Mina Diaz is the Founder and Director of Diaz & Loera Centro Latino in Vallejo, CA. The organization recently received a $2,500 grant from the Pleasanton Latina Giving Circle to help the organization obtain 501(c)3 status. Mina shares her personal story and what inspired her to run for City Council and serve her fellow Latino Community.
Tell us who you are and the role you have in your community?
My name is Mina Diaz, I am a community organizer and activist. I am also the founder and director of Diaz & Loera Centro Latino, an organization that empowers Latino families to become self-sufficient. We provide critical resources to Latino parents and students to help them navigate the educational system in the United States.
After founding Diaz & Loera Centro Latino, I have come to realize that I am called to a higher purpose – to serve my fellow Vallejoans. In October of this year, I will be retiring from Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department and have decided to run for Councilmember of the City of Vallejo 2016.
I am compassionate but also firm and strong, capable of making hard decisions that will benefit my city and community. I bring a strong voice of advocacy for those in need.
What inspires you to lead?
My parents and my family are my daily motivation in doing what I do for our community. One of the things I learned as an immigrant was the value of asking questions and being able to make informed decisions. My parents came to the United States from Aguascalientes, Mexico when I was 5 years old. I learned early in life that you have to stand up for what you believe in. To work independently towards your dreams but also work as a team to reach you goals.
What are you proudest of?
The greatest gift I have received in my life have been my three children Damian, Javier, Jr. and Marlene, including my grandson Abel. I am very proud of them and support them in all they do. It is such a blessing to see how they have grown up to be compassionate, independent and hardworking individuals. They are my American Dream.
What does it mean for you to receive a grant from the Pleasanton Latina Giving Circle?
I am sincerely thankful to the Pleasanton Latina Giving Circle for believing in me and what we do at Diaz & Loera Centro Latino. The grant that we received will be used to file for our 501c3 Non-Profit status. This will assist the Centro in providing much needed services to youth and families in our community.
What is your hope for the future of your community?
Vallejo is the city my family chose to call home. We have lived here for over 31 years. It is where my children and grandchildren were born and where our legacy has taken root. I would like to see everyone living here have a better quality of life. Let’s make Vallejo a safe place to live and bring economic development to our city. As a community, we all need to work together to make our city a better place for everyone.
What inspired you to run for Vallejo City Council?
I was inspired to run for Vallejo City Council because I would like to be a part of the decision making for our city. As a City Council member, I can bring a strong voice of advocacy for those in need. Our city is one of the most diverse cities in the country and it should have a city council that reflects the diversity of its people.
A united community is a prosperous community. My experience, dedication and love for my city shines through in everything I do. I know that working together we can move our city forward.