Gloria Soto was born, raised, and educated in Santa Maria.
She comes from an immigrant family whose example taught her the value of hard work and determination, and whose parents made numerous sacrifices to ensure she would have a chance at a better life. Gloria took advantage of every opportunity that her family and community offered her. She was part of the first graduating class of Pioneer Valley High School, and she holds degrees from Allan Hancock College and Chapman University.
Gloria is a non-profit professional who, over the last seven years, has worked with Planned Parenthood California Central Coast in a variety of positions, including education, public affairs, community engagement, and development. Currently, she is the Regional Development Manager. Her work in the non-profit sector has also included the hundreds of hours she has volunteered in pursuit of her passion for youth advocacy and empowerment. She lives that passion by training youth leaders and directing week-long youth leadership programs. In addition, she is a member of the Board of Directors for Future Leaders of America, and she has also served on The Fund for Santa Barbara’s Grant Making Committee (GMC). She is currently the GMC liaison to the Fund’s Board of Directors. Her wide experience with non-profit organizations has taught her the importance of building coalitions between communities and individuals who share common goals.
Today, her parents, brother, niece, and nephew all live in Santa Maria. Gloria is a homeowner and resident of the Westgate neighborhood in District 3. She is bilingual, bi-cultural, and deeply connected to the Santa Maria Valley’s many communities. As a lifelong Santa Marian, Gloria understands the everyday struggles of families in our city, and will be a fierce advocate for affordable housing, living wage jobs, and expanding opportunities for all the youth of Santa Maria.
If elected, Gloria will take office as a 29 year-old, making her the youngest woman elected to the Council in the history of Santa Maria. If elected, she would become the sixth woman Councilmember since the city’s founding in 1870.