Since I’ve been involved in the Libertarian Party of California I’ve gotten to know many of the members throughout the state, but I’m not sure I’ve ever shared my background and what’s made me who I am. So I thought this might be a good opportunity to tell you some things you may not know. I will be providing additional information that is more specific to addressing my activism both in and out of the Libertarian Party, but this will be a little more related to my personal life.
I know you all know me as both Honor and Mimi but you may not know why I go by both. My given name is Honor but I’ve been called “Mimi” since before I was born, as Honor is also my mother and grandmother’s name. I grew up in Southern California; moving to Santa Monica when I was 7 years old, graduating from Santa Monica High School in 1979, Santa Monica College in 1988 with an degree in Interior Design and then California State University, finishing up there in 1993 in Civil Engineering. In between high school and starting college I worked in banking for 5 years working my way up to an operations officer, but realizing I disliked banking and accounting. What I learned there has helped me throughout my life, including dealing with the FPPC!
Growing up in Santa Monica, which has always been very “progressive” to the point of being dubbed the “People’s Republic of Santa Monica,” it would have seemed I would have naturally identified as a Democrat but that wasn’t the case. At the time I only knew about the two major parties and in high school I was a member of the Young Republicans group at my school (which was a very small group); during that time I started reading anything I could find that was written by Ayn Rand (Altas Shrugged, The Fountain Head and many of her essays). In my junior year the city’s notorious ballot initiative for rent control was on the ballot and I knew it was a horrible idea! My mother was one of those whose argument FOR rent control was on the sample ballot. At that time I argued with her that rent control wouldn’t do what she thought it would and would ultimately have disastrous effects; after several years my mom realized I was correct and she too was disillusioned with the progressive agenda of the city (and is now a registered Libertarian and member of the LPC).
In 1980 I cast my first vote for President and voted for Ronald Regan, thinking he was the candidate for small government, fiscal responsibility and personal rights. But after he took office he began his Keynesian spending (voodoo economics) and infringing on people’s personal freedoms; it was then that I realized that the Republican Party was not for me! I began researching alternatives at the library (yup. . .this was long before google) and found the Libertarian Party; I registered as a Libertarian and joined the party in 1982. That was the beginning of my path to activism.
During the time that I was growing up I was always interested in the arts; primarily music and design. I started playing the flute in elementary school, switching to the French horn in junior high school and also enjoyed playing the guitar and singing. In high school I was in the concert orchestra as well as the marching band but at the same time began getting involved in the emerging punk rock scene. After high school I sang in a few short lived punk bands; KAOS and Not the Mimis.
In the 1980’s, while attending Santa Monica City College, I became interested in structural engineering my step-father, a general contractor, was retrofitting brick buildings that were built before the 1933 Long Beach earthquake to make them safe for future earthquakes. Although I had been interested in the arts, I always excelled in math and science so with the encouragement of my family I realized that structural engineering was a way to combine design and the betterment of my community. When I finished at SMC I transferred to Cal State Long Beach where I met Mark, my husband of 25 years. In 1990 I moved to Long Beach, which has been my home since.
As an aside, the way I met my husband was while serving as the Editor-in-Chief of my University student’s newspaper, The Union, and a former editor was looking for a new singer for his band, Satan’s Cheerleaders (named after a 1977 B movie). Mark played lead guitar in the band and although he was very shy we had a lot in common; he was a Libertarian and The Thirteenth Floor Elevators was his favorite band. We got married three years later (with me wearing a black lace wedding dress that I designed and made myself) and over the years we played in several bands together (Children of God, The Family and others) were I sung, played bass and keyboards.
I am now a Licensed Professional Civil Engineer and worked at a small Structural Engineering Consulting firm tarting in 1994, right after the Northridge Earthquake. The majority of my projects have been repairing and reinforcing commercial buildings that have been damaged by earthquakes, fire, wind and severe weather. As a project engineer I am involved in all aspects of the project, which include designing the structures to resist the damaging effects of an earthquake as well as getting all the required building permits for construction. After being elected as Chair last year I left that firm after 24 years and started working as an independent consultant to give me more time for my work with the party.
In addition to the above, I have been involved with many charitable organizations over the years. I have helped raise money by getting involved in events which bring awareness and funding. I was one of the top fundraisers for the Orange County Walk to end Alzheimer’s in 2011 as well as events which include AIDS Walk LA several times, the Walk to End Childhood Diabetes with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and many others.
I am passionate when it comes to animals and they have always been part of my life. My current babies include Freeway, four cats, two chickens, several other birds, my lizard George and my pig Declan. I have been involved in every level of rescue, both personally and with financial support, for many years. I have personally rescued several dogs and cats from the 101 Freeway near my office when people left these animals abandoned on the side of the road. In 2009 I watched someone leave three small dogs on the on ramp of the freeway. I spent hours chasing these little ones until I finally rescued all three, which included a blind little boy that has been with me since and I appropriately named him “Freeway”. Recently I also rescued a chicken that had escaped from a homeless encampment; my husband and I quickly built a coop to give this little girl a wonderful life. I have also been very involved in homeless outreach to help both the people in need and their pets, which include getting spay and neuter services for their dogs.