As election season draws closer, San Rafael voters can add another name to race for a seat on the San Rafael City Council: Whitney Hoyt.
Hoyt, current assistant principal at , earned a reputation as a tenacious worker with a career in public education and political activism. If elected, her main goal as a council member would be “to keep San Rafael livable” for it’s residents.
“I’m not sure our elected officials should just be focused on the bottom line,” Hoyt said. “We are a city of people, after all.”
Her vision for San Rafael includes maintaining the level of public services for the community as well as recruiting more businesses to the downtown area, where she said she’s seen “so many storefronts boarded up” in the past few years.
Hoyt has approximately two decades of experience in public education in Marin County. She was a social studies teacher at in San Anselmo, where she co-founded an integrative two-year educational program for freshman in 1992 known as ROCK (Revolution of Core Knowledge).
“Whitney was always so determined,” said Principal Dave Sondheim, who worked with Hoyt at Drake. “She could be brutally honest, but was also a team player.”
Before coming to San Rafael High School in 2008, Hoyt was principal of for five years, was dean of the Novato Unified School District for two years and served on the Sausalito Marin City School Board.
In August 2009, Hoyt considered running for City Council, but decided against it since she was still new to her San Rafael High School post.
“I didn’t want to do both jobs half way,” she said.
Although she didn’t end up on the Council that year, she is no stranger to politics. From 2006 to 2008 she was political director of reproductive rights nonprofit NARAL Pro-Choice California.
Hoyt, who lives in the Glenwood neighborhood, , whose experience is in municipal law and litigation.
“Whitney is a solid candidate,” Council Member Damon Connolly said, noting that Hoyt might need to brush up on some city issues since her main focus has been education.
“I’m not going to predict outcomes, but I think it could be a spirited race,” he said.
When it comes to city issues, Hoyt believes her experience balancing school budgets will benefit the Council.
“I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a city planner,” she said. “But I’m thoughtful. I listen. I’m willing to learn. And I care about the city and the community.”