Assemblymember Gloria Names San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott as Woman of the Year

Monday, March 6, 2017

Gloria Recognizes First Female San Diego City Attorney, Praises Her for Exemplary Leadership and Advocacy for All Communities

SACRAMENTO, CA – At a ceremony held in the California State Capitol today, California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) named San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott as the 2017 Woman of the Year for the 78th Assembly District.

I believe City Attorney Mara Elliott epitomizes everything the Assembly seeks to recognize in its annual Woman of the Year distinction,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “Mara is a lifelong public servant who worked her way up the ladders of local government to become the first woman ever elected as the San Diego City Attorney. Since her election, she has proven herself to be an exemplary leader and a fighter who is willing to stand up for all communities. Mara is an inspiration to all San Diegans, and it is my honor to name her as the 78th Assembly District’s Woman of the Year.”

Initiated in 1987, the Woman of the Year celebration is an annual event in the California State Capitol that highlights the achievements of outstanding women throughout the State. During the celebration, one woman from each Assembly District is introduced on the Assembly Floor and receives a special certificate of recognition honoring her accomplishments.

I’m honored to receive this recognition just three months into office as San Diego’s first female City Attorney. It’s a vote of confidence that I will deliver on my promise to protect San Diego’s most vulnerable citizens and speak up on behalf of those who are often without a voice in civic affairs,” said City Attorney Mara Elliott. “I'm grateful to the trailblazers who came before me, and to those who inspire me to go out each day to fight for the values we hold so dear. I hope that little girls look at me and think to themselves, ‘I can do it, too. I can be a first. I can break through barriers, and I can make a difference.’”

Background on San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott:

Mara W. Elliott was elected as the San Diego City Attorney in November, winning 57 percent of the vote in her first bid for public office. As the City Attorney, Mara provides legal advice to city officials and departments, sues and defends on behalf of the City of San Diego, and prosecutes misdemeanor cases as well as consumer and environmental laws.

She oversees a team of 150 attorneys and a staff of 350.

The first in her family to graduate from college, Mara worked her way through the University of California, Santa Barbara, and University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento. She chose a career in public law following a two-year college internship at the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office.

Early on, Mara worked as general counsel to community college and K-12 school districts, advising on all aspects of education law, including safety, employment, special education, and policy. She went on to serve as Deputy General Counsel to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board, Mara advised on legal issues pertaining to bus, paratransit and light-rail services for a transit district that covers 10 cities and the County of San Diego.

From 2002 to 2007, Mara worked as a Senior Deputy County Counsel for the County of San Diego where she advised the County’s Finance and General Government Group, Public Safety Group, Community Services Group, and Health and Human Services Agency.

She went on to become the Chief Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Diego and led the Public Services Section, which provided legal counsel to the Mayor, City Council, and department heads on such areas a purchasing and contracting, storm water, information technology, and clean energy. She also served as the legal adviser to the City’s Independent Audit Committee and Environment Committee.