When you grow up in a family of copper miners in Arizona, you learn about hard work, long days and soil. Anna learned a lot from the soil—how to make things grow, how to keep it healthy and how people can raise their families from its bounty. The soil is what kept food on people’s table and gave them a better future. The soil was life.
These are lessons Anna kept with her, even after she moved to Salinas to work with farmworker families. As a young attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance, Anna made sure people who spent their days working in the soil and fields of the Salinas and Central Valley were treated with respect and dignity, and their rights protected.
Anna helped establish a non-profit organization dedicated to youth violence prevention and steering young people away from gangs through supporting literacy, after school activities, early childhood development, youth employment and high school dropout prevention strategies.
Anna first ran for City Council in Salinas in 1991 and was elected the first Female Mayor in 1998. She served in the State Assembly and during her career in public service has won numerous awards for her service and dedication. But they don’t mean nearly as much to her as the thousands of families she has met, represented and fought for along the way. They give her energy and strength, just like the soil which surrounds us gives us life.
Today it can be hard to believe in anyone in politics. But there are leaders who understand us, care about us and most importantly, who respect us. Anna Caballero has dedicated her entire career to making life better for all of us. She respects the soil—and she respects us.