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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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Local

City of Arroyo GrandeCandidate for Mayor

Photo of Caren Ray

Caren Ray

Educator/City Councilmember
4,809 votes (52.95%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • maintaining a balanced budget and providing excellent public safety services
  • protecting our water supply
  • maintaining our historic character

Experience

Experience

Profession:Teacher, Mayor Pro Tem/City Council Member
Teacher, Santa Maria High School (1993–current)

Education

BA- UCLA, MA- Cal Poly SLO Bachellor's Degree, Master's Degree, History, Educational Leadership (2009)

Biography

Caren Ray’s extensive governmental experience and business friendly leadership, combined with her deep roots in the community, make her uniquely qualified to serve Arroyo Grande as Mayor.

Caren Ray has been a Central Coast resident for more than three decades. She graduated from Arroyo Grande High School, attended Cuesta College and then UCLA, where she received a B.A. in History.  Caren is the first in her family to earn a college degree.  Having grown up on the Central Coast, Ms. Ray is raising her two boys with the same South County small-town values of family, community, and volunteerism as were instilled in her at their age.

Ms. Ray is committed to ensuring balance and integrity within the political process and is a strong advocate for an open and collaborative approach to problem solving. She is driven to support her community and honored to serve our city, and she believes that Arroyo Grande is a uniquely special place, with a diverse economic and cultural history.

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS

Caren Ray has spent her life breaking down barriers.  As a high school athlete, she played boys’ water polo because there was no girls’ team.  She earned two varsity letters, and became the first female starter.  She remains the only woman to have played for the Cuesta College mens’ water polo team.  When appointed, Caren was the first woman in two decades to serve on the Arroyo Grande City Council.  She was the sixth woman in San Luis Obispo County’s 150-year history to serve as a Supervisor. If elected Mayor, she would be the first female Mayor elected in over 30 years, and only the second in over 100 years.

CAREER

Ms. Ray has been an educator for a combined total of 17 years, having taught government, economics and world history at Santa Maria High School from 1993 to 2013.  Midway through her career as an educator, Caren took a break to be a full-time mom to her two young children.  In addition, she put her experience working in her family’s toy stores to use by opening and running a retail game and internet computing store that catered to children.  Carrying on the skills and values she learned from the family business, Caren handled payroll, accounting, purchasing and inventory, as well as updating and repairing computers and networks.  Working in the family business and owning her own business provided Caren with a deep appreciation for the sacrifice and hard work that goes into the life of a small business owner. After serving as Supervisor, she returned to her classroom to continue her dedication to education.

DEDICATION TO SERVICE

Ms. Ray began her political career in 2005 when she was appointed to the Arroyo Grande City Planning Commission, on which she served three years as Chair.  When her children reached school age in 2007, Caren wrapped up the business and returned to the classroom.  She joined the Arroyo Grande City Council in 2010, where she served until her October 2013 appointment to the Board of Supervisors.  While teaching high school and serving on the City Council, Caren also enrolled in a graduate program at Cal Poly, earning her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration in 2009.

As an Arroyo Grande City Council member, Ms. Ray helped guide the city through the worst fiscal crisis in two generations. A strong proponent of economic development, she played a role in bringing numerous businesses into the city. In addition, Ms. Ray worked with local non-profits providing mental health services and low-income workforce housing. She participated in the establishment of Five Cities Fire Authority, which resulted in improved emergency services while saving thousands of taxpayer dollars annually.

Caren Ray left the Arroyo Grande City Council when she was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to fill the remainder of late Supervisor Paul Teixeira’s term on the Board of Supervisors.  In addition to serving on the Board of Supervisors, she served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Economic Vitality Corporation, a Director on the Air Pollution Control Board, a Director on the Integrated Waste Management Authority, and on the Arroyo Grande Tourism and Marketing Committee.

Caren was elected back to the Arroyo Grande City Council in 2016, and got right to work helping get the city back into shape by ensuring a structurally balanced budget and strategic cuts that make the city leaner, more agile, and fiscally strong. Caren is a fiscal conservative, and has repeatedly stood firm during the budget process to hold the line and keep spending under control.

She brings a wealth of governmental experience to her position as Mayor.

VALUES

 

Who supports this candidate?

Individuals (9)

  • Katcho Achadjian, Former State Assemblyman
  • Judith Bean, Former CEO, Arroyo Grande/Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce
  • Kristen Barneich, Arroyo Grande City Council Member
  • Greg Cottrell, Rugged Radios
  • Frank Schiro, Partner, Rooster Creek Tavern and Mason Bar and Kitchen
  • Trudy Jarratt
  • Mary Bassett
  • Jim Guthrie, Former City Council Member, Arroyo Grande
  • Linda Austin, Oceano Community Services Director

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Ms. Ray is committed to ensuring balance and integrity within the political process and is a strong advocate for an open and collaborative approach to problem solving. She is driven to support her community and honored to serve our county, and she believes that the South County is a uniquely special place, with a diverse economic and cultural history.

 

Caren Ray’s extensive governmental experience and business friendly leadership, combined with her deep roots in the community, make her uniquely qualified to serve Arroyo Grande.

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