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Mayor Mary Casillas Salas
Board Member

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  • Hometown:Chula Vista, CA

Born and raised in Chula Vista, Mary Casillas Salas' South Bay roots run five generations deep. She has dedicated her career and life's work to family and to the community she loves. Mayor Casillas Salas has two daughters Michele and Sara and is the proud grandmother to Michael, Adriana, and Marissa. Mayor Casillas Salas is a product of local schools, graduating with honors from San Diego State University.

She began her public service on the Chula Vista Civil Service Commission in 1991, and was then appointed to the City’s Planning Commission in 1993, where she served until elected to the Chula Vista City Council in 1996. In 2000, she was reelected with 66 percent of the vote. After leaving the Council in 2004, she served as a Director of the Sweetwater Authority/South Bay Irrigation District. In 2006, she was elected to the California State Assembly where she chaired the Committee on Veteran's Affairs. She also served on the Jobs, Economic Development and Economy Committee, the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Health Committee. Her love of community spurred her to once again seek election to the City Council. She was elected to the City Council in 2012, and in 2014 she made history as the first elected Latina mayor in Chula Vista and the County of San Diego. She was re-elected for a final four-year term as Mayor with 72% of the vote.

Serving her hometown has always been Mayor Casillas Salas' passion. Her effective leadership and consensus-building skills are her strength. Her work to move Chula Vista forward is evident throughout the city. She led efforts to secure funding for new urban parks, formed strategic partnerships with various government agencies to ensure completion of Olympic Parkway and other major traffic thoroughfares, played a key role in the planning of the award-winning communities of Eastlake, Otay Ranch, and San Miguel.

During her tenure as Mayor, Chula Vista has received national and international recognition for our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and prevent climate change, our smart cities initiatives, and our actions to ensure sustainable development.  The City obtained ownership of the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center from the U.S. Olympic Committee. Mayor Casillas Salas led the campaign to adopt Measure P to rebuild our aging infrastructure and Measure A which raised sales taxes to pay for the hiring of additional police and fire personnel, advanced the development of the Bayfront in partnership with Port of San Diego with a signed development and disposition agreement with RIDA Development.  She continues to guide major projects, including the development of a four-year university and the revitalization of western Chula Vista.

Now Mayor Casillas Salas is looking to the future and is committed to a better quality of life for the people of Chula Vista through excellent public safety, effective stewardship of public funds and careful planning that leads to superior sustainability of community resources.

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Valerie LemmieChairDirector of Exploratory Research, Kettering Foundation Angela RomansSecretaryFormer Senior Vice President of Programming at Say Yes to Education, Inc. Heather A. JohnstonTreasurerFormer City Manager, City of Burnsville, MN Jessica Brown-LintonBoard MemberDeputy Chief Financial Officer, Durham County Government, NC Teree Caldwell-JohnsonBoard MemberChair, Des Moines School Board Mayor Mary Casillas SalasBoard MemberMayor of Chula Vista, California Jim CloarBoard MemberCommissioner, Tampa Housing Authority Hon. Brad ColeBoard MemberExecutive Director of the Illinois Municipal League Lee FeldmanBoard MemberPresident-Elect of the International City/Count Management Association (ICMA) Mayor Patti GarrettBoard MemberMayor of Decatur, Georgia Alex HannahBoard MemberManaging Vice President, Marketing & Communications, ICMA-RC Alicia LaraBoard MemberSenior Vice President, Impact United Way Worldwide Mayor Sherman P. Lea, Sr.Board MemberMayor of Roanoke, VA Hon. Ron LoveridgeBoard MemberDirector of the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development at the University of California Maureen McDonaldBoard MemberFormer Senior Director for Community Benefit & Relations at Kaiser Health Plan Colorado Terry MingerBoard MemberFormer President and CEO of The Piton Foundation in Denver, Colorado Derek OkuboBoard MemberExecutive Director, Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships Tony PeytonBoard MemberProgram Director, C.E. and S. Foundation Hon. David SanderBoard MemberCouncil Member of Rancho Cordova, California Anthony SantiagoBoard MemberSenior Fellow, Program & Partnership Development, National League of Cities Cindy SteinhauserBoard MemberCity Manager of Frankfort, KY Andy TaftBoard MemberPresident at Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. Hon. Angel TaverasBoard Member Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP Wendy WillisBoard MemberExecutive Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium

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