- Please tell us about yourself:
Juanita Salas is a third generation Imperial County resident that currently serves as Director for Division 1 on the Imperial Irrigation District.
She was elected to the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) with over 45% of the vote in June of 2017 with four candidates running. Since taking office Juanita has worked hard to keep her campaign promises by being engaged with the community and championing issues that improve the IID and services to the ratepayers.
As the community candidate and representative with a vision, Juanita Salas trail blazed by being the first IID director to ever bring the IID to the community by holding three town halls in El Centro, Westmoreland and Brawley. This had never been done in IID’s 100 year + history.
She also created the #TransformIID Campaign that is creating a movement that will bring the IID closer to the community to help improve and make an IID of the 21st century. Together with the board, Director Salas helped to bring eGreen Solar Program that will help to reduce energy costs for seniors and low income families.
2.) Why are you running for Imperial Irrigation District D1?
I am running for a full term on the IID board because I want to continue to offer strong leadership, create a forward vision, and make a real change on the IID board. When the vacancy was first announced, I started receiving calls from community leaders, elected’s, and grassroots organizers asking me to run as a community candidate, that it was time for a community representative on the IID board. My track record and history of being a community advocate and delivering projects which have benefited all 7 cities and 7 non-incorporated areas in the Valley. I have been attending IID Board meetings for over a decade representing our member of Congress, and the community knew that I already had the experience with water and power issues and the business of the IID.
I want to continue to give back to my community and advocate on behalf of our working families. I truly believe that the IID impacts every single family, future generations, and all of the IID employees on a daily basis. This past year, I was able to participate in closed session negotiations for our bargaining units and found it very rewarding to maintain a process that is respectful, level headed and beneficial for our working families.
I believe that IID is the crown jewel of our community and have a track record of always fighting for our families to strive for better jobs, economy, and future.
There is still much work to be done to transform the IID board to one that is approachable, responsible, transparent, and an honest broker.
3.) What has been the role of Women in Public Service in the Imperial Valley?
Women are the backbone of our family and community. I know and have worked with many women who are strong community activists, who recognize that the path they create is not just for themselves, but for other women to walk in. I admire and proud to call these women my role models, mentors, and my friends.
Through their leadership and mentoring, I have forged my community leadership role and am giving back by mentoring and supporting the next generation of women leaders who will follow after me. It is the only way we will have more women in leadership who will run for office successfully and achieve greater things for our community and families.
4.) What advice could you give to women who aspire to run for office or any public service position?
You are not alone out there, there are organizations, programs and projects across the country who are out there to help you. To always remember that your successes are not about you, they are about the community you were elected to serve. As a woman leader, you have a responsibility to demonstrate your leadership skills to the woman you serve with, work with and/or desire to run for office. When one woman succeeds, we all succeed.
I want to encourage everyone to get involved in this critical election and let your voices be heard. Get to know the candidates and hold them accountable to bring about change for our families. Find out more information about the projects I’ve been working on and deliveries I’ve brought our community at www.votejuanitasalas.com
Your vote is your voice!