Picture of Maria Orozco

Mayor Pro Tempore Maria Orozco

District 3


(831) 768-3003


In the general election held on Nov. 8, 2022, Maria Orozco was one of three Watsonville City Council candidates to face no opposition. Orozco is no stranger to public office, having served on the board of trustees in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District for almost a decade. She got a taste for city government during her eight years on Watsonville’s Parks and Recreation Commission. And she also served on county advisory bodies, including the Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission.

Sworn in December of 2022, Orozco is the representative for District 3, which includes northwest Watsonville: west of Green Valley Road and north of Main Street and Highway 1.

Orozco told the news website Santa Cruz Local that job creation and economic development are her priorities: “With the rising cost of food, fuel and housing, Watsonville residents do need access to those types of opportunities.” Orozco supports the development of programs that offer access to career pathways, and she says there is a need for more housing across all income levels.

First elected: Nov. 8, 2022

Day job: Special programs and communications manager at UC Santa Cruz’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Department

Alma maters: California School Board Association (master’s degree in governance); Santa Clara University (bachelor’s degree, pre-law political science and communications)

Notable quote: “The district I’m representing is the only district within the entire city of Watsonville that doesn’t have access to their own park.  I would definitely explore the feasibility of bringing a park to this side of the community. If that’s not feasible for land use limitations or so forth, I would definitely like to expand the (Watsonville) pilot program that we currently have with (Pajaro Valley Unified School District), where we keep some of our schools open so that families can access a safe place to play, to exercise and so forth. I will want to continue to move forward with, possibly at Freedom Elementary School, which is one of the schools that could provide a play structure in addition to a field that families can access.  —Santa Cruz Local’s Nov. 2022 Election Guide

Related News

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Image for display with article titled PVUSD Board Will Appoint Trustee to Fill Area 6 Seat

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees could have filled Maria Orozco’s vacated seat in a special election, but rejected that option.

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