Regina Romero exemplifies the Southwestern border experience. She is the youngest of 6 children born to immigrant parents and was the first member of her family to vote and the first to graduate from college. Romero achieved two more firsts in 2007 when she became the first Latina elected to the Tucson City Council and the first woman to represent Tucson’s historic Ward 1. She is a cofounder and on the board of directors of the Arizona Association of Latino Elected Officials (AALEO). Regina was recently named the Director of Latino Engagement for the Center for Biological Diversity. She's working to develop strategies and tactics to engage the Latino community in the broader conversation of environmental justice.
As a sitting City Councilor, Romero fought for and won the recognition of a Cesar Chavez holiday for Tucson, staunchly opposed anti-immigrant legislation like SB1070, championed downtown revitalization initiatives including Tucson’s modern streetcar, advocated for the culturally and historically relevant Tucson Origins Heritage Park and protected natural areas like the Painted Hills, and Tumamoc Hill west of Tucson.
Romero has also enjoyed success promoting her economic agenda by helping to create jobs and fighting for working families. She has championed Equal Pay for Equal Work and Earned Sick and Safe Leave as well as more traditional economic development. In 2010, Tucson’s Mayor and Council unanimously approved her Economic Recovery Plan to revamp the City’s economic development strategy and create high-wage, long-term jobs. The Plan included partnerships with the University of Arizona (Romero’s alma mater), leveraging City projects to generate private investment and growing a variety of economic incentives to spur growth. Romero has been a tireless advocate for international trade and improved relations with Mexico, participating in numerous economic development missions to facilitate increased trade and transnational growth.
Prior to her election to the City Council, Romero spent twelve years putting youth to work and administering more than $3.5 million in neighborhood infrastructure projects. She is a co-founder of Las Adelitas, the first advocacy organization in Arizona dedicated to building Latina political power and getting Latinas engaged in public service. Romero has received countless awards for her community service and leadership including the “40 under 40” Award from the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Public Servant of the Year from the Tucson Mountains Association, the LULAC Community Service Award, the Woman on the Move Award from the YWCA, the Woman of Influence Award from Wings for Women and the Ohtli Award, the highest honor bestowed to US citizens by the Mexican Government.
Romero’s parents taught her to value hard work and courage. Inspired by leaders like Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta as well as her family, Romero has dedicated her life to pursuing justice and improving the world around her. Romero is a pro-child, pro-family and pro-choice mother of two bilingual, bicultural and bi-adorable children, Emiliano and Luciana. She has been married to Ruben Reyes since 2003. Regina believes in the power of public service and is dedicated to making Tucson a more vibrant city known for its natural environment and its respect for people and culture.