BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Mari Perez-Dowling is officially the Woman of the Year for Assembly District 32.
Monday, Bakersfield assembly member Rudy Salas recognized Perez-Dowling who is the president and CEO of the United Way of Kern County.
She is the first Latina to serve in her role and has been working to reduce homelessness and food insecurity. She has supported free income tax assistance and early childhood literacy programs that have benefited families across the Central Valley.
"We've seen even in just this last year during the pandemic you were out there. You were out there helping feed people when people were having a hard time putting food on the table. You were out there when we were giving out backpacks to kids who still needed to do their school work. You were out there, remember our trunk or treats we did it with books and cars were driving through because of the pandemic, all of the drive-thru events. You were still there, your team was still there."
Perez-Dowling moved to the United States when she was 13 years old.
She has previously worked as a teacher and radio and TV host.