Starting 2012, Mountain View Councilwoman hopes to represent several South Bay cities at the county level.
Abe-Koga announced Wednesday that she plans to run for Santa Clara County District 5, the seat now held by retiring Supervisor Liz Kniss.
"I am running for supervisor, because I believe in local government, and I have seen it work," Abe-Koga said in an email. "My experience serving on the Mountain View has shown me that local government can produce tangible results for our families, our schools and our community. As your supervisor, I want to focus on making local government work on the county level."
County supervisors administer health, education and criminal justice programs as agents of the state, but also serve as a local government entity in the provision of law enforcement, correctional institutions, road construction and maintenance, parks and recreation, libraries and environmental resources, like water. They also adopt ordinances that affect the unincorporated communities, which are areas outside of city jurisdictions.
Elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Education in 2002, she represented several school districts—Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino and Palo Alto. In both 2006 and 2010, she was elected to the City Council and has served as mayor and vice mayor.
Abe-Koga has received endorsements by state , Mayor Gilbert Wong of Cupertino, Vice-Mayor Jim Griffith of Sunnyvale and Vice-Mayor Yiaway Yeh of Palo Alto.
"I am proud to endorse Margaret Abe-Koga for Santa Clara County Supervisor," said Fong. "In these tough economic times, Santa Clara County needs a supervisor who will make sure that we are delivering more for less and ensure that the safety net is there for those who need it most."
Born and raised on the Peninsula, the daughter of immigrant Japanese parents received her Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Harvard University in 1992. She's a married mother of two daughters and lives in the Old Mountain View neighborhood.
"It takes an open ear, open mind and working with others to get things done," said Abe-Koga. "Together, I know we can make Santa Clara County an even better place to work, live and play."
The election for supervisor is in June 2012. County supervisors serve four-year terms.