League of Women Voters of California
Full Biography for Jose Solorio
JOSE SOLORIO'S BIOGRAPHY
The son of migrant farm workers, Jose Solorio has gone from laboring in the fields as a teenager alongside his parents, then attaining a masters degree from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government to now being a respected community leader. As a teenager, set on improving his family's standard of living, Jose saw education as the key to his future. Upon graduating from high school, he entered UC Irvine (UCI) with hope, determination, and the will to succeed.
Almost immediately upon setting foot on the UCI campus, he began to work with community leaders and organizations in Santa Ana. The experience he remembers most vividly from those years is the summer he worked with the Legal Aid Society of Santa Ana and the Orange County Human Relations Commission. That summer he provided research analysis and paralegal services to help local low-income residents attain legal services.
Often sought by his peers to serve in leadership roles, Jose was elected student body president both in high school and at UCI. As student body president in college he fought passionately -- and successfully -- for low fees, increased financial aid, the environment, and a "real-world" curriculum. He was also instrumental in forming various new organizations at UCI, including a Catholic bible study organization.
Upon completion of his bachelors degree in Social Ecology at UCI, he went to Sacramento to serve as a consultant to the state's Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. As an appointed member of the prestigious Senate Fellow program, he was responsible for staffing key budgetary legislation and overseeing the budgets of three state agencies, totaling more than $2 billion. Having taken an active role to balance the state's 1993-94 budget and tackling the challenges to cut programs without compromising vital services, he is proud to have made a contribution to the state.
Jose left the Senate Budget Committee to attend Harvard's Kennedy School of Government to pursue a masters degree in public policy. Taking classes from conservative and liberal professors, as well as learning from the world's premier leaders, he studied business and government policy with the purpose of learning how to build positive and long-lasting relationships between the two sectors.
After receiving his masters degree he returned to Santa Ana to work as Vice President for Newport Beach-based The Market Connection (TMC), a marketing and public relations firm. A member of TMC for nearly three years, he represented a variety of medium-size to Fortune 500 companies, including Kwikset Corporation, Mission Foods, VR Business Brokers, Santa Ana-based Fairhaven Memorial Park, Cacique, and Mother's Cake and Cookie Company.
Jose left TMC in early 1997 to work with the Coalition for Children, Adolescents, and Parents to dedicate more time working with local youth and families. He was the director for a collaborative, consisting of seven community-based organizations, which promotes male responsibility, accountability, and youth leadership.
Now as Marketing Program Administrator for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Jose has returned to his passion of helping people through government service. At OCTA he plays a pivotal role in promoting transportation choices for local commuters, students and seniors.
Also a Planning Commissioner in the City of Santa Ana and a California Regional Water Quality Control Board Member, Jose hopes to continue using his education, government, and business experiences to help address regional policy challenges, while empowering others in the local community to realize their hopes and dreams.
Often asked why he dedicates so much time and effort in the community, Jose recites one of Cesar Chavez's famous quotes, "The end of all education should surely be service to others."
Jose and his wife Linn and son Michael Andrew reside in Santa Ana. Linn is a Social Studies teacher at Valley High School in Santa Ana, and their son Michael Andrew is 2 years old.
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