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Dr. Richard Pan - SD 6 - Unsung Hero

Arica Dunlap
Feed The Frontlines


Tell us a little about yourself
I have lived in Sacramento since 2000 when I moved here to attend Sacramento State University.  I worked in the restaurant industry for many years and met my current bosses while bartending at Paragary's Midtown.  Since then I have worked for Owen-Dunn Insurance Services as a Commercial Insurance Broker for the last 15 years.  I met my husband Robert in 2013 through a co-worker, we bought our home in Tahoe Park Sacramento in 2014, and we had our twin daughters in 2016.  We have two pets, a dog named Max and a cat named Keanu "Kitten Face" Dunlap.

How are you making a difference in your community? 
On March 24th I saw a post from a fellow mom in my Tahoe Park Mom's group on Facebook about Village Express (our local donut shop in the Tallac Village Shopping Center), whose business was struggling due to the new shelter in place order.  Let me first say this place makes THE BEST DONUTS, so if you haven't had one, you should definitely try!  I sent a text message to two of my friends (who also love Village Express donuts), and they sent me some money through Venmo to support the business.  I thought to myself, "wouldn't it be nice to deliver these donuts to some local nurses and doctors."  I reached out to my friend Debi who is a NICU nurse at Sutter Medical Women's & Children's Center, and so project Feed The Frontline Sac was born.  Since then; and through the generosity of friends, co-workers and my community we have raised thousands of dollars.  I hate saying the word "I" right now since this is a crowd funded project, so "We" have been able to deliver donuts, cupcakes and lunches to the following frontline teams:  Sutter Medical Sacramento – Women's & Children's Center, Sutter Medical Roseville Medical Surgery Center, UC Davis Emergency Dept., Natomas Fire – Station #18, Mercy San Juan, the Family Meal Project, Kaiser Point West, Kaiser South Sacramento, UC Davis Med Center, Kaiser Morse, Mercy General, Sutter Medical Sacramento Emergency Department, UC Davis Neurosurgery/ICU, UC Davis Discharge Pharmacy, Bay Medic Ambulance, UC Davis Neurology and United States Postal Service – Fair Oaks branch.  Contributing local restaurants include:  Village Express, Icing on the Cupcake, Milano's Pizza, Tank House, Kansai Ramen and Sushi, Ya' Wanna Cookie; Roxie Deli and Mezcal Grill – Broadway. It is both humbling and inspiring to see people dig deep into their pockets; even though they may have lost their jobs, to show these folks how much they care. This project has helped me to not feel so helpless.

What inspires your community efforts? 
As I mentioned above I worked in the restaurant business for over 10 years and remain close with many people who are still in the industry.  My heart is absolutely broken for friends who have lost their jobs, and restaurant owners who may never open their doors again.  I worry every day about all the brave women and men who risk their lives, without proper medical equipment, to keep our community healthy and safe, and those individuals whose jobs are deemed "essential" and continue to be exposed to the community at large.  I know what small acts of kindness mean to me when I am stressed, it's the least we could do.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?   
Starting this project is WAY out of my comfort zone.  I usually just donate money to causes like this, so I'm pretty proud that this time I had a part in doing the work.  I have a hard time accepting praise, so even this interview is difficult for me.  I am so proud of my Tahoe Park and greater Sacramento community, I am proud of Californians.

What have you struggled most with in your life?  
I have a pretty blessed life:  a career, a family, the most amazing friends, and a roof over my head, so it's really hard to complain.  I guess I would say I struggle with anxiety that leads to some pretty bad insomnia.

What kind of lessons do you think are important to instill in future generations? 
Be kind, you never know what someone's going through.  Also, I always try to say "thank you", smile at people, put my shopping cart away, hold doors for people, say "excuse me" or "you're doing a great job!".  These seem so simple, but it's amazing how many people don't do them!

If there is one problem in our community that you wish you could fix, what would it be?  
Many people in this world lack empathy.  People lack the ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes, to consider that just because it doesn't directly impact you doesn't mean you shouldn't care about it.

 How do you decompress? 
This is something I really struggle with.  I definitely need to exercise more!  I guess the way I decompress is catching up on a great show on Netflix or reading a historical fiction novel.

California State Senator Richard Pan - District 6
Web site: http://sd06.senate.ca.gov/
Contact: Senator Richard Pan
Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 4070
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4006
Fax: (916) 651-4906
District Office
2251 Florin Road, Suite 156
Sacramento, CA 95822
Phone: (916) 262-2904
Fax: (916) 914-2179

California State Senate Majority Caucus (c) 2020 California State Senate