Laura Pastor

Growing up in Central Phoenix in a very public family with political parents, Councilwoman Laura Pastor felt she was always learning. When Pastor began her political career in 2013, her goal from the beginning was to create stimulating programs for Phoenix youth.

Councilwoman Laura Pastor
Student Researchers: Janae Pridgett & Venezia Vidaurri

Throughout Pastor’s impressive career, she has sought to improve the South Phoenix community. Following in the footsteps of her politically active parents, Pastor first served the Roosevelt and Isaac School Districts working primarily with at risk students for a total of four years. Within these school districts she helped to mold a program where parents, teachers and the students had a helping hand in teaching responsibility and accountability.

Future Video Clip: SMCC Beginnings (4:45)

Councilwoman Pastor is currently the Director of the nationally recognized ACE program, which began at South Mountain Community College in South Phoenix in 1984. The ACE program assists students transitioning from high school into community college and onto university. Its initial success led Pastor to start an ACE program at Rio Salado College. It’s aim is to support adults working on their GED to ultimately transition to community college and finish university coursework.

Future Video Clip: The ACE Program at SMCC (35:19)

Councilwoman Pastor has touched the heart of the community in many ways, but she’s received substantial backlash as well. Most recently, her support of the light rail expansion drew criticism from community members who worry about increased traffic. Pastor also faced controversy when she recently supported the use of Audio Crowd Control Devices by Phoenix Police. Yet Pastor believes that community, policy and language training should prevent the need for these devices. 

Laura Pastor’s motto is one of true democracy. She often says, “vote me out or run against me.” She encourages members of the community to put their thoughts into action, especially if they disagree with her. She is proud to serve her community. Pastor strives to make policies and choices that reflect the needs of the community beyond what she personally wants.

Future Video Clip: Chicanos in Politics (10:02)

Her story speaks broadly to the Mexican-American community because as a public figure Laura serves as a role model to many minorities. She inspires many to see a great future for local and state politics.

NarratorLaura Pastor
Place of OriginCentral Phoenix, Arizona
Place of ResidencePhoenix, Arizona
Years Active in South Phoenix
Recording Duration1:09:26
DateNovember 8, 2018
LocationSouth Mountain Community Library
Interviewed ByStudent Researchers: Janae Pridgett & Venezia Vidaurri
Story Written ByStudent Researchers: Janae Pridgett & Venezia Vidaurri