Written by The Business Journal Staff
Tulare County Supervisor-Elect
Visalia City Councilwoman and Recreational Therapist
Education: B.S. degree in recreation administration from Fresno State
Family: 22 years with partner Mary
How and why did you first get involved in politics in Tulare County, Amy Shuklian?
In 2001 I spearheaded the effort to build Visalia’s first off leash dog park. From there I was encouraged to join various committees and commissions. Politics was just a progression from my community service. I never had any intent or desire prior.
What accomplishments are you most proud of from your time on the Visalia city council?
I’ve always strived to make sure people knew I was accessible and transparent, that’s why I am the first councilperson to hold monthly open office hours. I am also proud of the way the city weathered the recession financially and that we have built our emergency reserves back to near pre-recession levels.
What are the most important issues facing Tulare County today, Amy Shuklian?
Being the No. 1 ag county in the nation, it’s imperative that we do all we can to make sure we have the water to maintain providing the world’s food, jobs and safe drinking use.
As a longtime elected official, you have had to deal with the media on a regular basis. How would you rate the local media’s coverage during your time in office and in general, do you think reporters do a good job of covering local government?
LOL!! I often wonder if a reporter was in the same room I was when they report on council activities. Does that answer the question?
Why did you decide to run for county supervisor and what are you top goals going into your first term, Amy Shuklian?
I was surprised when I was elected to council at the lack of collaboration and power struggles between the cities and county. I also did not believe that District 3 was being represented as well as it should be by the sitting supervisor, and that he showed a lack of regard for the constituents he was supposed to be representing. I also took issue with some board policies that seemed to favor the board and how they received raises. I want to establish trust and rapport with constituents, employees and other agencies.
What was the best advice you ever received and who did it come from?
My mom use to always say “when you wake up, get up and when you get up, do something.” It still resonates in my head every morning (especially when I don’t want to get up)!
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your career?
Both of my grandmothers were survivors of the Armenian Genocide. They were strong women who built a foundation for survival and hard work.
What are your roots in the Central Valley, Amy Shuklian?
I was born in Visalia and raised on my family’s farm on the Kings-Tulare county line.
What was your very first job and what did you learn from it?
Working on the family farm. When you are a country girl you learn a strong work ethic. I also learned how to drive at an early age and was pulled over by a CHP when I was 10 years old!
What do you like to do in your spare time, Amy Shuklian?
Mary and I are blessed with incredible friends, so any time spent with them is great. I also like to play golf, go to the shooting range and play poker. (I played in the ladies World Series of Poker last year.) Also spend time with our two rescued Chocolate Labs, Georgee and Gracee.