OCTOBER 23, 2017 - Eleni Kounalakis Visits Communities Devastated by Fires with Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore


Stresses importance of coordination and collaboration among local, state, and federal governments to most efficiently assist and rebuild North Bay communities

Santa Rosa, CA – This weekend, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore visited communities damaged by the devastating fires in Northern California. They toured the Coffey Park neighborhood that was destroyed by the fires.

“I want to thank Supervisor Gore for bringing me to see the aftermath of the devastating Sonoma wildfires,” said Kounalakis. “It was shocking to see entire neighborhoods - like Coffey Park - almost completely vaporized. Hundreds of families lost everything, yet the community has bonded together to help those most in need. It was also very inspiring to hear about the response of local, state and federal government officials, all of which are cooperating in the aftermath of this disaster, and are there to help start the process of cleaning up and rebuilding.

“As someone who spent 18 years in the housing industry - building communities and delivering affordable homes - I know areas affected by the fires can rebuild. But we must also prepare for future disasters by ensuring that emergency plans include ways to safely evacuate seniors, low-income families, people with disabilities and others who are the most vulnerable.” 

“I want to thank Eleni for coming and seeing ground zero of this disaster,” said Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore. “We discussed the need to build a resilient future for California – one that takes into account the efficiency, creativity, and entrepreneurialism that has come out of these disasters. We need to work together at all levels of government to come back stronger, more resilient, and to have the rest of California use what happened here as an example of strengthening our future.” 

Kounalakis is a business woman and diplomat. She was appointed by President Barack Obama as Ambassador to Hungary in 2010. She is a life-long Democrat and five-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention and worked as an advocate for early childhood education as a member of California's First 5 Commission, and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.

She was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to lead the California International Trade and Investment Advisory Council and served as a member of the San Francisco Port Commission. Prior to serving our country in the diplomatic corps, she was president of AKT Development Corporation in Sacramento, where she worked to plan communities and develop affordable homes for the middle class. She was born and raised in Sacramento and is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Dartmouth College. She and her husband, Markos, live in San Francisco where they are raising their two teenage sons.

Kounalakis has received a growing list of endorsements in her race for Lt. Governor from prominent Democratic elected officials, like U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Representatives Anna Eshoo, Doris Matsui, and Mike Thompson, former State Senator Mark Leno, and Sacramento Assemblymember Kevin McCarty.

For more information on Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor, please visit


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press releaseAmy Zock