Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 20

Photo of Caroline Menjivar

Caroline Menjivar

Non-profit Program Director
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Environment: I have pledged not to take fossil fuel contributions from those harming our communities and to hold them accountable for their actions, bringing public health dollars to our district.
  • Education/Jobs: Career and educational opportunities contribute to the long-term prosperity of our state. To create sustainable, good-paying jobs, we must ensure that every child has access to quality education.
  • Mental Health/Homelessness: I want to increase the access and affordability of mental health services and provide more effective treatment, housing, and services for the unhoused.

Experience

Biography

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Caroline watched her parents, immigrants from El Salvador, wake up every morning in their small Tarzana apartment and get ready for work tending to wealthier people’s needs. The apartment’s location afforded Caroline and her sister access to quality public schools and an upbringing surrounded by a support system of family.

Adversity struck when her parents separated, and her mom became the sole provider for their family. Caroline took on additional responsibilities for their household, such as translating, helping with bills, and working part-time jobs to make ends meet. Her mom poured her savings into buying their first home, only to fall victim to the subprime mortgage crisis. When Caroline was 18, they were evicted and found themselves housing unstable.

The economic downturn continued to interfere with Caroline’s dreams. After high school, she began pursuing a degree in Fire Technology and her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license while working full-time. When she was ready to apply for the City of Los Angeles’ Fire Department, they froze hiring. Searching for a new way to serve, Caroline enlisted in the Marine Corps and served from 2009 – 2016. 

Serving in the military under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy forced her to hide her relationship with her girlfriend, now wife. After the law’s repeal, Caroline felt a huge burden lifted as she could invest herself authentically as a leader amongst her fellow Marines.

After serving on active duty, Caroline returned to work as an EMT and school to study sociology, earning her Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Northridge. Caroline continued her education at UCLA, completing a Master of Social Welfare and earning the David Bohnett Fellowship that provided an opportunity to work in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Gender Equity Office.

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Caroline hosted nightly conference calls to update residents with the latest information from the city. She also organized socially distanced community events, including the San Fernando Valley’s LGBTQ+ Pride Car Parade and the Veterans Day drive-thru recognition. Additionally, she volunteers her time serving on the GLSEN Los Angeles Chapter Board and The Help Group’s Kaleidoscope Advisory Board. Both organizations work to create more inclusive learning and family environments for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults.

Caroline is a Director at a non-profit in Pacoima, a long-time community activist in the Valley, and a homeowner in Panorama City where she resides with her wife and two dogs.

Who supports this candidate?

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $272,871

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of California State University, Northridge
$13,050
2
Association of California School Administrators
$9,700
3
California Faculty Association
$9,500
4
California YIMBY Victory Fund
$7,400
4
HONOR PAC
$7,400

More information about contributions

By State:

California 97.37%
Colorado 1.99%
Arizona 0.24%
District of Columbia 0.20%
Other 0.20%
97.37%

By Size:

Large contributions (92.07%)
Small contributions (7.93%)
92.07%

By Type:

From organizations (49.06%)
From individuals (50.94%)
49.06%50.94%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

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