Santa Cruz County Democrats will honor activist Jenny Sarmiento when they get together for their annual awards gala on Saturday, March 18.
The longtime Watsonville resident was selected Democrat of the Year as a tribute to her lifelong commitment to children and public health issues, as well as her many years of volunteer work on behalf of the community.
Sarmiento—who serves on the Watsonville Planning Commission—is an active member of the Pajaro Valley Cesar Chavez Democratic Club and also serves on the Democratic Party’s central committee. She is an active member of Janus of Santa Cruz County, the Conflict Resolution Center, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the ad hoc Cannabis Advisory Committee.
She was one of the key organizers of the hugely successful Women’s March held in Santa Cruz and Watsonville on January 21. She also ran the Watsonville campaign office for the Democratic Party in the 2016 elections.
Previously, she was a board member of Leadership Santa Cruz County from 2009-2011; and a member of the county Commission on Domestic Violence from 2001-2004.
Sarmiento emigrated with her family from Bolivia at the age of 12. She attended Los Angeles and East Los Angeles Community Colleges and went on to California State University of Fullerton where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and Psychology.
The awards dinner, to be held on Saturday, March 18 at the Dream Inn, features newly-elected U.S. Representative Jimmy Panetta, who will talk about his first 73 days in Washington D.C.
Other Democratic officials attending include California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird, U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo, State Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning, and State Assembly Members Mark Stone and Anna Caballero.
Former Santa Cruz City Council Member Don Lane will be honored with the Democrat’s Lifetime Achievement award.