During today’s Formal Council Meeting, the Phoenix City Council elected District 4 Councilwoman Laura Pastor as vice mayor. She will serve in the position for one year.
“I am honored to be selected by my colleagues to serve as vice mayor. It is my hope that in this capacity I can further my commitment of service to my community and the people of District 4,” Vice Mayor Pastor said. “I know that this title is mostly honorary and ceremonial, but I still pledge to fulfill my duties faithfully and live up to the many examples that others on this Council have set for me.”
Serving as vice mayor does not entail councilmembers vacating their seats, and councilmembers continue to serve and represent their districts when serving as vice mayor.
Pastor was sworn in as the District 4 Phoenix City Councilwoman on Jan. 2, 2014. During her tenure on the City Council, she has established a reputation as a champion of programs to engage disconnected youth and young adults to promote higher education and employment, through a variety of collaborative resources. In 2016 she led a large-scale community outreach effort that included a comprehensive youth engagement study and summit to identify solutions to connect teens and young adults to educational and employment opportunities, which resulted directly in new funding for city programs. She also continues to be a strong advocate for quality public education; historic preservation; LGBTQ equality; local arts and cultural awareness; environmental sustainability; workforce investment; economic development; water conservation; and immigrant communities.
She chairs the City Council’s Parks, Arts, Education and Equality Subcommittee and serves on the Downtown, Aviation, Economy and Innovation; Public Safety and Veterans; and Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittees. In addition, she is the chair of the Maricopa County Education Service Agency’s Opportunities for Youth Advisory Board.
In her regular work, Pastor currently is the director of the nationally-recognized Achieving a College Education Program (ACE) at Phoenix College. ACE is dedicated to assisting students in their transition from high school through community college and on to earning a bachelor’s degree. In addition to working directly with students on their post-secondary plans, Pastor oversees all fiscal and administrative management of the program — including the coordination, implementation, and outreach of ACE initiatives. She is charged with creating partnerships among national, state, and municipal agencies as well as private sector organizations.
Pastor is a member of the Phoenix Union High School District Board, where she has been an enthusiastic supporter of strategic planning initiatives and innovative development for the District.
A 5th generation Arizonan with a background in public education and experience in the classroom, Pastor spent four years working in the Roosevelt and Isaac Elementary School Districts, primarily with at-risk students. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, Arizona State University, and the City University of New York.