Jess Phoenix, a geologist, announces her candidacy for the 2018 congressional race for Steve Knight's 25th district seat at Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce on Monday, April 18, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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With the large Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce as her background, Jess Phoenix announced her candidacy for the District 25 Congressional seat Monday afternoon.

In between discussing her love of horses and commenting on the “water-deposited” rocks behind her, the Democrat, co-founder of nonprofit Blueprint Earth, volcanologist, geologist and horse-enthusiast, said she will run for the position currently held by Steve Knight (R-Palmdale).

“My skill set lends itself to a congressional seat,” Phoenix said. “I could keep myself in a small circle of nonprofits, or I could have a bigger ripple effect in Congress.”

Phoenix’s campaign and passion focuses on the environment, research and education. Selected by 314 Action, an organization that recruits candidates with science backgrounds, Phoenix said she is seeking to run with emphasis on climate change.

314 Action is targeting three Republican members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology including Knight, along with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

Phoenix said she does not think the district needs more career politicians and emphasized her opposition to Steve Knight and Donald Trump. However, Phoenix said she was raised in a conservative family and understands both sides of the politic spectrum.

“We need a representative that will stand up for what makes this area so great,” she said.

What makes the area great, she said, is the people and environment.

Jess Phoenix, a geologist, announces her candidacy for the 2018 congressional race for Steve Knight’s 25th district seat at Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce on Monday, April 18, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Her experience working with volcanoes has helped her deal well with difficulties, she said. One of these challenges is the need to put more effort into schools, according to Phoenix.

“We need a representative who will stand up and protect against the opposition to help children learn and grow,” Phoenix said. “Kids deserve every chance possible to see their dreams come true.”

Phoenix’s nonprofit focuses on environmental science and education, which she said will be important matters for her as a candidate.  She has experience with the aftermath of the Sand Fires and the earthquakes at the San Andreas fault, she said.

“I know exactly how important it is for our community to be prepared for the worst that nature can throw at us,” she said.

The political newcomer said she is ready to stand up for the community and take on its challenges, driven by the district’s and her own values.

“Since I’ve moved to this community, I’ve been able to see what my husband Carlos and his family have loved for many, many years,” she said.

Her husband, Carlos Phoenix, said he is enthusiastic and excited for her to run.

“Let’s do this,” he said. “We’re so happy you’re here to support us. It’s a big step, I know. I’m just so excited to be part of it.”

Jess Phoenix, a geologist, announces her candidacy for the 2018 congressional race for Steve Knight’s 25th district seat at Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce on Monday, April 18, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Katie Vincent, Phoenix’s friend and fellow equestrian, rode a horse into the event in support of her friend. Both women participated in the Mongol Derby a year apart from one another.

“I hope she is able to inject new life into politics and have a greater discussion about climate change,” Vincent said. “I think it’s extraordinarily important to get science into politics.”

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Gina Ender
Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017.
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  • Chris Lott

    It would appear that Blueprint Earth has had its tax exempt status revoked by the IRS. I’d be curious to find out why this happened.

    Also no mention of the fact that Ms. Phoenix was contemplating her candidacy before she was even a resident of the district. It seems as if she’s moved here just to run, much like Bryan Caforio did in 2015, which makes me wonder why she believes she should represent CA-25 and its voters.

    • Brian Baker

      Interesting stuff, Chris. So, she’s just another Dem/socialist carpetbagger.

      This entire article is just filled with a bunch of meaningless babble, other than that she’s one of the “climate change” hysterics, absolutely the LAST thing we need more of.

      • Chris Lott

        I don’t know if she’s a socialist or not, as the article doesn’t say. But she’s definitely an outsider.

        I’m grateful that we have a sensible, local candidate in Katie Hill.

  • AWildLiberalAppeared

    Katie Hill is the better Democratic candidate in this race–she’s lived in CA-25 her whole life.

    Jess Phoenix seems cool, but she’d be better off running in her home district. I read elsewhere she used to live in Burbank. Both seats covering Burbank could open up–Brad Sherman might retire, and Adam Schiff might run for the US Senate if Feinstein retires. I hope she considers doing so–this is a district that doesn’t take kindly to carpetbaggers…