Nov 05


WATSONVILLE, CA— Maintaining a record-smashing week of back-to-back endorsements from local and statewide leaders, today Watonville City Councilwoman Karina Cervantez Alejo picked up an endorsement from State Assemblyman and California’s Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus’ Policy Chair David Chiu in her campaign to represent the state’s 30th Assembly District seat.


In announcing his support of Councilwoman Cervantez Alejo’s Assembly run,State Assemblyman David Chiu remarked:


“As a former local government official who is now in state government, I can attest to how important it is that we have leaders who have local experience and have their finger on the pulse of the communities they represent. Karina Cervantez Alejo has shown that she’s deeply connected to the people she represents through her exceptional record as Mayor and on the Council by serving as the peoples’ voice and delivering results on their behalf. She’s highly accomplished, battle-tested and ready to lead. I’m pleased to endorse her.”


Just this week Councilwoman Karina Cervantez Alejo rolled out major statewide endorsements from California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Treasurer John Chiang. She also racked up support from two local Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education Members, Jaime Rosso and Fred Tovar.


Notably, Councilwoman Cervantez Alejo has been leading by every measurement in the race for the 30th Assembly District seat. As of the June 30th fundraising deadline, she had raised close to six times more than any candidate in the race, with $150,109 raised in total, and a sizable $144,244 cash-on-hand.

Organizationally, she’s built up an army of grassroots support, as well as endorsements from key women’s organizations, labor like the California Nurses Association, incoming Assembly Speaker-Elect Anthony Rendon, the California Latino Legislative Caucus, and United Farm Workers’ co-founder Dolores Huerta, and a far-reaching coalition of others, including:



  • California Latino Legislative Caucus
  • Mexican American Bar Association (MABA) PAC
  • Pajaro Valley Cesar Chavez Democratic Club
  • California Legislative Democratic Women’s Caucus
  • Northern California Carpenters
  • National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) of California
  • California Nurses Association (CNA)

State Elected Leaders

  • California State Controller Betty Yee
  • California State Treasurer John Chiang
  • California State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
  • California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León
  • California State Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (Ret.)
  • California Board of Equalization Chair Jerome Horton
  • California Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma
  • California State Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning
  • California State Senator Ben Hueso
  • California State Senator Ed Hernandez
  • California State Assembly Speaker-Elect Anthony Rendon
  • California Latino Legislative Caucus Chair & State Assembly Member Luis Alejo
  • California Legislative Black Caucus Vice Chair & State Senator Isadore Hall
  • California State Senator & Past Chair of California Latino Legislative Caucus Ricardo Lara
  • California Legislative Black Caucus Chair & State Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer
  • California Women’s Legislative Caucus Vice Chair & State Assembly Member Cristina Garcia
  • State Assembly Member Tony Thurmond
  • State Assembly Member Rob Bonta
  • State Assembly Member Kevin McCarty
  • State Assembly Member Miguel Santiago
  • State Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez
  • State Assembly Member Ian Calderon
  • State Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia
  • State Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez
  • State Assembly Member Roger Hernandez
  • State Assembly Member Jose Medina
  • State Assembly Speaker & Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (Ret.)

Public Safety Leaders

  • Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart
  • Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller (Ret.)
  • Watsonville Police Chief Terry Medina (Ret.)
  • Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak (Ret.)
  • Santa Cruz County Sheriff Steve Robbins (Ret.)
  • Gonzales Police Chief Paul Miller
  • Greenfield Police Chief Joe Grebmeier (Ret.)
  • Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano
  • Marina Police Chief Eddie Rodriguez
  • Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell

Local Elected Leaders

  • San Benito County Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz
  • San Benito County Supervisor Margie Barrios
  • Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty
  • Santa Cruz County Office of Education President Sandra Nichols
  • Santa Cruz County Office of Education Board Member Abel Sanchez
  • Santa Cruz County Board of Education Trustee Dana Sales
  • Santa Cruz Commission for the Prevention Of Violence Against Women Appointee Martine Watkins*
  • Santa Cruz County Supervisor John Leopold
  • Santa Cruz County Board of Education Trustee Jack Dilles
  • Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Member Zach Friend
  • Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisor Member Neal Coonerty (Ret.)
  • Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane
  • Santa Cruz Mayor (Ret.) & UC-AFT Union Organizer Mike Rotkin*
  • Santa Cruz Vice Mayor Cynthia Mathews
  • Santa Cruz City Council Member Cynthia Chase
  • Santa Cruz City Council Member Richelle Noroyan
  • Santa Cruz County Office of Education Superintendent Michael Watkins
  • Santa Clara County Office of Education Board Member for Area 7 (representing Morgan Hill Unified, Gilroy Unified) Member Claudia Rossi
  • Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez
  • Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate
  • Soledad Mayor Richard Ortiz (Ret.)
  • Hollister City Council Member Robert Scattini (Ret.)
  • Greenfield City Council Member Agapito Vasquez (Ret.)
  • Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education Member Jaime Rosso
  • Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education Member Fred Tovar
  • Gilroy Unified School Board Member Domingo Payne (Ret.)
  • Gilroy Arts and Culture Commission Member Bruce Morasca*
  • Gilroy Parks & Recreation Commission Member Rebecca Scheel
  • Pajaro Valley Unified School District Trustee Maria Orozco
  • Pajaro Valley Unified School District Trustee Lupe Rivas
  • Pajaro Valely Unified School District Trustee Karen Osmundson
  • Salinas Union High School District Trustee Phillip Tabera
  • Salinas Union High School District Trustee Patty Padilla-Salsberg
  • Watsonville Vice-Mayor Felipe Hernandez
  • Watsonville Council member Lowell Hurst, also former Mayor
  • Watsonville Former Mayor Daniel Dodge
  • Watsonville Former Mayor Manual Bersamin
  • Watsonville Former Mayor Eduardo Montesino
  • Watsonville Former Mayor Todd McFarren
  • Watsonville Former Mayor Oscar Rios
  • Watsonville Planning Commission Vice Chair Aurelio Gonzalez*
  • Watsonville Planning Commissioner Dobie Jenkins*
  • Watsonville Planning Commissioner Jenny Sarmiento*
  • Washington Unified School District Board of Trustees Member & Member of Latino School Board Association Norma Alcala
  • King City Council Member Carlos Victoria (Ret.)
  • Morgan Hill City Council Member Marilyn Librers
  • Gavilan College Board of Trustees Member Elvira Robertson Zaragoza (Ret.)
  • San Jose Unified School District Board Vice-President Teresa Castellanos
  • Franklin-McKinley School District Board Member Omar Torres
  • Monterey County Board of Education Trustee Sergio Alejo
  • Hartnell College Trustee & SEIU Local 521 Salinas City Employees Chapter Co-President Ray Montemayor*
  • Hollister City Council Member Victor Gomez
  • Watsonville City Council Member Ramon Gomez (Ret.)
  • Hartnell College Trustee Demetrio Pruneda
  • Monterey County Board of Education Member David Serena (Ret.)
  • Monterey County Board of Education Member Francisco Estrada, Sr.
  • Salinas City Council Member Sergio Sanchez (Ret.)
  • Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital District Board Trustee Pat Egan (Ret.)
  • Alum Rock Union School District Governing Board Member Andres Quintero


Community Leaders
• Civil Rights & Labor Icon, Co-Founder of United Farm Workers of America (UFW) Dolores Huerta

• California Democratic Party Vice Chair Alex Rooker

• California Democratic Party Secretary Daraka Larimore-Hall

• Salinas Valley Federation of Teachers’ Immediate Past President Steve McDougall*

• California Democratic Party Chicano Latino Caucus Chair Carlos Alcalá*

• Santa Cruz County Democratic Activist and business leader Les Gardner*

• Salinas Valley Democratic Club Immediate Past President Brandi Garcia*

• Silicon Valley Young Democrats Secretary & Commissioner of Santa Clara County Child Abuse Council Juan Quinones*

• Silicon Valley Young Democrat & San Jose City Council Member Raul Peralez*

• Morgan Hill Federation of Teachers Past President Theresa Sage*

• Democratic Activists for Women Now (DAWN) member KarinaDominguez*

• Democratic Women’s Club of Santa Cruz County member and Vice-President of the Digital NEST Rose Filicetti*

• Santa Cruz County Democratic Party Executive Board Member Pedro Castillo*

• Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee Member Ed Manning*

• Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee Member Pat Manning*

• Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee Member Joe Hall*

• Teamsters Local 890 Labor Negotiator Mike Johnston*

• Santa Cruz County American Association of University Women Member Bettye Pina*

• Monterey County Democratic Central Committee Member James Thomas Green*

• Silicon Valley Young Democrats Past Secretary Victoria Ramirez*

• Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley President & Santa Clara Commission on the Status of Women Appointee Christina Ramos*

• Santa Clara Commission on the Status of Women Appointee Chandra Brooks*

• Santa Clara Commission on the Status of Women Appointee Maria Garcia*

• People’s Democratic Club of Santa Cruz County Corr. Secretary Officer Brian Murtha*

• People’s Democratic Club of Santa Cruz County Communication Officer Nancy Abbey*

• La Raza Lawyers of Santa Cruz County Past President Edison Jensen*

• Women Lawyers of Santa Cruz County Founder Sarah Clarenbach*

• Monterey County Democratic Central Committee Etna Monsalve

• Monterey County Democratic Central Committee Teri Short


Elected to the Watsonville City Council in 2012, Karina Cervantez Alejo is only the second Latina in the City’s history to serve on the Council. In 2014, she served as Mayor.


In 2014, Cervantez Alejo led the City Council’s effort to put Measure G, a public safety measure to increase the City’s revenue to hire more police, fire, and increase emergency response services, on the November ballot. Measure G passed with 67% of the vote.


Previously, Cervantez Alejo worked with the Community Action Board’s Youth Community Restoration Project (YCORP), where she assisted directly with youth transitioning from juvenile hall back into the community. She also helped develop youth leadership and mentorship programs, including Girlzpace, an after-school program working with young women in the City of Watsonville.


Before serving on the Watsonville City Council, Cervantez Alejo served on the Watsonville Planning Commission, the Watsonville Parks and Recreation Commission, the Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee, the Santa Cruz County Girls Task Force, and as the co-chair of the Santa Cruz County Immigration Action Group. Previously, she was appointed as a statewide at-large delegate for President Barack Obama to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Currently, Cervantez Alejo sits on various City and County committees in her capacity as an elected leader, including: Board of Directors of Santa Cruz METRO Transit District; Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission; City-County-Schools Intergovernmental Committee; the League of Cities Board of Directors where she represents the 18 cities in the Monterey Bay Division; and as a Gubernatorial appointee serving on the Central Coast Water Quality Control Board.


Cervantez Alejo is a graduate of Porterville High School and is the daughter of farmworkers who continue to work in the agricultural fields of the Central Valley. She received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and her master of science (M.S.) degree in psychology from UC Santa Cruz. She is currently completing her doctoral (PhD) degree in psychology also from UC Santa Cruz.


*Titles for Identification Purposes Only.