Jennifer Esteen RN Wants to Heal and Transform Our Bay Area Community

Capriccia Thomas, Health Editor

Jennifer Esteen seeks to make history as the first openly gay, Black Jewish mother and nurse to run for the California Assembly.

Hayward, Calif. —On April 29, 2022, Jennifer Esteen, endorsed by Project Super Bloom, a student-run organization, spoke at California State University, East Bayat the Pioneer Amphitheater about mental health, healthcare, climate change, affordable housing, reproductive freedom, racial justice, and LGBTQ+ issues. As a mother to teenagers ages 16,17, and 20, she is dedicated to ensuring the policies we enact and how the government is structured benefit young people. 

“I’m running on a platform that includes healthcare justice, making sure we have a fully-funded education system because we need to have resources for young people and for educators that work with them. We need everyone resourced. So we can be thriving. Growing young people who are strong and healthy, well cared for, and loved in schools and loved out of the schools,” Esteen stated.

Esteen went on to stress the importance of housing as a form of healthcare. “If we can shift money to housing that is not concrete prisons, but is instead healthy housing that has access to mass transit, solar panels on rooftops, and becomes a community that is like a village with resilience hubs built-in. We suddenly have a way to transform our community so that we really are all taking care of each other,” Esteen stated.

She continued with the importance of healing both personally and our systems that govern our lives. Healing, in her view, includes “everyone [having] healthcare, behavioral healthcare, housing, and a funded education system.” 

To Esteen, representation matters. “Representation gives us hope. It gives us strength to know that. As a 41-year-old, I feel that I can identify with folks, and folks can identify with me because of my lived experiences. That’s the beauty of intersectional existence,” Esteen discussed. 

She knows first-hand what it’s like to fight for community investment. “That’s why I decided to run. I know what it’s like to protest, have sit-downs to fight for our communities. I decided to challenge the system of power and be the decision-maker, be the one writing the legislation, be the one casting the vote on the budget, be the one that’s shaping and creating it so that money and laws are spent and written to help us, heal us, and to grow us stronger and better,” Esteen stated. 

“We are the change. I would be the first Black Jew. The first openly gay person. The revolution is in my blood. We win,” Esteen concluded. 

Voting is happening very soon. Ballots begin being mailed on Monday, May 9, 2022. Election day is June 7, 2022. To learn more about Jennifer Esteen, visit her website and social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @esteen4ca. She can also be reached by email at [email protected].