About Kurtis Reese
My call to public service was born out of tragedy, here in Walnut Creek. I have been close friends of the Hall family for 30 years, since our time together at San Diego State University. I knew Scott and Taun’s son Miles his entire life. Miles suffered from schizophrenia and experienced a mental break last summer. His family followed all of the current protocols, which includes calling the police for assistance. Instead of Miles getting the help he needed, everything went horribly wrong that day and the police shot and killed him.
I was distraught. Eventually, I realized I had to do something – to speak out about what happened to Miles, and to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That led me to speaking regularly at city council meetings and walking around city hall in search of leaders to engage to bring about much needed change. I knew Walnut Creek could, and must, do better.
The Chief of Police was receptive to my ideas and asked me to help him create the Chief’s Advisory Board. As the founding member, I helped shape the Board’s objectives and membership. My work with the Chief and his Advisory Board has prepared me to listen, build coalitions and battle complacency to make change.
My next step was the creation of a listening meeting with Walnut Creek leaders around implicit bias and what actions can be taken to ensure Walnut Creek is an inclusive city that rejects systemic racism. Finally, I also created a pilot program, “The Talk” to bring together local high school boys and the police in a casual environment to discuss how to safely interact with law enforcement.
What has the last year taught me? That I can have a greater impact on things I want to change if I work within the system.
Is this all there is to my story and why I am running for City Council? No. My family and I have lived in Walnut Creek for 18 years. I’ve put in countless hours supporting my kids as Larkey Shark Swim Team members and a Las Lomas football, swimming, water polo, and track dad. My family and I are active in our church, St. John Vianney Catholic Church, and volunteer with Boys Team Charity.
I am a technology manager at Salesforce and I volunteer my time mentoring young scholars in technology and job interview skills. Also, with the loving support of my wife, I earned an MBA from St. Mary’s College a few years ago.
Integrity and goodwill drive my actions.