My name is Christine Nagaye, and I’m running for the office of Santa Clara County Sheriff. My pledge is to bring honesty, transparency, and integrity back to the Sheriff’s Office.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I grew up in an underserved, working class family in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. I know what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck. I know what it’s like to be afraid your car will be repossessed, and I know what it’s like to be uncertain where your next meal is coming from.
My Dad served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He taught my sisters and I to never judge people by how they look, but by who they are, and my mother always told us we could achieve anything we wanted.
It’s extremely unlikely for me to be in the position I find myself in today. Rural Pennsylvania, much like rural California, is a place where not much was expected from young girls, other than graduating from high school, getting married and having kids. You would never consider leaving your small town or aspiring to a different life.
Unlike most of my high school friends however, I pursued a college education, and studied at the University of Pittsburgh. But the cost of tuition soon pushed this goal out of my reach, so I chose another path, military service.
I enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 19. I became a medic and served five years of Active Duty. I was trained as a combat medic in the C. Co 64th Forward Support Battalion. I was the assistant to my First Sergeant (highest ranking non commissioned officer (NCO) in my company). I was also in charge of ensuring the entire company was in compliance with weapons qualification and physical training testing. I was licensed to drive a M997 Humvee Wheeled Vehicle Ambulance (crackerjack box), a M113 Armored Personnel Carrier Ambulance, and a M2 Bradley Tank.
My military career taught me many important life lessons. I learned to assemble diverse teams to get a range of perspectives, to take good care of your people, and to be willing to listen to everyone. I also learned to stay calm under pressure, and lead with integrity.
I loved my time in the military, but back in those days, there weren’t as many opportunities for advancement for women in my particular specialty, so I took another leap of faith. I moved to California and continued my public service, this time in law enforcement.
My Career in Law Enforcement
Now as a supervising sergeant, having worked in the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office for the better part of 20 years, I love what I do, and I’m good at it. I love serving the people of Santa Clara County, and I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to my community.
I’ve also had the opportunity to give back to my fellow officers. I’ve led teams of deputies, and helped train new and upcoming recruits. I’ve helped develop new use of force policies after the tragic and brutal death of Michael Tyree in 2015. As a member of the Compliance Unit, I’ve spearheaded ongoing LGBTQ+ education for the Agency.
I've been happily married to my husband, Greg, since 2007. He is currently the Executive Vice President for a nutritional supplement company and has spent his career in the health and fitness industry. My eldest daughter, Neely, is in her freshman year of college at Mission College where she is studying Fire Science. She is a national champion kickboxer with an undefeated record. We also have twin 11-year-old daughters, Kendal and Riley. They are currently in the sixth grade. The twins are avid hockey players and are currently on the roster of the Junior Sharks 12U boys team.
My Bodybuilding Career, Body positivity.
Body image and self-esteem start in the mind, not in the mirror or how society views a woman's body. Another aspect of my life that has shaped who I am, is my career as a professional bodybuilder. I have learned that self-discipline and body positivity is the foundation for success. It’s the bedrock upon which all your positive habits will rest. The fear of getting on stage was real, and the amount of physical work I had to put in to succeed, was daunting. However, I learned that if you can overcome your fear, and allow other people’s views of what a “good” body is, you can accomplish anything you want.
Why I Decided to Run for Sheriff
As a mom with three children in San Jose schools, I understand the need for community based, world class law enforcement.
Unfortunately, the current Sheriff is incapable of providing the leadership and vision needed in Santa Clara County. I am forced to live with her failings on a daily basis.
Like my colleagues in the Agency, many political leaders in our County and the general public, I am fed up and decided to do something about it.
As your new Sheriff, my first priority will be an independent and thorough review of law enforcement practices and management of our county jails. We need to change the culture of a Sheriff’s Office that’s been plagued by mismanagement, scandal and corruption.
I also see a tremendous need for outreach to minority communities. Our Asian neighbors and our LBTGQ+ communities need to feel safe. Our black and brown communities need to feel safe and valued.
Our police are doing a difficult job in our municipalities helping to keep our communities safe, but under the current Sheriff, cooperation and communication with our police departments is practically nonexistent. Our local police need our support.
In addition, there are grave budget issues that need to be addressed. The Sheriff’s Office is severely over budget. We need to tackle these fiscal issues with common sense solutions, solutions that have been repeatedly promised to the County for the past eight years with nothing to show for it.
Taxpayers should no longer tolerate the millions of dollars we are having to pay to settle lawsuits resulting from the Sheriff’s incompetence and failure of leadership.
I am not a politician, and I have never had political ambitions. I’m a law enforcement professional who understands organizations. I know when organizations are poorly run, and I know how to listen to people. As Sheriff, I will support our deputies and staff by involving them in decision making. I will work with the auditor, local officials and the public to transform our department into a 21st century model for community-based public safety.
I will bring the old-fashioned values of human dignity and respect, while upgrading our Sheriff’s Office with the latest in technology and best practices in our procedures and in the way we treat people.
Support The Campaign
I must depend on you for support, volunteer help and your contributions. Please go to NagayeForSheriff.com to sign up as a supporter. Please be sure to sign up to host a small house party so that I can meet you and your friends. We’ll talk about the changes I want to make and how the Sheriff’s Office can become a model for the nation. I’ll even bring the refreshments!
I humbly thank you for your support.
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