Editor’s note: This is one in a series of profiles on the candidates running for 1st and 2nd District seats on the Santa Maria City Council in the Nov. 3 election.
In the first year where northwest Santa Maria will have its own representative, 28-year-old nonprofit professional Osvaldo Sotelo is ready to make the voice of his community heard in his campaign for Santa Maria’s 1st District seat.
Sotelo was the first of four candidates to launch his campaign back in January for the role of 1st District representative in what will be the first term with four district seats on the City Council.
Carlos Escobedo, Chris Diaz and Brian Billones are also seeking the position, with no incumbents eligible to run.
Sotelo’s campaign focuses on affordable housing, living wages and youth opportunities, issues that he said he feels a personal connection to.
“My values have been shaped by my own realities,” said Sotelo, recalling the work ethic he learned from his parents and the financial struggles his family faced in the city.
After graduating from Pioneer Valley High School, Sotelo obtained a criminal justice degree at UCLA followed by a masters degree, which opened his eyes to the possibility of running for office.