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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Sonoma County Junior College District - Santa Rosa AreaCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Mariana G. Martinez

Mariana G. Martinez

Professor/Research Coordinator
39,696 votes (35.7%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Student Success by Increasing transfer and degree completion rates, Bring back affordable student housing, Increase academic counselors and faculty
  • Access through Increasing course offerings, Extend hours for student support services, Maintain affordability
  • Accountable by listening to student concerns, to taxpayers via fiscal responsibility and oversight, and to the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation, making it into a model for others to follow



Profession:Professor and Research Coordinator
Professor, Sonoma State University Chicano and Latino Studies Department (2015–current)
Research Coordinator, Sonoma State University McNair Scholars Program (2013–current)


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Ph.D., Education Policy, Organization and Leadership (2016)
University of the Pacific M.A., Education, Curriculum and Instruction (2008)
Sonoma State University B.A , Spanish (2003)
Sonoma State University B.A., Chicano And Latino Studies (2003)

Community Activities

Board Member, The College Tee Project (2015–current)
Advisory Board Member, Raizes Collective (2014–current)
Board Member, VIDAS (2016–current)
Faculty Advisor, UndocuScholar Coalition at Sonoma State University (2015–current)
Faculty Advisor , Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) at Sonoma State University (2016–current)


Mariana G. Martinez is first and foremost a mother of a two-year old toddler. She is the eldest of three siblings and is the only one to hold either a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree in a family of over 30 members.

At the young age of 8 years old Mariana immigrated to the United States. She moved to Santa Rosa, which she considers home, at age 12. It was here that she attended Lawrence Cook Junior High School and graduated from Elsie Allen High School with the support of the Upward Bound programs. After high school, Mariana attended Sonoma State University graduating with Bachelor’s degrees in both Chicano and Latino Studies as well as Spanish. While in college she worked with the Migrant Education program and had the opportunity to be an academic advisor and teacher assistant in the Adelante summer program held at Santa Rosa Junior College. Her dream was to become a teacher, but she soon realized that there were larger structural issues that needed attention.


Her first job in higher education was with SRJC as a Financial Aid Technician. Soon she was recruited to be part of the Upward Bound Programs at Sonoma State University as an Outreach Advisor, helping students on their journey toward higher education. After almost four years and now the Outreach Coordinator, Mariana had only one option and that was to continue on and so she continued to the University of the Pacific to earn a Master’s degree in Education, Curriculum and Instruction.

After a year with UC Irvine as Coordinator of the Alliance fro Graduate Education and the Professoriate, working towards first generation students of color to complete the doctorate degree and pursue a career in the professoriate, it became even more clear to her that in order to address the structural issues in our educational system, she needed to continue her education. Mariana was accepted into the Education Policy, Organization and Leadership program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in May 2016 she became part of the 0.02% of Latina high school graduates to attain a Doctorate degree.

Throughout this entire journey, Mariana has been involved in her community and for nearly two decades now has actively worked in a school setting, ranging from kindergarten to doctoral education. She has been purposeful in the population she works with and for; addressing equity by focusing her work predominately with students of color from low income/working class backgrounds that often are the first in their family to either attend formal schooling or graduate high school/college. In her many roles – professor, advisor, mentor, and researcher – she has learned that focusing on helping one person at a time will accomplish slow progress, true effective change has to be structural.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Dolores Huerta

Organizations (5)

  • Santa Rosa Junior College Student Government Assembly
  • Sonoma County Democratic Party
  • Service Employees International Union Local 1021
  • Coalition for a Better Sonoma County
  • Sonoma County Conservation Action

Elected Officials (3)

  • Santa Rosa Councilmember Julie Combs
  • Rohnert Park Vice-Mayor Jake Mackenzie
  • Sonoma County Board of Education Member Herman G. Hernandez

Individuals (5)

  • Guy Conner
  • Isabel Lopez
  • Leticia Romero
  • Omar Gallardo
  • Orlando Macias

Candidate Contact Info

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