Meet James Santana


Born and raised in Montebello, California, James is an alumnus of Montebello High School. At the age of 16, James learned the importance of civic engagement by working on the School District Campaign that brought Montebello Unified School District $191 Million in matching funds. James found purpose in supporting fellow and future students. Most importantly he learned the power a small group has in making a difference. 


James grew up and was apart of in Golden State & PAL Basketball, YMCA Youth and Government, Montebello-Ashiya Sister City. He was trained by and volunteered with many local service groups. He interned with elected Leaders and also worked with a local nonprofit that addressed affordable housing in the Montebello-East Los Angeles area.


While at East Los Angeles College, James began working for small businesses and represented his community college as the Associated Student Body President. After graduating from University of California - Los Angeles in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, James continued his advocacy for civic engagement and access to education, and began work with Fortune 500 companies. 


James continued learning business and operations management with teams of 250+ more and budgets of $60 Million. He was relocated for work to both Nevada and Arizona. He put continued efforts in volunteering and began working on LGBTQ+ issues at a state and federal level for the last 7 years. He organized communities, lobbied congressional leaders, and helped push equality efforts. 


The COVID-19 pandemic and passing of 3 grandparents brought James back to Montebello in 2020. He witnessed leaders that were elected since his birth finally leaving office without much change. He saw family and childhood friends facing crippling cost of living and needing to make tough choices. He heard concerns from students, parents, and community members about the same school district he went to - Montebello Unified School District. 


And today he is back - ready, willing, and able to make a difference. Trained and experienced in making positive change for our community but most importantly for our future generations. Join Team Santana today and let’s make a difference together.