There were two Guest Speakers, BOTH ENDORSED BY OUR CLUB, at the September 20th General Meeting. Santa Maria School Board Candidates Abraham Melendrez and Diana Perez.

 Our September General Meeting featured two guests running for office on November 6, 2018 ~  both of whom we have endorsed and also happen to be members of our Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley!!  Diana Perez is running for re-election to the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Board, and Abe Melendrez is running for the Santa Maria Bonita School Board.

              Diana Perez, Speaker                                                                                                                  Abraham Melendrez, Speaker
*  Diana Perez, Candidate for Santa Maria Joint Union High School, (Link with list of schools in the district below)  was raised in Salinas, California and graduated from Salinas High School in 1984. As the eldest daughter of five, Diana aspired to help her mother (who worked in the fields) and her younger siblings strive for a better life. She enrolled and graduated from Hartnell College then transferred to UC Santa Barbara and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Diana worked two jobs to earn enough money to attend Fresno State and earned a Master’s Degree in Education, Counseling and Student Services in 1994.

Immediately after, she was hired by Santa Barbara City College as an ESL Counselor, then UC Santa Barbara as an EAOP Admission Counselor and currently is the Director of the Central Coast Cal-SOAP Consortium at Allan Hancock College. Diana Perez has three children including a recent graduate from Righetti High School.

Diana Perez was appointed to the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District in February of 2014, then elected to the board in November of 2014.  As a parent and educator with over twenty years of experience in higher education, and a former commissioner for the Off-Highway MotorVehicles Recreation (OHMVR), Diana is fully committed to contributing toward enhancing educational opportunities for all district students.

Here is a link for a list of the public schools in the Santa Maria Joint Union High School:

*  Abe Melendrez, Candidate for Santa Bonita School District, (Link with list of schools in the district below)  is a community organizer at Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE). Read his own words …

“I am a proud product of Santa Maria and the schools in our community. Like many children, I struggled in school and our family struggled financially, but amazing teachers and school programs helped me reach my educational dreams, including becoming the first in my family to achieve a university degree.

“I attended Miller Elementary, Fesler Jr. High, Santa Maria High, Allan Hancock College, and UC Berkeley. I know firsthand that our local schools have the potential to be some of the best, and in order to do so, we need strong leaders, focused on fiscal responsibility, with the energy to advocate for the best education for our students.

“I now serve on two nonprofit boards and am employed at a local nonprofit organization, working to address youth violence, encourage civic engagement and community leadership.

“I owe my success to my teachers, mentors and the community. I want to make sure every student is exposed to educational, professional, and vocational opportunities. I want us to give them a strong foundation because I believe that a strong investment in our children is a strong investment in our future.”

Here is a link to the schools in the Santa Bonita School District:


Please join us at IHOP, 202 Nicholson Ave., every third Thursday of the month, with a no-host social and dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the program starting at 7 p.m.  Our October 18th meeting will feature Guest Speaker Leonard Champion, Fire Chief of the Santa Maria Fire Department.

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