I absolutely love this photo of Leticia Cazares. She stands tall, but relaxed. Her smile is bright, and there is a sense of peace and calm that emanates from her eyes. She is whole. Happy. And truly embracing her best self and best life. She is exactly who I want my daughters and granddaughter to know and count as a friend and mentor.
Leticia Cazares is a warrior. She is a dynamic multi-talented leader whose work has had an impact in countless ways. It is no surprise that Leticia has dedicated herself to improving our world for the betterment of all. This call to community service is the legacy that her parents cultivated since the 1960s and handed down to her and her siblings.
She is a community health expert who for over 16 years served the San Ysidro Health eventually leading their Affordable Care Act work, which became a model with over 16,000 San Diego South County residents enrolled in Medical-Cal or Covered CA. As a legislative aide in Washington D.C. for the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional District 51, she helped draft legislation for veterans and worked to advance bills that benefited the local constituents of South San Diego and Imperial Counties. Leticia currently serves as Vice President of the Board for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of San Diego & Imperial Counties and is a City Commissioner for the Chula Vista Cultural Arts Commission. She recently led the development of the San Diego Rapid Response Network, a coordinated county wide network of organizations that educates, assists, and defends immigrants and refugees in San Diego.
While the impact of Leticia’s work is impressive, what really inspires me is the way she walks in life with truth, vulnerability, authenticity and courage. She is brutally honest about her struggles in young adulthood with depression and substance abuse. However, she is open about sharing the work she did to overcome her challenges. Her early experiences are a driving force behind her community work and passion for healing and transformative personal growth work. After spending several years working long hours at San Ysidro Health Center, Leticia decides that it was time to make a change and began exploring a new path. She left her comfortable, high paying position, to focus on inner-work and healing; to support others in their own healing and to embrace her hustle by starting her own consulting business.
At a time when we are seeing significant threats to public education and higher income inequality than ever before for our communities, Leticia has answered the call to protect and advance our students and community. She is part-time faculty at San Diego State University School of Public Health, and earlier this year, she made the decision to run for Southwestern Community College Board. As a former student of Southwestern Community College, she made this decision to be the voice of our community with a focus on affordable and debt free community college, opportunity and support for all, and workforce preparation and pathways.
San Diego County, and especially her hometown of Chula Vista, California is beyond fortunate to have Leticia Cazares as a luchadora.