The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has amazing volunteers from the community who serve as members. They work on numerous projects and prioritize the needs of women and girls in San Mateo County. The CSW Spotlight is highlighting Christine Padilla, member since 2011 and previous Vice President and two-term President, with the following interview. Her service and commitment to the CSW and the community has been tireless with projects such as the Women's Hall of Fame Traveling Exhibit and helping to organize the upcoming Women's Leadership Conference. Christine balances her time working full-time as the Regional Director of Government Relations for an energy efficiency financing company, spending time with her family and friends, and volunteering for various community groups in San Mateo County.

What’s the one thing that you want most for women and girls in your community?

I want all women in San Mateo County to have fundamental human rights. The right to live free from violence, discrimination, to be educated, to vote, and to earn a fair and equal wage and make their own healthcare choices.

I want girls, which includes my daughter, to have every opportunity imaginable. I believe our exceptional County should be a place where girls have the chance to lead extraordinary lives. I want every child to have access to clean water, nutritious food, a quality public education, clean air, parks and open space to run, play and appreciate nature. They should have the opportunity to live in a diverse community, the freedom to love anyone and to live free of fear of discrimination and physical/sexual violence. I want girls and young women to grow up knowing their community supports them and wants them to lead and live in a county where their voices not only matter, but are called upon.

How do you define leadership for yourself?

Many see leadership as a very public thing, but I believe it begins in the most personal of ways.  Being a leader is setting a good example for those near you, being brave when you’re afraid and speaking out for what is right even if it comes at a personal cost to you. I believe being a leader starts with kindness and love and how you conduct yourself on a daily basis. Your actions matter.  

Who is your hero(ine) and why?

My mother is one of my greatest role models. My sisters and I grew up loved and encouraged and saw a mother who not only cared for us daily, but was also a working mother, a leader in her union, a community activist and someone who showed us that perseverance was just going to be part of life. She advocated for us and taught us to advocate and care for our community. She now helps take care of my daughter and I am so grateful to see her strength and love passed down to another generation.

  • Get to know your Commissioners!

  • With daughter Madeline at the polls.

  • It's never early enough to learn how to participate in elections!

  • Downtime at the beach.

  • Christine with her daughter and mother.