Each year, California State Parks Foundation recognizes the efforts of policymakers who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the protection and enhancement of California’s state parks. This year we honor Assemblymember Monique Limon and Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo.
Their continued leadership addresses the social and economic barriers that have prevented many Californians from accessing and experiencing California's state parks and coastline, and reflects a true sense of legacy in working to preserve California's park systems and make them available to all.
Assemblymember Monique Limón was elected to the Assembly in November 2016 and represents the 37th district that includes over half of the County of Santa Barbara, as well as nearly a quarter of the County of Ventura.
Born and raised in the 37th district, Monique has worked continuously to serve her community as an educator, leader, and an advocate for causes advancing the quality of life in her community.
For Monique, education has always been a priority. A UC Berkeley graduate with a Master’s degree from Columbia University, Monique served two terms on the Santa Barbara Unified School Board and as Assistant Director for the McNair Scholars Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara prior to serving in the Assembly.
Monique has worked with countless local students at Santa Barbara City College and UCSB as an advisor and mentor to help them achieve their professional and academic goals through higher education.
Women’s issues are also a priority for Monique. As former Commissioner on the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women she helped connect private and public resources with women in the community. Monique has a passion for bringing community groups together and building strong coalitions among local nonprofit organizations and civic groups.
Monique’s roots go deep in the 37th district. Her extended network of family and friends include a range of small business owners and important leaders in the community. Her husband, Michael Medel works at Santa Barbara City College as Director of Admissions and Records and serves as President of the 19th District Agricultural Association. Monique and Michael were both raised in the area and currently live in Goleta.
Wendy Carrillo was elected to serve in the California State Assembly in December 2017. She represents the 51st Assembly District which is home to close to 500,000 residents in the City of Los Angeles, unincorporated East Los Angeles and includes some of the most historic and iconic communities in the city.
Prior to being elected to office, Assemblywoman Carrillo was a broadcast journalist for twelve years covering human rights, global conflict and US politics. Additionally, she worked in communications for the Service Employee International Union United Long Term Care Workers, which represents over 350,000 Home healthcare workers in California and served in local government as a communications deputy for a member of the Los Angeles City Council.
She has been an advocate for education, immigration reform, environmental justice, healthcare for all, job creation and innovation. In the State Assembly she serves on the Appropriations, Rules, Public Safety, Health and Water, Parks and Wildlife committees.
Assemblywoman Carrillo immigrated to the United States as a young child during El Salvador’s Civil War and is a first generation American with Salvadoran and Mexican heritage.
She is the eldest of five daughters and received a Bachelors of Arts in Communications from California State University Los Angeles and a Masters in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Southern California.