Patricia Leal-Gutierrez was born and raised in the agricultural towns of the Eastern Coachella Valley — El Valle de Coachella. During her teenage years, Patricia worked in the fields alongside her family picking grapes. It was through this work that Patricia gained a better understanding of the realities and the resiliency of her community.
Patricia is a proud alumna of Desert Mirage High School. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Chicanx Studies from UCLA. She continued her trajectory as a policy advocate and community organizer in the Central Valley, advocating alongside community residents and youth at the local and state level on air, water, housing, and infrastructure needs. Through this work with the local community, they were able to bring millions of dollars from the state for housing infrastructure and re-shift funding from the county’s budget for park improvements. Patricia later continued her educational journey and completed her Masters in Education from Stanford University. Patricia understands the crucial need to elevate and work alongside low-income communities like the East Coachella Valley in order to bring environmental and educational justice.