Attorney Elvira Zaragoza Robinson will be honored next Monday at
the state’s Capitol after receiving the 2011 Woman of the Year
honor for the state’s 28th Assembly District.
Attorney Elvira Zaragoza Robinson will be honored next Monday at the state’s Capitol after receiving the 2011 Woman of the Year honor for the state’s 28th Assembly District.
Zaragoza Robinson was honored in a district that includes south Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Assemblyman Luis Alejo gave her the award.
She was honored for more than 30 years of practicing law in the area, and numerous amount of community involvement, according to a statement from the assembly district’s office.
“Her honors are numerous as community organizations throughout Santa Clara and San Benito realize her ability to assure success in whatever she may become involved with,” according to the statement.
Zaragoza Robinson said it makes her “feel special” that she was awarded with such an honor.
“I’m ecstatic, thrilled, excited,” she said. “I just feel so honored.”
Zaragoza Robinson graduated from San Clara University and passed the bar exam in 1976. Afterward she worked as a deputy attorney for the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
While working there, she started to travel to surrounding schools to teach students about the local law careers. In 1987, she branched out into her own private practice, with law offices in Hollister, Salinas, Gilroy and Los Banos.
While there, Zaragoza Robinson started investing her time with Gavilan College – eventually becoming a member of the Gavilan College Board of Trustees in 1990.
As an advocate for Latino education, she created the Gavilan College Latino Advisory Committee with the purpose of increasing student and community participation.
She has served as a board director and fundraising chairwoman for El Teatro Campesino, a chairwoman for the Gilroy Hispanic Cultural Festivals and a committee chair for the Hispanic Women in Action Reception Annual event.
Her need to involve herself with the surrounding involvement with the community came from her father, Zaragoza Robinson said.
“My father taught me to serve my community and country,” she said. “He believed in helping your community in the best way you can.”
And she hopes the youths of the county follow her lead, she said.
“I hope the young people know how much you get out of community service,” Zaragoza Robinson said. “You get a lot out of community service.”