Esmeralda Soria for CD 16: INFO
Bio: Born and raised in Tulare County, Esmeralda Soria is the daughter of Mexican immigrant farmworkers who came to the Valley in pursuit of opportunity and a brighter future for their children. Her parents instilled the values of hard work, integrity and community engagement. Those values shape who she is today, helping to provide opportunities for the next generation. After graduating from UC Berkeley, she went to work as a policy aide in our State Capitol. Esmeralda then decided to continue her education, earning her Juris Doctorate from UC Davis. After law school, she became the Sustainable Rural Communities Project Director for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. She was instrumental in ensuring that our communities had equal access to Safe Routes to School Program (AB 561) and Unmet Needs Transportation funding. Her continued commitment to public service brought her to work as District Director to Senator Michael J. Rubio and later as a Policy Advisor to Assemblymember Henry T. Perea. Esmeralda built partnerships with community leaders to address unemployment rates in the Central Valley, workforce development and education, among others. She championed water quality and affordability issues, as well as helped secure safe drinking water emergency funding for disadvantaged communities throughout the Central Valley. In 2014, Esmeralda was elected to the Fresno City Council and was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term in 2019. She was the first Latina in the history of the City of Fresno to be elected as Council President and served her term proudly from January 2018 to January 2019. In addition, Esmeralda is a professor at Fresno City College, teaching Judicial Reasoning and Latino Politics. She is the chair of the Redevelopment Agency and the Fresno Revitalization Corporation. In 2018, Esmeralda was appointed to serve on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s transition team and was recently appointed to serve on the Local Government Commission board.
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