We can’t just recover from COVID-19 — we need to rebuild opportunity for all. 

I’m running for State Senate because this time demands values that can’t be swayed from one election to the next and a real commitment to our community.

COVID. Jobs. Racial justice. And more. I’m more determined than ever to make tomorrow better than today.

Join me on this journey. There’s so much to do — but we can do it together.

About Steve Padilla

Growing up in working-class South County San Diego, Steve’s story is the story of so many — achieving the California Dream with community support, quality public schools and a fair shot to succeed.

Steve is passionate about ensuring that same opportunity for future generations. For Steve, this moment right now isn’t just about recovering from COVID — it’s about rebuilding opportunity for all.

A longtime leader in California, Steve Padilla’s priorities are delivering for communities like South County and Imperial County that have been hard hit by the pandemic, tackling income inequality and economic recovery, expanding access to healthcare, strengthening public education, leading on climate, and taking action to combat racial injustice.

Steve Padilla has spent his life in service to others and making life better in his hometown. At 18, he joined the Chula Vista Police Explorer Scouts ultimately becoming a Police Detective specializing in protecting seniors and kids from domestic violence and abuse.

Years later, Steve Padilla made history as Chula Vista’s first Latino and first LGBTQ Mayor, and previously, when he was elected to the City Council, was the first person of color ever to serve in city office. Steve also serves as Chairman of California’s Coastal Commission, the powerful state agency charged with environmental protection and conservation along our coast.

With over thirty years of dedicated service to community, Steve Padilla has built a reputation as a proven progressive leader able to build consensus to tackle complex challenges, including jump-starting Chula Vista’s Bayfront development to create 7,000 jobs in our region; leading state efforts at the Coastal Commission to combat sea-level rise; and helping pass Chula Vista’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium and small business relief programs.

Like so many families right now, Steve knows what it’s like to struggle. He lost his father at an early age and was a single parent to his daughter Ashleigh. And Steve came face to face with prejudice and discrimination when he came out as LGBTQ while serving as Chula Vista’s Mayor.

In March 2020, Padilla was the first elected official in California to test positive for COVID-19 and spent 3 weeks in UCSD Thornton Hospital’s ICU, including 11 days on ventilator. Recovering from COVID-19, and now working to help South Bay recover from this pandemic, has made Steve even more determined to make tomorrow better than today.

Steve is a graduate of Bonita Vista High, and the Southwestern Police Academy. He holds undergraduate degrees in Liberal Arts and Public Administration, and studied law at WSU College of Law. He lives in the Otay Ranch neighborhood of Chula Vista just a few miles away from his amazing daughter Ashleigh and son-in-law Nelson, and his dad Don who still lives in the same family home where Steve grew up.

Monica led the effort to ban the police carotid restraint, increase oversight over MTS police, and pass Measure B, creating a Commission on Police Practices with subpoena power and independent investigators. Pouring energy into the budget process she has created the Office of Race & Equity with a $3 million Equity Fund; created an equity program for COVID-19 recovery funds; helped lead the effort to keep renters in their homes and businesses during the crisis; and brought historic levels of investment in community clean ups, art installations, and has worked to bring equitable City services like paved streets to the district. She also worked with community leaders to create The Peace Movement: Let’s Live, Let’s Love to reduce neighborhood violence and ensure the seniors in our community who are so impacted by the isolation of COVID-19 have service, food, and other necessities.

Monica believes in her heart that the neighborhoods and community members of District 4 are vibrant and worthy of care and investment. She governs with the principles of transparency and community involvement at the core of her approach. Monica and her team are constantly striving to make San Diego’s government more accessible to those without resources, those who speak different languages, and those with different abilities such as the deaf and hard of hearing.