Maria Grijalva

I was born in Houston Texas, but raised along the Matamoros Brownsville international border where my grandmother raised us while my Mother worked in the US side of the border. In Mexico, my family ran a newspaper and are civically active. I left south Texas and came to Sacramento when I was 25. Shortly after, I worked on my B.A. in Psychology at Sac State and then attended the Education Administration Masters Program. I was a single mother of three and a full time student. In order to create a good resume I had to volunteer. I volunteered everywhere…. in my children’s schools, in local political campaigns, everywhere. I opened a small advocacy nonprofit translating for Spanish speakers. In 2015, I created a Spanish language audiobook of the driver license handbook so applicants could prepare for the oral driver license exam.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
I have a special needs adult son who requires 24hr care, and my daughter (Angela Grijalva) is a successful entrepreneur and paralegal. My eldest son owns two businesses in Colorado (a construction business and a barber shop).

Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
From 1997 to 2009 I worked for the State of CA. I was a Regulations Analyst. I loved writing regulations/administrative law because it was base on the California constitution. Prior to 99, I was a catering manager at a restaurant

Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
Serrano’s and Zocalo’s

Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
Since 2009

Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
Mansoor Ali, an elder from Fiji island.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Yosemite, it’s the most beautiful place on earth. I have been to Yellowstone, Paris, Nice France, Rome, but nothing beats the beauty in our backyard

Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
Gladiator, reminds me of me and the former mayor

Q: What advice would you give to people?
Never give up

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
more traveling

Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
Pink Floyd The Wall

Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?

Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
Chief Strange. I would finish the conversation about providing free transportation to folks in crisis who are 51 50

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
We are small enough, that collectively, we try to take care of each other. We genuinely care about each other despite being on opposite poles politically.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Retiring (5). Cashing in (10) on all my work and leaving residual income for my grandkids

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I am very spiritual. I have a gift that heals, in Spanish it’s called Biocuantica Energetica Aplicada. Very similar to Reiki but 1K times better. I have a FB page. It’s energy work with magnets.

Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Niagara Falls NY

Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
Dec, Xmas, Dec 25

Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Love, the Goodwill feeling. I am addicted to that feeling. When I see the joy in the eyes of others after I give them a free hot meal…there is no price

Q: Who inspires you to be better?
see previous question

Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
newborn baby and or newborn puppy

Q: What is one business you would like to have in West Sacramento? (which we don’t have one already)
Jimboy tacos

Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Trees, Family, Travel