blogpost 2016.jpg

First, a confession. I have misplaced my New Years resolution book. There are about 6 years of insight in the darned miniature notebook and I’m fearing it’s lost forever, although I maintain the slightest bit of hope that I will find it as well as 6 years worth of lessons learned. Great news, between draft one and revision one, my notebook was found. It was actually started in 2005 and now holds 10 years worth of introspection.

Reflections on 2015

2015 was crazy for me but also good. I spent it far from home. Although I never thought I would leave Santa Barbara, circumstances were such, that we left town to try somewhere new. We moved to Campbell, a suburb of San Jose where my liberal self jumped through many hoops — the most I’ve ever jumped through for a job, to become the Government Relations Manager for the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. In truth I loved it.  My pragmatic progressive attitude makes me believe that Dems need to take business and the business of prosperity back into our language, platform, and dominion.

We connected with one of Mark’s friends and her family and I really appreciated the time spent with them and a few other acquaintances but alas, we found ourselves coming home two or three weekends amounts to visit family and friends, so when our lease ran out, we decided we needed to be back home.

While I loved my job with the Chamber, it was only part time and rents up there were far pricier than even Santa Barbara’s rental market. In the rest of the time when I wasn’t working, I got certified for medical interpreting. When we moved back I jumped right into medical interpreting in North Santa Barbara County. I had a short stint working for Dream Foundation as a Marketing and Events Coordinator. While they hired me for my social media expertise what they really needed was an intern that they could pay a lot less money that would handle their social media as directed. I did through my month-long stay at Dream Foundation learn about the presence of death. People would write in requests for first visits to the beach, comfortable blankets, outings with their loved ones and so many other things that I personally take for granted. Becoming aware of death made me so much more thankful to be alive and for the way in which I enjoy those in my life.

At the end of November, I completed a project that had been in the works for a while. I recorded a course at Lynda.com called Social Media for Non-Profits which will be available online in January of 2016. Lynda.com is owned by LinkedIn and is a leading online learning platform. Originally I wrote a course and pitched it as a book to publishing houses that had previously published books in the online marketing space. That’s how I connected with Matt Wagner, now my agent. Matt  said he thought it would work well as a course, and he pitched it to Lynda.com in the Spring. Recording the course was fun and maybe something I would like to try again in the future.

I continue doing medical interpreting which is a very rewarding job. (A word about interpreting: interpreting is oral consecutive language facilitation while translating is in written form) I am however looking for either full-time work that could be challenging or engaging with benefits or opportunities for fun projects. One thing we know about me is that my worse enemy is boredom.

On a personal note, I enjoyed time spent alone with my husband and our dog Mabel for our first year together. We made an adventure out of each weekend spent away from SB and explored Santa Cruz, San Franciso and surrounding areas. Before our year was up we went away to Puerto Rico and a Caribbean cruise for our honeymoon and had a blast! We are beginning to brainstorm our upcoming adventures for 2016.

Lastly in 2015, I returned to running. After a 20-month-break from running, this last AugustI trained for my 10th half-marathon. Not surprisingly, I found out that I still love running! And in 2015 I lost almost 30 lbs by mainly fixing poor eating habits, drinking more agua and walking my 10k steps a day or more.

2015 was a year of excellent lessons that I intend to build upon.

2016 Resolutions

So far, I have only been ale to identify a couple of resolutions for 2016 that I can share, butI’m sure by New Year’s I’ll have more thoroughly developed goals.

1. I intend to connect with acquaintances and friends on a deeper level. I have almost 3k Facebook friends. Some of these Friends, I would love to re-connect with. Others, I would love to get to know better and frankly some, I would love to disconnect from. I intend to call people up, make time for coffee or whatever. If there’s one lesson I received repeatedly in 2015 is that the most important thing we havens not tangible but rather intangible. Our most valuable treasures are friendships and family and colleagues. We’re all in this together – and like the hokey pokey, that’s what it’s all about.

2. In 2016, I intend to read more books and interesting articles. There is no shortage of excellent things to read, comment and reflect upon and it builds analytical skills and communication skills.

That’s it for me, how about for you?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Olivia Uribe Is Now Published at the Guardian Liberty Voice

Hello, Friends.

I have recently started writing part-time for the Guardian Liberty Voice which is great because I can write from anywhere in the world! I am assigned topics and write about them or I can pick my own. I wanted to share with you some of the first articles I have written. I hope you enjoy them.

You can find all the current and future articles by me at http://guardianlv.com/author/uribe-o/

Please send any feedback so I can get better!

Hope your summer is off to a great start and that we will get a chance to see you soon!

Here are some of my favorites that I hope you will enjoy:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You’re Invited!

Dear Friends: I am so lucky to be involved with excellent organizations in town. During Spring many organization host phenomenal events and there are three upcoming events that I’m particularly excited about because of my connection to the hosting organizations.

First is the Parks and Recreation Foundation’s Magic on the Urban Wine Trail! April 27, 2-5pm at the Carrillo Recreation Center, and tickets are $45. Just like the name says, there will be wine and there will be magic! Really there will be magicians… Purchase tickets and RSPV Here: http://on.fb.me/1gZ0y3Z

(Tax Deductable Purchase)

Although my work as Parks and Recreation Commissioner is relatively new, I am learning a lot and appreciating the impact that it has on the community.

Secondly there’s a super fun event hosted by TVSB called Hats & Horses happening on opening weekend (Sunday, May 4at 12:00pm – 5:30pm) at the Carpinteria Polo Field. The price of admission includes: two afternoon polo matches at one o’clock and three o’clock. The event also features many local restaurants and wineries offering samplings to guests. Additionally, there will be a live and silent auction with one-of-a-kind items up for bid. Purchase tickets and RSVP here: http://tvsb-hatsandhorses.eventbrite.com/?aff=efbevent

(Tax Deductable Purchase)

TVSB is an excellent resource for the community for local programming. Additionally to helping members produce shows and provide great content, programs are in place to help educate the youth, provide PSAs for non-profits and more! I have greatly enjoyed serving on the board of this growing organization. Now you can find our content online at http://tvsb.tv/voice/



Lastly, as an elected member to the Democratic Central Committee which is the board of the Santa Barbara Democratic Party, I am excited to share that this year will be the 6th Annual Roosevelt-Hamer Dinner on Saturday, May 10th at 6pm at the Carrillo Ballroom at  100 E. Carrillo in Downtown Santa Barbara. Purchase tickets and RSVP here: http://www.sbdems.org/2014rhrsvp

This year we are working to Re-Elect Supervisor Janet Wolf and to Defeat Measure M. This June vote No on M, and Vote for Janet Wolf for 2nd District Supervisor.



I hope that I will see you at one or up to three of these phenomenal events, since they are a good time, but more importantly help out a variety of missions important to the well-being of our community.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hopeful Resolutions 2.0: The power of NOW

Welcome to the end of 2013! Now is the time when we consider new resolutions…but they cannot become reality until we become committed to them. The first step is to write them down. A few years ago I wrote a blog post, Hopeful Resolutions about something I have been doing for years at the end of each year: 

In a small 4.5 x 3.25 inch notebook I write:

10 Things I learned in [2013]

10 Things I’m Grateful for in [2013]

10 Things I intend to create in my life in [2014]

5 Things I want to do in the next 5 years

I keep these five themes in mind:  hope, love, play more, forgive, give thanks

Last year I shared this exercise with my Toastmasters Club at the last meeting of the year. My fellow toastmasters appreciated the idea, and many went through the exercise in their own time. One club member however took his introspection further…Phillip Van Nostrand, the curliest photographer, (remember the name), wrote down his intention to move to New York within the next 5 years to seek an even bigger career in photography…

Several months later, Phil announced to the club that he had bought a ONE WAY ticket to New York for Sep 12th. He figured nothing would be much different now than five years from now. 

On December 11th he posted on Facebook that one of his photos was published in the New York Times.


Phil’s goal to shoot the cover of a Rolling Stones magazine, is without a doubt, around the corner!

Moral of the story is, this year, be not only be committed to writing down your goals, but be daring- like Phil, take a chance on pursuing your own dreams! 

Cheers to a happy and adventurous 2014! 


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Sweet Anecdote

A few weeks ago I bought two pieces of chocolate from the Santa Barbara See’s Candies store. I put them in my bag and didn’t remember them for several days. When I went to look for them I never found them. Unable to resolve the mystery of the lost chocolates I walked in there today – the lady at the store, had been the same lady that helped me the last time, after I told her about the disappeared chocolates she said, “Oh, yes, the two Chelseas…you left them on the counter. I was thinking you’d come back.” So, then she gave me 2 Chelseas.


Posted in Santa Barbara, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

[Public-Private Vocational Education Partnerships] Vocational Education and Jobs Training

From the archives – I found the printed version among other stuff I have written and I decided to post it online. I spend a lot of time thinking about appropriate job/ skills training.


The United State’s fragmented jobs training and vocational education policies put this country at risk and fulfilled a greater unemployment rate than necessary due to lack of foresight and planning to create a workforce that was both educated for high skilled jobs but that provided individuals a “fall back” skill to employ Americans when middle class jobs were exported and we were left with service jobs and highly skilled, white collar jobs and entrepreneurship endeavors. America must now prioritize a way to move the current unemployed workforce forward, while providing varying opportunity levels for the children to succeed at any rate. Taking our wealth of private companies coupled with comprehensive vocational training policies and welded into public-private vocational education programs can be the recipe for success.

Table of Contents





Agenda Setting.

Policy Formulation.

Political Reality.




[1]The year now is 2011, national unemployment is at a rate of 9.1 percent. The nation has been in a steep recession, and there are no jobs to be found. The controversy is currently founded in how to kick start the economy, and how to best create jobs. There is failure in achieving cooperation from a fragmented congress but most importantly in the lack of focus, now and in the recent past to lay the ground with policies that had the foresight to prevent this situation, not talking about the credit and housing crises, a vocational education and jobs training comprehensive policy overhaul could have put us in a place of preparedness as a nation.

The United States’ agriculture and retail exports are the two largest for our nation that contribute to our GDP[2], however we have seen manufacturing and new manufacturing large scale projects fail in growth or occurrence. What happens then when so many workers are out of a job, post a depression, and years of a brain drain that has brought the best and brightest world-wide to America? We now invest  in higher education and while we must work to educate our students for high earning jobs, we should have all along invested, and now focus on vocational education and jobs training because that is where the jobs are found NOW yet our workforce does not meet the demands of the labor needed.


The state of today’s vocational education and jobs training is that of a disjointed set of policies and programs that have yet to yield overwhelming results. The current job policy cannot be found as a comprehensive package rather, it is found in fragment in the home site of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) under the U.S. Department of Education[3][4]. They currently are spending $1.9 billion dollars annually in Grants that fall under the general categories of Adult Education and Literacy, Career and Technical Education and Community Colleges. Like with other types of grant programs, in the realm of education, these are not measured and reevaluated at a given rate of success. The results of a cost benefit analysis looking at the overarching funding of vocational education and jobs training programs is that there is a short term success rate in the participants working two to five year after program participation.

The background of vocational training and jobs creation includes[5] the Manpower Development and Training Act created by President Kennedy in 1962, the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Work Incentive Program (WIN) in 1967 that focused on providing training to welfare recipients.  In 1973 The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act began awarding block grants given to states by the number of population, and thereby moved vocational training responsibilities stateside. The CETA was furthered in 1982 by the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). The 1984 Perkins Vocational Program , the 1985 Food Security Act and the 1988 Family Support Act which culminated in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program were all targeting welfare recipients. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA), of 1998 was one of the latest acts of consolidation of these programs. The last piece added to this non comprehensive policy includes $500 million nationwide for vocational training to disabled individuals as a part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. As a result of fragmented job training and vocational education policies, primarily in the form of funding, we are ill prepared to fill the jobs available with our jobless workforce.



While the jobs act of 2011 includes a National Wireless Initiative, Infrastructure Funding and more, vocational training continues to be omitted from the dialogue of jobs in the future. When Americans fail, so does America. The unemployment rate which is lived by many individuals and has led to the discontent of the “Occupy Wall street” movements will be consequential to elections in the immediate future. The lack of a comprehensive vocational education and jobs training program, that teaches the unemployed workforce employable skills, can be addressed by making it a priority or a small initiative of the current administration that teaches you something new each day getting you one step closer to that new job. At the level of the elite in terms of power and money, the idea of a mobilizing “angry mob” is not ideal, therefore if the economic elite and political elite focused on getting Americans to succeed in a way that moves the country forward and is seen as having a good return on investment, then this focus can have some traction unlike it has ever gained before. Because we moved in discussions within our society of preferring higher education over vocational education and jobs training, and because we moved all of our necessary labor overseas, we missed the mark on a comprehensive policy that empowers the working and middle class to have tradable skills. A set of short term education programs alongside a partnership program with businesses big and small would be an ultimate combination of utilizing our resources and again becoming competitive players nationwide in various realms. Success will require foresight, clearly laid out goals, policies and funding, the political will to enact and implement such programs, and the willingness and cooperation of business to undertake public-private sector partnerships.

Agenda Setting

This type of program is not directly a dying policy, but rather a repackaging of a failed non-comprehensive goal oriented policy, and therefore can be taken up by a variety of actors. The original policies or grants passed were often initiatives included in overhauls by presidential welfare reforms.

1.       This public-private vocational education partnership can come directly from five places:

2.       The elite within the government in a top down, policy legislation via the President, or the bureaucracy, namely The Department of Labor, or the Office of Vocational and Adult Education

3.       Congress member or Senator can develop the policy as it’s jobs creator initiative

4.       A coalition of business owners headed by the very same Howard Schultz that seems to favor government influence via action items could bring such a proposal forward

5.       The 99% can demand that a partnership be created with the rich not in a way to provide welfare but rather in a way to empower the people to pull themselves upward, with new skills, because they don’t have a spokesperson, this would best be done via a list of demands conveyed through the media.

Once the issue became prominent there would be a depth of actors involved, from the overseeing bureaucratic branch, to the private partners to the community colleges, municipalities and other entities involved.

Policy Formulation

A policy of a public- private vocational education partnership would not be an immediate successful overhaul because of the depth of actors involved as well as the timing that it would require to “take stock” of the current success and cost benefit analysis of the ongoing vocational training assistance and programs in place across the country. The firs main challenge then lies in successfully and accurately evaluating the current programs and identifying the failures and inefficiencies that can be fixed by this comprehensive innovative approach. Secondly, the involvement of stakeholders at the development is crucial, from educators, private partners to community college board members and recipients because all these actors are also beholden to other entities such as state departments and stock holders. Lastly, the development of this policy is tied directly to the response and willingness of private partners it receives and therefore a major communications effort is necessary to “market” and attain buy in from these. Lastly, because this is a new approach, actors would be skeptical to enforce something that they have no success rate to compare results to, or set as measurable goals, however it would be worthwhile to enlist visionaries and program developers such as Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner that established Micro-credit and the Grameen foundation in Bangladesh and then Public-Private social business enterprises.

Political Reality

In today’s political environment, depending on who takes up either a private – public vocational education initiative or a purely straight forward vocational and jobs training evaluation and overhaul and how it’s framed, it has potential to appeal to a majority of actors involved.

·         Democrats in both houses would be content to address the unemployment issue while providing training, which is a method of empowerment and core to the democratic tenants

·         Republicans would appreciate the partnerships with businesses and individual capacitating as it would ascribe to the “pulling yourself up from your bootstraps” ideal

·         Business would benefit from training individuals and their labor at a lower cost

·         Individuals would benefit from a skills set acquired that they did not already have that will make them employable in the future independently of any other higher education degree or having no degree

The larges challenge for this type of policy to occur would be found in the necessary upfront funds necessary to kick start such a program, regulation and enforcement of labor laws so that individuals are not taken advantage of, and most importantly the work done to successfully evaluate and create this initial policy. This process would take some investment of time, resources and focus, for which  America is possibly too polarized, frantic and scattered to embark on.


It is difficult to presume that such a large scale policy development / program overhaul is possible since it does not follow an incremental policy decision making which is most customary for national policies, however, sometimes as now when the result of existing policies is ongoing failure, new attempts must be made, and the political will must be leveraged, for the nation to move forward.

Posted in Commentary, politics, society | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Must Handbags and Shoes Still Match? Call Me Old School But…(Part II)

I walked into Nine West today – one of the few stores that I am loyal to. Among their summer sale was an open toe high heel with a slim wooden platform in a red, orange pink color but far from a Salmon pink…I commented on it and although I was tempted by it, I shred my one hesitation: it’s such a unique color, it’ll be hard to match with a purse. The two sales attendants animatedly told me, “That doesn’t matter, now shoes and purses don’t have to match.” I thought, “Say what?! Uh, uh, girlfriends…” I see that this belief is becoming widespread.

Mind you two thirds of my days I’m dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, yet when I do dress up, it all matters and I spend a lot of time thinking about the shoes…and the purse. Because, I was raised this way.

I was disappointed that these girls were right, I’ve seen the overall trends of fashion move toward increasing sloppiness – across the board for men and women. (As a side note, I do live in a beach town where anything goes.)

In a way, I suppose these behaviors are reinforced by each of us. I would have been annoyed if one of my friends made this fashion observation but the fact that it was made by ‘sales people’ in a fashion oriented store – I was a bit appalled. Needless to say, no new shoes for me tonight.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment