriers her entire career - and now she’s running for San Diego County Board of Supervisors to do the same -- and deliver meaningful change that moves our County forward.
Before joining the Marines as a Combat Engineer Officer, Janessa worked as a human rights advocate to protect civilians in conflict zones in Sudan and Myanmar. She holds a B.S. from Northwestern University and an M.A. from the University of San Francisco. Janessa and her wife Carol live in San Diego with their dogs and a small flock of hens.