As the Vice-President of Bargaining at Service Employees International Union (SEIU-1000), Margarita has been a crucial voice in the fight for a $15 minimum wage in California and a grassroots organizer for rent control ordinances in Sacramento.
“Margarita insists that we can grow, change, and be bigger and bolder than anyone previously thought possible.” – Samantha Gordon, nominator
Name: Margarita Maldonado
Birthplace: Bakersfield, CA
What woman in your life has been the greatest source of inspiration to you?There is no one woman, I am a quilt of dozens of extraordinary women. My first memories take me to my 5th grade teacher Ms. Graham who peeled back my strength and confidence. To the community of strong women my mom built as a family to supplement her presence. To my first woman mentor Freddye who showed me how to crush all glass ceilings through hard work, integrity and passion. To this day every woman who chooses to lead for a better world for all.
What does it mean to be extraordinary? Extraordinary to me means to step outside comfort zones and choose to live beyond ourselves knowing we’ll encounter resistance, challenges and great opportunities. Extraordinary women are not martyrs but realize the gift to lead.
How do you hope to inspire the next generation of women? The work I do may be seen as extraordinary but I see it as necessary. It is my belief it is my responsibility to live a life of leadership, passion, community engagement and love.
What motivates you to do your extraordinary work? The work I do may be seen as extraordinary but I see it as necessary. It is my belief it is my responsibility to live a life of leadership, passion, community engagement and love.
Shop Margarita's sweater here!