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Around Town . . . with Robert Airoldi: Gilroy councilman throws his hat in the ring for State Assembly

Published in the June 21 – July 4, 2017 of Morgan Hill Life

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Peter Leroe-Munoz

The 2018 race to represent the South Valley in Sacramento has just begun. Gilroy City Councilmember Peter Leroe-Muñoz recently announced he launched his campaign to represent Assembly District 30, which includes Gilroy, San Martin and Morgan Hill.

The 2018 race to represent the South Valley in Sacramento has just begun. Gilroy City Councilmember Peter Leroe-Muñoz recently announced he launched his campaign to represent Assembly District 30, which includes Gilroy, San Martin and Morgan Hill.“Our district is special to me,” he said in his campaign website.

“My father worked in the fields here as a child, and would eventually work his way through U.C. Berkeley. His sacrifices afforded me opportunities he never had. Public service is my way of giving back.”

Leroe-Muñoz was first elected a Gilroy city councilmember in 2010. He serves as the vice president of technology and innovation policy for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

• • •

June is the month for rainbow-colored flags to wave from flagpoles at Morgan Hill’s public facilities. About 50 people joined Mayor Steve Tate and Morgan Hill City Council members at City Hall Plaza June 1 for a flag-raising ceremony to mark LGBTQ Pride Month.Rene Spring made a few remarks to those who attended.

“We are here today to celebrate the beginning of LGBTQ Pride Month as it’s being celebrated in many communities across our region, throughout the country, and even throughout many countries in the world,” he said. “I did not expect this great turnout. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia still exist. Events like today are a signal that we need to change that and need to embrace each other even more.”

Rene told the crowd he started to realize he was “different” at about the age of 12 or 13. By 16 or 17, he was certain he was gay.

“I was ashamed, I was embarrassed, I was afraid,” he  said. “I came out to my family and friends at 17, and to my surprise, their response was: ‘Well, finally. We knew!’ I was lucky to be embraced by a loving family and wonderful friends, but I also realize not all are that lucky.”

The rainbow colors of the Pride flag symbolizes diversity.

• • •

Matt Wendt

Nick Gaich

The Morgan Hill Community Foundation recently welcomed Nick Gaich and Matt Wendt to its board of directors. Gaich is the founder and CEO of Nick Gaich and Associates. He has 40 years of experience working with local organizations, including the BookSmart Community Advantage Foundation.

Wendt is an attorney at Sweeney, Mason, Wilson & Bosomworth in Los Gatos, and now serves as a commissioner on the Parks and Recreation Commission for the city of Morgan Hill. He is also involved on the fund-raising committee for the Morgan Hill Inclusive Playground Project, a partner of the MHCF.

Both Morgan Hill residents and looking forward to getting further involved in our great community. If you might be interested in also joining the MHCF board, an opening is still available.

Contact Pamala Meador at pamala@duovu.com.

• • •

Former Gilroy resident Tom McGinty is embarking on a new adventure. The 36-year-old product of St. Mary School, Bellarmine, the University of Notre Dame, and St. Louise University where he earned his MBA  and JD, was recruited last year by Chris Jackson of the Kendall Jackson wine family as vice president of sales and marketing for the new brewery Jackson was founding in Santa Rosa, Seismic Brewing Company — as one of its first employees.McGinty, who now lives in Healdsburg, is currently touring the Bay Area launching Seismic beers and was at downtown Morgan Hill’s The Running Shop and Hops June 6. To make life even sweeter, two weeks ago his wife gave birth to twin girls who join their four other children.

Here’s to Seismic beers becoming a favorite craft beer brand. Check it out at The Running Shop and Hops!

• • •

You knew with the emerging drone technology that organizations would take a leap forward in the way they use that technology, and the Morgan Hill Unified School District did just that at its recent high school graduations.With the help of Community Media Access Partnership and Morgan Hill Access Television, the district made the graduations more accessible.

“We started with the idea of streaming both ceremonies into the high school theaters. After last year’s heat wave, we were looking for a way to provide shelter for those guests who were sensitive to the heat,” said Superintendent Steve Betando. “Our technology department took that idea and made it something much more exciting. With a bit of tweaking for next year, we are looking forward to making this a permanent part of graduation in the future.”

Using the drones, MHUSD staff captured footage of seniors making their way onto the football fields, giving family members a behind-the-scene glimpse of the graduation procession. CMAP and MHAT were then able to stream video of the speeches and graduation ceremony to the High School theaters and online.

Both graduation videos will remain accessible through liveoak.mhusd.org and sobrato.mhusd.org for the next month. The videos can also be found on the District’s Facebook page along with drone footage of the processions.What an awesome idea, and let’s hope we can do even more with drones.

Maybe the city could fly one over downtown documenting the construction and create a time-lapse video. Just throwing out an idea!