Maricela Rodríguez, daughter of Mexican immigrants, farm workers in the Central Valley of California, is the official in the team of the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, who is responsible for all communities being counted in the 2020 Census.

"I am very excited to bring a unique perspective to the work I am doing in the governor's office," says Maricela, appointed by Governor Newsom as director of Civic Commitment and Strategic Alliances, who has been a leader in the state president's effort to The 2020 Census is carried out successfully. He has been in charge of supervising a budget of community reach for 187 million dollars.

"I am happy to have a role that allows me to think and create innovative ways that our governor and our government can connect with Californians, especially those who feel disconnected and forgotten," he says in an interview with The opinion.

Maricela is confident that she feels very excited to use all the lessons learned in her professional career to apply them in the scope and communication work of the Census and other campaigns.

"There is a big coincidence between this Census audience with those with whom I worked from We Connect to Make sure," he says.

She comes from working as communications director for the Healthy California program of the California Endowment Foundation; and was director of the development program of former first lady Maria Shriver.

At California Endowment, he oversaw the Insure and Health for All campaign communications to promote health coverage under President Obama's health care law and the extension of health benefits for undocumented youth.

“With María Schriver I worked to develop the We Connect program, a national anti-poverty effort to connect millions of low-income Californians to financial and health care services,” he says.

Maricela was born in the agricultural community of Tulare in the Central Valley. It is part of a family of seven children. He graduated from the University of California at Riverside with a specialty in Spanish and Political Science. He has a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.

He was among the first six women that Governor Newsom appointed in December to accompany him on his first level team.

"Based on the experience I have, I develop more innovative campaigns that resonate well in underrepresented communities to attract a larger audience," he says.

Part of their job is to identify allies throughout the state and look for them to ensure educating Californians about the importance of Californians being counted in the 2020 census.

"We have had a lot of work in this effort because the Census only happens every ten years. If everyone participates, we make sure that the tax money goes back to the communities", He says.

And he adds that the administration of Governor Newsom also played a very important role in answering the citizenship question that the Trump administration wanted to include in the Census questionnaire. "Governor Newsom has really done a good job to prepare us for the Census, and is doing a lot for the Latino community," he says.

Maricela acknowledges that the position entrusted to him by the governor entails an enormous commitment and responsibility. "For me it means listening to our communities, working with them and informing them," he says.

Many of the awareness efforts are aimed at communities like the one in which she was born in the Central Valley. “I feel that I need to take that perspective to resonate in the small communities where I grew up,” he says.

But he also wants to focus and build a relationship with the ethnic press whom he considers reliable messengers.

“My parents are very proud of my work and I feel very fortunate because I am also working in a family-friendly administration where there is a lot of respect and flexibility for working mothers like me,” he says.

He believes that this work environment is driven because California has a governor who is the father of young children.

Marcela never thought when she went to college that one day she would work for a governor, but she is very happy with how things got going.

“I went to Sacramento because I earned an executive scholarship. And when I learned that Maria Schriver was hiring staff, I submitted my job application and was accepted. I feel very blessed, ”he says.


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