Marin County Board of Supervisors aide Lorenzo Cordova wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award
Responsibilities with your company: My job varies from day to day, but I essentially, support the supervisor in his role as the elected representative for District 4.
His district is the largest and most racially and ethnically diverse in the county.
I handle all issues/policies land use and development, emergency preparedness, equity, and telecommunication, public utilities and immigrant policy as well as special projects.
Most recently, I've worked on a two-year initiative to designate Marin County as an Age-Friendly County and currently serve as one of the project managers for our U.S. Census 2020 efforts.
As his representative in our community, I am responsible for building and maintaining relationships with community stakeholders, elected officials, and community leaders/organizers. I sit on working groups, steering committees, advisory boards, and lend my talent and skills to all who need my support.
I am also a bilingual assistant public information officer (PIO) for the County of Marin's Emergency Operations Center during emergencies.
In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?
I am authentic and treasure the many cross-sector partnerships I have built. And if I can impact just one person, my job is being done.
Years with company: 4
Length of time in current position: 4
Number of companywide employees: 3,000
Number who report to you: 0
Greatest professional accomplishment: Growing up with a single mom was not easy. Even though, she did an exceptional job at providing food and shelter my mom did not have the tools or knowledge to teach us about the community.
I embarrassingly admit that I did not know what a city council or board of supervisors was till I got to high school. Now, to be in my current role in which I have partnerships with elected officials--at all levels of government--and their staff, is huge accomplishment. I pride myself in bringing my mom along so she took can learn from my educational and professional growth.
Greatest professional challenge: I often worry about tokenism. I am very cognizant of when it's happening, but rather than become despondent I strive to prove my worth through my skills and talent.
Best advice received: Do not take things personally… This especially important in my line of work. Constituents often call me when things are not going alright, they're not getting calls back, or they need help with an issue. At times they are frustrated and upset and it's important not to internalize their angst. I simply listen, critically think, and try to make their day a little bit better by offering to help as best I can.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: In January of 2020, we co-hosted an emergency preparedness event in the predominantly Latinx/immigrant portion of Supervisor Rodoni's district.
Soon after our North Bay fires and the power shutoffs through PG&E, we learned that our low-income communities of color, we severely underrepresented to withstand an emergency. Some of our own emergency preparedness materials had not been translated into Spanish.
We decided to fill that gap by developing an emergency preparedness event entirely in Spanish.
We partnered with the local elementary school to help us with the location, outreach, and attract local families.
We got Spanish speaking representatives from the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, San Rafael Fire Department, and San Rafael Police Department to present to our families on the importance of emergency preparedness and to educate them on how to do so.
As an added bonus, we gave out 100 FEMA certified emergency go-bags.
This event was personal. As these are the community members that I grew up with in the neighborhood that I called home for many years. This event has been the catalyst for a larger county wide initiative to equip our most vulnerable families with the tools necessary to withstand an emergency. We are inviting are other community partners, like our business community, to join us in this effort.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?
The County of Marin is consistently working to serve our employee workforce better. In my own internal team, I appreciate the trust that Supervisor Rodoni has for me and the work that I produce. As well, as the many professional lessons he has taught me. Having a direct supervisor who appreciates you, authentically, is critically important my morale.
Next professional goal: I've been in the public sector for the majority of my professional career. As much as I enjoy working for the community, I am excited about the opportunities in private sector. I believe that there is a gap that our business community can fill in supporting our communities better.