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Los Angeles County, CA March 6, 2007 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Monica Rodriguez

Candidate for
Council Member; City of Los Angeles; District 7

This information is provided by the candidate

BIOGRAPHY A life-long resident of the Northeast San Fernando Valley, Monica Rodriguez believes that strong, healthy neighborhoods are built by empowered communities and a responsive government. Raised in the community of Arleta and the product of public schools, Monica is an independent leader, whose unique blend of public and private sector expertise makes her the best choice to represent the residents of the 7th District on the City Council, and to ensure that they receive their fair share of city services.

From a very young age, Monica's drive and determination was inspired and nurtured by her father, Ralph Rodriguez. After completing a military tour of duty in Vietnam, Ralph Rodriguez dedicated his life to saving the lives of others. He joined the LA City Fire Department in 1974 and was a member of the first graduating class following implementation of the consent decree. He quickly climbed the ranks and was even voted "Firefighter of the Year." Monica's father now mentors young people who wish to follow in his footsteps and become firefighters for the City of Los Angeles. It was this drive to succeed and a positive, "can do" upbringing that allowed Monica to succeed. She was the first in her family to attend college and worked as many as three jobs at a time to pay for tuition. It is through her college experiences that she found her calling to public service. During college, Monica had her first job in city government.

Monica is no stranger to City Hall -- she has first-hand, on-the-ground experience as Community Affairs Manager for Mayor Richard Riordan, and as an aide to Councilmembers Mike Hernandez and Richard Alarcon. In this capacity, Monica led several initiatives to revitalize neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley and Northeast Los Angeles. She implemented the award-winning, multi-million-dollar "Targeted Neighborhood Initiative" program in Canoga Park, and worked with families in North Hills to fight drug trafficking and prostitution. With a tenacious desire to serve, Rodriguez is universally regarded as someone who knows how to work effectively within the city's system to make our neighborhoods clean and safe. As Chief Deputy to School Board President Caprice Young, Monica gained valuable experience in inter-governmental relations. She advised the development and expansion of the F.I.R.E. Academy Program, a unique partnership between the Los Angeles City Fire Department, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and the Los Angeles Community College District, which provides opportunities for youth to learn about a career in fire service. She also collaborated with First Five California to dedicate local funding for Pre-School and Universal Health Care for Kids in LA County, and spearheaded the creation of a policy that provides local neighborhood councils with access to school facilities.

Currently, Monica is an executive for the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), where she is responsible for the administration of a multi-million dollar workforce housing trust fund that has helped families across the state realize their dreams of home ownership.

In her spare time, Monica works tirelessly on behalf for community-based organizations that create opportunities for youth. Honored as the 2005 Volunteer of the Year at the North Valley Family YMCA, which currently serves more than 15,000 kids in the Valley, she led the expansion of school based YMCA programs, expansion of after school programs and the charge to build a new YMCA for the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

The love and support of Monica's family continues to be vital to her success. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Raul Fontanills (also a lifelong resident of Arleta), and has two children, Adrian and Eliana. She continues to receive invaluable moral support and guidance from her sister, Rachel Rodriguez, a teacher at Pacoima Middle School, her brother-in-law, Robert Chavira, an officer with LAPD, her father Ralph Rodriguez, and her mother Alejandra Rodriguez, who is the glue that holds the entire family together. Monica graduated from Occidental College in 1997 with a degree in Politics. She makes her home in Mission Hills.


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Created from information supplied by the candidate: February 12, 2007 14:33
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