Paula is a public servant with extensive experience in education, health care, human services and emergency response. She is an advocate for all California families.
Paula served three years as Assistant Secretary for the California Health and Human Services Agency, where she led statewide COVID-19 efforts and expanded access to health and human services programs. In this work she was on the front lines of supporting public health departments, schools, and communities to address challenges due to the pandemic. As Assistant Secretary, she prioritized equitable administration of key health and human services programs to reduce health care disparities.
She was elected to the San Juan Unified School District Board of Education in 2016 and served two consecutive terms as president of the board. During her first term on the SJUSD Board, she led the passage of Measure P, a $750 million bond to fund our local schools. She increased access to rigorous academic programs for all students, and increased the number of counselors, social workers, and other direct student supports to improve outcomes for students.
Growing up housing insecure, Paula is a first-generation high school graduate and was the first in her family to graduate college, and is proud to be a graduate of U.C. Berkeley. With homelessness as one of the state’s top priorities, she understands that the crisis on our streets isn’t right for those suffering and it isn’t fair for communities. She knows the impact that good schools, great teachers, and committed counselors can have to change the trajectory of a child’s life. Paula also survived a rare metastatic cancer when she was a young adult, an illness that cemented her belief in the importance of equitable health care for all.
As a new mom and committed public servant, Paula is running for State Assembly to protect, defend, and improve public education, broaden access to high-quality physical and mental health care, and address rising costs that are hurting families and seniors.
She is a 20-year resident of Arden-Arcade and Carmichael, both within Assembly District 6.