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Meet Julie Lyfcott-Haims, running for Congress, California, District 16. 

District 16 is contains the South Bay, Mid-Peninsula, and coastal San Mateo County.

“I believe in humans. I know that if we can put machines on Mars, go to outer space, examine our DNA and decode it… I’m sure we can solve the problems of divisiveness and hate and violence.” -Julie

Above all, Julie is somebody who roots for all humans. Growing up Black and mixed-race exposed Julie to a reality that many marginalized people face— the feeling of being questioned about your identity and being made to feel like an outsider. Her experiences have given her a huge sense of compassion for anyone who is considered “not enough, problematic, or transgressive,” along with a drive to create a more inclusive future for all. She believes in amplifying the voices of those pushed to the edges of society because of things like race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, immigration status, or ability.

Julie is running for a Congressional seat that has just become available for the first time in three decades with the retirement of the district’s long-standing Congresswoman. Amidst a field of ten male contenders, Julie brings a much-needed perspective and a commitment to underrepresented groups in her district. Julie told us that she is driven to run not only because she believes voters deserve the opportunity to choose a woman but also due to the pressing current issues facing women’s reproductive freedom in America. As a current council member in Palo Alto, Julie says that she feels capable and compelled to represent her community at a higher level.

In Silicon Valley, where disparities between the rich and the disadvantaged are stark, Julie aims to bridge the gap and ensure equal opportunities for all. She advocates for progressive policies such as Medicare for all, reproductive freedom, sensible gun laws, and urgent climate action, emphasizing the need to address systemic inequalities. Notably, Julie distinguishes herself from her competitors by refusing corporate PAC money.

In Julie’s district, the high cost of living poses a large challenge, with rents far surpassing wages. To address this, Julie advocates for increased affordable housing, including higher-density developments, alongside efforts to raise wages. Additionally, she underscores the urgent need for climate action to mitigate the effects of environmental degradation and secure a sustainable future.

Julie shared that Silicon Valley is a special place because it represents innovation and progress. With a history of groundbreaking advancements in technology and biotech, the community fosters a culture of education, diversity, and inclusivity. For Julie, who found her sense of belonging there after years of feeling like an outsider, the District’s vibrant atmosphere and acceptance of all walks of life make her feel right at home.

When she’s not advocating for the betterment of the world, Julie enjoys unwinding with puzzles and word games like the New York Times crossword and Wordle! She finds relaxation in these activities and competitive fun when she plays them with her partner, Dan. Julie also finds peace in taking care of her houseplants, prompting her to reflect on the importance of slowing down and caring for living things. Julie’s commitment to nurturing these plants symbolizes her dedication to slowing down and ensuring she never overlooks meaningful moments in life. Last but not least, Julie has a 24-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter, and she says that their laughter is the most beautiful music she’s ever heard.

Julie is a future leader full of empathy and respect for all with a deep capacity to understand the needs of others and fight for those needs to be met. Her dedication to representing those who have been pushed aside in this world is inspiring and necessary as we work towards a more equitable future for all.

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