Senator Caroline Menjivar (she/her/ella) took the Oath of Office on December 5, 2022, and represents Burbank and the San Fernando Valley in California’s 20th Senate District. She is a first-generation American, daughter of Salvadorean immigrants, who was born and raised in the very communities she now represents.
Having attended Encino Elementary, Portola Middle School, Reseda High School, multiple Los Angeles Community Colleges, California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Senator Menjivar knows firsthand how important access to quality public education is for youth and working families.
Initially, Senator Menjivar’s career goal was to become a City of Los Angeles firefighter, but a hiring freeze impeded those plans. Inspired by her time at the Reseda High School Police Academy Magnet, she decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. Serving from 2009 to 2016, Senator Menjivar was last stationed in Miramar, La Jolla as a radio operator and Communications Platoon Sergeant. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a military policy until 2011, and the Senator bore the effects of this discrimination as someone who was in a relationship with her now wife.
After active duty and completing her bachelor’s degree at CSUN, Senator Menjivar attained a Master of Social Welfare from UCLA. While attending classes, the Senator worked the graveyard shift as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in Van Nuys, getting her first glimpse at the gaps in health care services; emergency responses to mental health crises, beds for domestic violence victims, and the need to bridge short-term and long-term addiction treatment. Another informative experience was the Senator’s time as a domestic violence therapist, responding to calls with Los Angeles police officers across the San Fernando Valley. She found, having a trained crisis therapist on the scene expedited de-escalation, facilitated better communication between officers and the individuals involved, and improved victim advocacy.
Senator Menjivar’s additional work experience includes Fellow on the L.A. Mayor’s Gender Equity Team, City of Los Angeles Field Deputy, East Valley Representative for the L.A. Mayor's office, and non-profit Director at Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND).
The Senator has volunteered on the Board of Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Los Angeles Chapter, Advisory Board of Help Group’s Kaleidoscope, as the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for San Fernando Valley Young Dems Club, and she is a current member of the San Fernando Valley Marine Corps League.
These lived experiences paved the road which brought Caroline Menjivar to the State Senate. She continues to be motivated by a lifelong dedication to service, and her desire to uplift the people of our communities will be the anchor of every policy she introduces and supports for California. Senator Menjivar resides in Panorama City with her wife, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and their two dogs.