MONTEREY COUNTY is one of the most spectacular regions in the world. But our sense of imagination for what is possible has faded. Today, too many families cannot cover the cost of housing. More and more of our workforce must commute long distances because they cannot afford to live here. At the same time, our lack of a reliable water supply exacerbates both our housing shortage and our homeless crisis. While these challenges may seem overwhelming, Kate knows they can be overcome.
Kate Daniels is running for Supervisor because more is possible and with bold vision we can build the community we all want.
Born and Raised in Monterey County and Deeply Committed to Our Future
Kate’s history of public service comes from her family. Her parents were involved in many social justice causes and non-profit organizing. Kate’s mother worked for many years as a marriage and family therapist and her father practiced law.
A leader from the start, Kate was Carmel High’s Senior Class President and as an ecology-minded youth started the first environmental club at Carmel High School. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University, she spent time teaching in New York, Los Angeles and in Mexico before returning to Monterey County to marry her husband Dan Kurz. Back at home, she ran an international news publication and taught Women’s Studies at Monterey Peninsula College.
A County Planning Commissioner Helping to Build More Affordable Housing
The Board of Supervisors appointed Kate to the County Planning Commission, which oversees county-wide land use issues and makes policy recommendations to help shape our County’s long term economic and environmental health. Kate is proud of the many projects she has supported that address such critical needs as clean drinking water for disadvantaged communities, more affordable housing, employer sponsored farmworker housing, flood control, and coastal resilience projects.
As Chief of Staff to Supervisor Mary Adams, Kate Led on Wildfire Prevention and Clean Energy
Kate worked to ensure our community had access to critical County services. She developed expertise on budgeting, land use, water policy, natural resource protection, and led on major initiatives for clean energy, wildfire prevention, and infrastructure. As Chief of Staff, Kate:
- Helped the County become a founding member of Central Coast Community Energy (3CE), making clean energy available to all county residents. 3CE is on a pathway to provide 100% clean, renewable energy to all of Monterey County by 2030, 15 years before the state’s mandate for zero emissions.
- Helped create new options for housing construction by working with Supervisor Adams to ensure compliance with the State’s accessory dwelling unit laws.
- Partnered with key stakeholders to develop a Fire Fuels Mitigation Program to reduce the threat of wildfires throughout the county and secured funding to launch the program.
- Worked closely with the Big Sur community to help it recover after the 2017 storms. With Supervisor Adams, Kate pushed to re-open Highway 1 and rebuild the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge re-establishing access along the coastline from San Francisco to Los Angeles. While the bridge was closed, Kate helped launch a shuttle program to keep residents moving safely during this challenging time.
- Helped to dramatically improve emergency response and public safety on Highway 1 by facilitating a No Parking pilot program near the heavily visited Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
A Nonprofit Leader and Policy Advisor Making a Difference on Homelessness
Kate currently advises State Senator John Laird on water supply, homelessness, and the Big Sur coastline. In this role she helped secure $2.5 million in the state budget for the Shuman HeartHouse, a homeless shelter in Monterey. She also helped bring resolution to a longstanding community controversy around the alignment of the California Coastal Trail through Big Sur. Kate continues to work toward realization of an affordable, sustainable, permanent water supply for the Monterey Peninsula.
In 2019 Kate was recruited to take over as Interim Executive Director of Gathering for Women, a nonprofit serving women experiencing homelessness in Monterey. While the organization was going through a leadership change, Kate helped them remain successful. She assisted in securing $1.3 million in State funding to open the Casa de Noche Buena overnight shelter, the Peninsula’s first homeless shelter for single women and families with children. Since opening its doors, approximately 70% percent of shelter guests have exited to transitional or permanent housing. Kate continues to serve in an advisory role for Casa de Noche Buena.