Teresa Real Sebastian, mayor of Monterey Park, speaks on campus
During lunch today, a standing-room only crowd squeezed into room 26 to hear Mayor of Monterey Park Teresa Real Sebastian, J.D. speak to students about Latinas and women in politics. The event was sponsored by La Vanguardia and spearheaded by Vice President Skye Henry '18. In outlining some of the strides made by women and Latinas in politics, she also described some of the challenges. When she first ran for the Monterey City Council in 2011, she was the only woman to run for city council. The same was true again during her re-election in 2015. And in 2017, no women ran for city council. She remains one woman among five city council members, despite the fact that women make up 51 percent of Monterey Park's population. Using this as an example, she encouraged our students to get involved in civic life by attending local city council meetings, calling their representatives and running for office in the future. "Women have and should use three things-- brains, heart and, most of all, their voice. Nobody can take away your voice. Do not be complacent. Women are underrepresented in many areas of public life. If you want change, you must demand it."
Ms. Sebastian never expected to serve in public office. She spent many years as an entertainment lawyer in television and private practice before serving as the captain of her block’s Neighborhood Watch. Her first act of public service was securing a stop sign for a busy and dangerous location in her neighborhood. It was after this time on the Neighborhood Watch that she decided to run for City Council, with the goal of doing further good for her local community and increasing representation for Latinas and women.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is an all girls' Catholic, Dominican, independent, college-preparatory day and boarding high school in the hills of La Cañada Flintridge. Overlooking Pasadena, FSHA educates girls from Los Angeles, Southern California and around the world for a life of faith, integrity and truth.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
440 St. Katherine Drive La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011 Phone: 626-685-8300