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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Sonoma Valley Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of John Kelly

John Kelly

Parent/Business Owner
9,161 votes (56.1%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Actively champion the needs of teachers, kids, and classrooms.
  • Work to improve communication, and build bridges between teachers and students, schools and parents.
  • Ensure our kids, parents, and teachers have the support they need to provide a healthy place of learning.



Profession:Parent, Business Owner
Incorporator & Founding Board Member, Sebastiani Theatre Foundation, Inc. — Elected position (2009–current)
Chair, City of Sonoma Community Services & Environment Commission — Appointed position (2004–2006)
Member, Budget Advisory Committee — Appointed position (2005–2006)


UC Berkeley Juris Doctor (J.D.) (2002)
UCLA Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), History (1997)
UCLA Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science (1997)

Community Activities

Counsel, pro bono publico, Sonoma Ecology Center (2011–current)
Counsel, pro bono publico, Sonoma Valley Athletic Club (2009–current)
Counsel, pro bono publico, CMedia (2015–current)



Before becoming an attorney, John developed his technical expertise working as a webmaster for a software startup, and as a web developer for a commercial finance company.

  • City of Sonoma Community Services & Environment Commission, Chair (former, 2004-6)
  • Budget Advisory Committee (2005-6)
  • Richard M. Sangster American Inn of Court (2007-present)
  • Sebastiani Theatre Foundation, Inc., Incorporator and a founding board member
  • Counsel, pro bono publico, Sonoma Ecology Center, CMedia, and Sonoma Valley Athletic Club


John graduated from UCLA in 1997 with degrees in history and political science, and from UC Berkeley’s law school in 2002. He has been in private practice in Sonoma since then, generally handling probate, real estate, and small business matters, including litigation.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Sonoma County Democratic Party
  • North Bay Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Sonoma County Conservation Action

Elected Officials (12)

  • Laurie Gallian, Mayor
  • Steve Barbose, Mayor (Fmr.)
  • Ken Brown, Mayor (Fmr.)
  • Stanley Cohen, Mayor (Fmr.)
  • Laura González, Santa Rosa School Board Trustee
  • Rachel Hundley, City Council Member
  • Gary Edwards, City Council Member
  • Dave Cook, City Council Member
  • Madolyn Agrimonti, City Council Member
  • Joanne Sanders, Mayor (Fmr.)
  • Larry Murphy, Mayor (Fmr.)
  • Doug McKesson, Mayor (Fmr.)

Individuals (26)

  • Cat Austin
  • Sharna Campbell
  • Joanne Geweke Green
  • Dave Seymour
  • Ashley Willson
  • Tadeo Borchardt, District Parent
  • Bill Boerum, President (Fmr.), Sonoma Valley Health Care District
  • Steven Bei, District Parent
  • Amy Bei, District Parent
  • Joyce Bauer, Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy
  • Zoe Barnett
  • Kelso G. Barnett, Design Review Commissioner
  • Melissa Barling
  • Bob Baeyen, President (Fmr.), Sonoma Valley Democrats
  • Pat Angeloni, District Parent
  • Bill Angeloni, District Parent
  • Marci Alley, District Parent
  • Josh Alley, District Parent
  • Mario Alioto II, President, Sonoma Valley Athletic Club, Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach
  • Bob Albright
  • Lucia Chavez-Goodman
  • Shireen Ellis
  • Kristina Reguero Garrison
  • Danielle Mallein Noble
  • Carrenne Purtell, Co-President, Flowery Parent Teacher Organization
  • Angela Zizzo

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Hi. My name is John Kelly and I would very much like to represent you, and work for our kids, as your Sonoma Valley School Board member.

My wife, Gianna, and I were both raised in Sonoma County. We couldn’t imagine raising our kids anywhere else, so today, we’re growing our young family here.

As a young woman my mother arrived from England with a very basic education. Our country offered her the opportunity for higher education, which she pursued relentlessly. He commitment showed me, every day, the importance and power of education.

Sassarini has great building blocks, but the Trustee needs to do their part. We have an improving school district, dedicated teachers and staff, and engaged parents. But every school board trustee needs to live up to their commitment, become an active and effective champion for kids and class needs, and build strong bridges between teachers, students, and parents. Anything less is not acceptable for our kids or our community.

I’m inspired, experienced, and already working to make Sassarini a stronger school. I hope you will join me in making sure our kids, parents, and teachers get the support they need to build a healthy place of learning for the next generation.

Who else is running?

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