Candidate in Los Angeles, California
Her Story: Wendy immigrated to the U.S. as a child escaping El Salvador’s civil war. Between the ages of 5 and 13, she was undocumented, like many children that fled and continue to flee the violence in Central America. Wendy’s parents stressed the importance of an education and provided her with an invaluable foundation of upward mobility, strong work ethics, compassion, and resiliency. Wendy became a naturalized citizen in her early twenties and for a few years, was the only voting member of her family of seven. She is the oldest of five daughters and has paved the way as a first-generation college student.
A product of LA public schools, Wendy is a proud graduate of Harrison Elementary School in City Terrace, El Sereno Middle School in El Sereno and Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights. While juggling multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet, Wendy attended East LA College and received a Bachelor’s in Rhetorical Communications from California State University Los Angeles and a Master’s in Specialized Journalism with an emphasis in demography and politics from the University of Southern California.
Her Work: Wendy has a distinguished career in politics, advocacy, journalism and media, elevating the voices and political consciousness of everyday people. For ten years, she was the host and executive producer of “Knowledge is Power,” a community based show on Los Angeles radio station, Power 106FM that provided a platform for voices not often heard in mainstream conversation. She’s hosted issue-oriented public forums with various media partners and has been a progressive voice on TV, radio and digital news outlets. Most recently, she helped co-found Reported.ly, an award-winning social-news startup covering international human rights, global conflict and social movements. Her passion for equity and justice led her to Standing Rock, a Native American reservation where she spent several weeks embedded in the fight to stop the North Dakota Access Pipeline.
Having served the members of SEIU ULTCW (now SEIU 2015), Wendy understands the need to organize, mobilize and fight in order to live with dignity and overcome income inequality. In her role with SEIU, Wendy led communications on local, state and national elections, healthcare for all, minimum wage increases, immigration reform, the foreclosure crisis and many other issues impacting working families across California and the nation.