Now more than ever we are seeing a large number of women running for office. From local to national positions, women from many different backgrounds are mobilizing in an effort to make a difference in their communities. We recently hosted two of these dynamic women running for local positions in Northern California, Fatima Malik who is running to be on the Sacramento Municipal Utility District board, and Samantha Ramirez who is running for the San Rafael School Board. Both these women come from humble beginnings and here is the impact they want to make.
Fatima Malik grew up in Sacramento and has worked several years in the non-profit sector, mobilizing at a grassroots level to create transformative change that would benefit her community. She was raised by a single struggling mother and had to work her way out of poverty, now she is the Program and Policy Analyst at State of California running for SMUD board with the goal of providing equity and justice by collaborating with her community in implementing changes that help them save power and money while also taking measures to fight against the effects of climate change.
Fatima wants SMUD to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy, helping people in her community to make and store solar energy that will lower their costs. The SMUD board currently is making it difficult for property owners to access solar energy, Fatima plans to change that, understanding that many people are having a hard time paying for their SMUD bills. She is a big proponent of self-sufficiency and believes people should have the right to grow their own food and produce their own resources making them less dependent.
Now let’s take a look at how Samantha Ramirez is also seeking improvement and proving representation matters. Samantha “Sammy” Ramirez also comes from immigrant parents and if elected will become the first Millennial, Latinx elected official in Marin County. Samantha has a history of working in several school programs in San Rafael and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, making her an ideal candidate for this position, as she has seen first hand the challenges that many students face. Currently, the majority of the students in the San Rafael School District are Latinos yet not one single board member is from a Latinx background. Representation matters, and Samantha Ramirez is aiming to ensure students are getting what they need to thrive and prosper. With her own experience growing up and attending school in Marin County as a Latinx individual she understands the needs of this particular group and the barriers they face.
Both Fatima Malik and Samantha Ramirez bring fresh perspectives. They can relate to their constituents because of their past experiences and see an opportunity where they can make progress in their communities. Understanding what the problems are and knowing how to solve them, Fatima and Samantha are determined to get a seat on the table to tackle the issues that affect them and their community.