The Atlantic Highlands Herald invited each of the candidates for office to school boards and governing bodies in Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Middletown and Sea Bright to respond to a series of questions about themselves to better inform our readers about their campaigns. The deadline for submission is Friday, October 22. We will post their responses individually and make them available in our Politics Section.
November 2, 2021 – General Election
Profile Date: 10/22/2021
Candidate Name: Lesley A. D’Almeida
Age (as of Election Day): 49
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Position Sought (term): Atlantic Highlands Borough Council
Party Affiliation or Banner: Democrat
Family: Partner to Lee, a local business owner. Son, Jair, a student-athlete (basketball) at Butler University and daughter Kaya, who is in 2nd grade.
Education: Attended University of Maryland
Occupation: Senior Director at Stylus Media Group
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office: N/A
Campaign Website or Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ahdemocraticclub
Why are you seeking office?
I am running for office because the time is right for unique perspectives that reflect our growing and diverse community. I am passionate about our community, its people and future success.
The two most important issues facing our (board, district, council, committee etc.) are the climate crisis, and annual property taxes, and this is what I intend to do about it.
There is an urgent need to address and prepare for the climate crisis. I intend to work with neighboring Bayshore communities and organizations to work on climate resiliency, seeking grant monies from state and federal sources to pay for what needs to be done. I will also focus on comprehensive road and intelligent infrastructure initiatives throughout Atlantic Highlands.
The current Assessment Demonstration Program that only Monmouth County participates in assesses your home to market value and places an undue burden on Atlantic Highlands homeowners – particularly those who have been here longer and are having their assessments at 100% of market value. I think we can all agree that everyone should pay their fair share and we should minimize overpayments and underpayments by individual taxpayers. I intend to first establish if and how we can repeal ADP and find a viable alternative that leverages technology where possible, for a cost-effective, accurate and transparent process of real property assessment.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
Our campaign is about moving Atlantic Highlands Forward. This means taking a comprehensive approach to governing and especially one that represents all residents of AH while protecting and preserving our town for future generations.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
This is my first time running for elected office but I have a track record of success in my professional career and a history of getting involved and activism.
I began my career at a publishing company in Bethesda, Maryland at an entry-level position. As the company grew, I received several promotions and began travelling the world as an international sales executive. In this role, adaptability and flexibility were key as I was a pioneer in selling online information services to academic and government libraries overseas. After growing the international business, I assumed responsibility for a major domestic territory, including federal agencies. My roles included a product manager where I negotiated with content providers,handled complex technical issues, identified new business opportunities and led the global sales team. In my current position I lead a team that assists in forming the strategic directions for the world’s leading brands and agencies.
The role that means the most to me is mother. I am proud to be a founding member of the Atlantic Highlands Anti-Racist Parenting group. My membership in this group has helped me recognize that women are the catalysts for change in our community.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I will bring a diverse outlook and work hard to find common ground and solutions. I look forward to bringing my perspective and life experiences to the table. My work in trend intelligence informs my solutions-oriented approach to navigate and capitalize on change to not only survive but thrive. I am committed to working hard to build a community that’s prepared for the future’s opportunities and challenges. I am especially passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion. This is not just about race and gender but encompasses everything from physical access to underserved needs. The seniors of Atlantic Highlands will be a priority. We need to provide support and services so they can remain active and socially connected to the wider community. I would like to see the creation of a new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion borough committee so all our residents’ needs are addressed.