Paso Robles News|Friday, August 7, 2020
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Pamela Avila joins city council race 

Candidate brings economic development background

Pamela Avila

Pamela Avila

Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce economic development director Pamela Avila recently announced her candidacy for the Paso Robles City Council. She is the lone female running for a council that has been dominated by men in recent years. Avila is running against incumbents John Hamon Jr. and Duane Picanco, who is currently elected as mayor, and challengers Steve Gregory and Jim Reed. The election will be held Nov. 4.

“I’m not a politician and I never aspired to public office – until now,” Avila said. “I want to be your voice on the Paso Robles City Council. Why? Because I believe that Paso is in need of strong, creative, make-it-happen leadership.”

Avila, who grew up on the East Coast, came to Paso Robles seven years ago after living in Silicon Valley, working in the technology industry and raising a family. She is a University of Michigan graduate.

Her son attended Cal Poly and stayed after he fell in love with the area and was fortunate enough to find a job. She started volunteering in the Chamber’s Visitor Center four years ago and was then recruited to direct the Business Resource Center arm of the Chamber. In addition to her part-time job at the Chamber, she is also president of the newly formed nonprofit Stronger Futures.

What issues are important to Avila? “Re-opening Centennial pool, improving our streets, bringing our police force numbers back up to where they need to be, cleaning up our parks and bringing back other services that were dropped or reduced several years ago,” Avila said.

“These can and should be addressed sooner – not later. But I believe the bigger issue encompasses economic as well as community development. You need Paso’s leadership going forward to be visionary, to have and clearly communicate a plan and be willing to make hard choices that have you and your family at the heart of those choices.”

Avila’s worked as a manager and executive for technology companies in Silicon Valley, where she mostly built successful sales and marketing organizations. She also co-founded a venture-capital-backed technology company. She has mentored 80 small business owners across the United States and Canada for the last seven years.

“We all know that Paso is a very special place,” Avila wrote. “The special lifestyle of a small town, the sense of community that we all enjoy – both are attracting new residents from all over the country. We all want a quality of life that provides a great place to raise our families or settle into retirement. We want to be able to earn a good living. We want our children or grandchildren to have the tools that they’ll need as they become employees, entrepreneurs, parents and the future leaders of this community.”