Celeste Rodriguez

As a community volunteer, San Fernando Mayor, and economic empowerment advocate, Celeste Rodriguez has been on the front lines fighting to meet the needs of underserved communities and lift up working families, seniors, and children throughout the San Fernando Valley.

Serving as Mayor and throughout her life in public service, Celeste has worked to improve the quality of life in communities by creating policies and programs that respond to people’s needs. Shebrings her passion for service and social justice to her work as well as a wealth of experience designing, funding and implementing programs. 

In San Fernando, Celeste has ensured community members have a voice in their local government by establishing a public engagement policy, translation services and childcare for community meetings- firsts for the city.  Celeste has also worked to ensure economic stability for residents and businesses to build a path for community wealth: she led a small business grant program to support recovery from the pandemic as well as food distribution program. To permanently support residents and businesses, Celeste led the creation of a Community and Business Resource Center in City Hall and created a Social Services Coordinator and Economic Development position to support the community in accessing and navigating resources.  She has also championed the creation of a financial coaching program and dry food bank. To address homelessness, Celeste created a Homelessness Ad Hoc, Homelessness Action Plan, and successfully advocated for the city to contract an outreach team, create a housing division and establish a Housing Coordinator position. Centering community voice has guided Celeste’s work.

Prior to serving as Mayor of San Fernando, Celeste Rodriguez led the Community Services Section of the Los Angeles Community Investment for Families Department (CIFD). In this role, she oversaw the development and implementation of financial empowerment and poverty alleviation initiatives including LA’s Guaranteed Basic Income pilot and children’s savings account program, both currently the largest programs of their kind in the nation. She also managed an incredible team of 20 employees, supporting over 50 contractual partnerships to administer the local Los Angeles safety net including the FamilySource Center System and Survivor Services, networks of nonprofits working to support the city’s most vulnerable families with emergency services, stability support, and the accumulation of wealth.

Celeste also managed homelessness prevention initiatives and oversaw the Homelessness Services Team for the former Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID), coordinating contracts and funding for homeless relief efforts in Los Angeles. She has served as the Racial Equity Officer for both HCID and CIFD, developing strategic plans for meeting the city’s race equity goals. Rodriguez previously served as Deputy Director of Community Development Strategies for the Office of Mayor Garcetti where she helped initiate many of the programs she implemented and led the development of the Mayor’s Consolidated Plan to provide support services, capital improvement projects, and economic development opportunities in underserved communities throughout LA.

Mayor Rodriguez has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. She is raising her two children with her husband, Robert.