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Karina Talamantes is a living embodiment and manifestation of the California dream. Being the daughter of working-class parents who immigrated to California from Mexico, their hard work and sacrifice to provide the avenues for her success has helped to shape her values and career path. Karina is a passionate advocate for public education, closing opportunity gaps, and the rights of working-class families, and understands the need to provide students with a rigorous academic education in addition to practical job skills, in order to build a well-rounded workforce and thriving economy that provides opportunity for everyone.

After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis, Karina worked with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence at the US Department of Education under President Obama, contributing to policy decisions that would close opportunity gaps among public school students nationwide, helping to create an more level playing field for all students in America. Upon returning to Sacramento, Karina worked for college access programs where she helped low-income and first-generation students continue their post-secondary education.

A natural leader, Karina won her first term as an elected Trustee for the Sacramento County Board of Education in 2018 and has been a leading proponent of increased education funding across the state. Professionally, she serves as Chief of Staff to Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby. As a proud resident of the Natomas community, Karina stays involved in neighborhood associations and community forums, while also volunteering at Loaves & Fishes, the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, the Sacramento Central Labor Council, Latino Center of Art & Culture, and Sol Collective. She is a member of the UC Davis Chicano-Latino Alumni Association and the UC Davis Government and Public Policy Alumni Group, and serves on the Sacramento State Honors Advisory Board and the Sacramento Library Authority Board.

In her limited free time, you can find Karina at her local dog park with her Yellow Lab, Ash, or helping her family run one of their two businesses (Frutazo & Maldicion Brand), which earned her a Rising Star award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.