Meet Charlene

Charlene_arms_crossed.jpgCharlene Fernandez represents District 4 in the Arizona State House, which includes 4 counties and numerous cities. She serves on the Appropriations and Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Charlene also serves on the Arizona Food and Agriculture Policy Advisory Committee advocating for food security.

Charlene Fernandez was born and raised on the north end of Yuma.

Charlene attended public schools, the very schools that she has become a tireless advocate for. Her teachers became the mentors that she still looks up to today. Former Minority Leader Robert "Bob" McClendon not only taught her social studies but the importance of public policy and the affect it has on every child in Arizona.

Upon graduating, Charlene took classes at Arizona Western College, eventually graduating from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Education.

During this time, Charlene married Sergio and raised a family of three, Brian, Carlye, and Lisa. She and her husband sent their children to many of the same schools that she had attended. All three of them graduated from Arizona Universities. 

Instead of leading a classroom, she went to work for Congressman Ed Pastor, representing him and coordinating his constituent services for the western portion of then Congressional District 2. In her time with Mr. Pastor, Charlene opened up the first congressional office ever in Yuma and helped bring a Veteran's Administration clinic to the county.

After Mr. Pastor's district was redrawn to exclude Yuma, Charlene went to work for Governor Janet Napolitano representing her area at the Department of Environmental Quality. Working to ensure growth in Yuma County, she assisted farmers and developers in their dealings with the state agency. 

Charlene continued her pursuit of public service. She was elected to a seat on the Yuma Union High School District, serving for a time as President of the Board. In this capacity she helped spearhead cost savings in the schools, such as finding a more cost effective way of transporting students to school, delivering lunch to students, and pushed the district to modernize. Because students in the district had outdated books which were too expensive to continue purchasing, she helped usher in a new era of use of modern technology.

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