Grace was raised in Kern County, California. As the daughter of migrant farmworkers who worked throughout the San Joaquin Valley, Grace understands what it’s like to put her shoulder to the wheel and push ahead.
For three decades, Grace worked at Pacific Bell/SBC, the local phone company. This experience working for the local utility and being a member of the Communication Workers of America taught her that she could make changes if she moved into a decision-making role and worked together with her colleagues. Grace refined her skills as an organizer for the improvement of the communications workforce from the labor side, while she learned about corporate culture and the larger objectives of the telecommunications industry.
Upon retirement from SBC, Grace didn’t miss a step enhancing her public service skills and went to work for the Delano Joint Union High School District in the business office. There she worked directly with the district’s youth and became involved in helping the student body governments and athletics teams with fundraising. After 15 years, she retired from the local district.
With over 14 years of experience on the Delano City Council, Grace has mastered the art of fundraising and municipal planning.
She was the first Latina elected to the Delano city council, and she has been selected to serve as Mayor four times.
Grace’s bilingual and deal making skills helped bring the YK America Group, a Southern California based commercial and residential international development group, to invest in greater Delano. The YK America Group helped construct the Delano Marketplace and brought in much needed jobs outside of the agriculture industry to diversify employment opportunities for Delano’s residents. Grace is proud of having brought in this new commercial development, while protecting the family owned businesses that have been a mainstay in Delano for years.