Jessica MacLachlan knew she found the right place to live when she first visited Claremont.
“You could just tell right away that it had a great community,” she said.
She first heard about the city from friends in the area who raved about Claremont. Once she checked it out for herself, she was sold—it was a perfect combination of great schools, beautiful parks and easy availability to nature. Plus, it had that small town vibe she was looking for.
Jessica, along with her husband Dan and her three children, moved to south Claremont from Wilson, North Carolina, three years ago after Dan got a job at Collins Aerospace.
Her oldest, 15-year-old Logan, goes to Claremont High School and has recently started a mental health club with his classmates; 12-year-old Sarah is about to start at El Roble and 7-year-old Ian goes to Sycamore School.
As a stay-at-home mom of three, Jessica understands the challenges of parenting during a pandemic. In her words, you just “gotta go day to day.”
Jessica was already active in her community back in Wilson, working as an events coordinator for city programs around town. She discovered she had a knack for it, and brought that volunteer spirit to the City of Trees.
Once settled in Claremont, Jessica began to volunteer at Sycamore, helping them on their major fundraisers. She also volunteered for the local Cub Scout Pack 401.
Jessica is passionate about human services, specifically affordable housing and homelessness. She stressed the importance of living in an inclusive community.
“Affordable housing is important and necessary,” she said. “I think it helps provide safety; it actually helps prevent crime when people feel secure and safe and stable.”
More affordable housing, she said, also helps prevent homelessness. She was thrilled when the Claremont city council approved funds for an affordable housing development for low-income seniors on Base Line Road in late July.
She first heard about Michael Ceraso when he spoke during a Claremont Change virtual meeting in July. At the meeting, Michael talked about how he wanted district five to be properly represented on the council; to fight for affordable housing and to rethink how Claremont looks at mental health.
Now she works for the campaign as an event coordinator, utilizing her talents to connect district five residents.
There’s a sense among south Claremonters of being less represented in the city, Jessica noted, due to the amount of residents with lower incomes and the higher number of renters in this part of town.
“[Michael Ceraso] seems to want to make sure they are represented,” she said. “And I think that’s really important.”