2004 ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
Class of '46
California State Senator, 32nd District
Nell Soto, who attended Mt. SAC when it opened it 1946, has devoted most of her adult
life to community and public service. She currently serves the people of California
as the State Senator representing the 32nd District, encompassing the cities of Pomona,
Ontario, San Bernardino, Colton and Fontana. Senator Soto’s focus is on education,
child safety, health care, economic development and public safety.
Senator Soto chairs the Public Employees Retirement Committee and serves on the Transportation, Insurance, Local Government, Governmental Organization and Veterans Affairs committees.
Previously Mrs. Soto served three terms in the California Assembly, becoming the first woman elected to represent the Inland Empire in the Legislature in 1998. She authored legislation supporting HMO reform, educational technology, and the Parental Involvement Act.
Prior to her tenure in Sacramento, Mrs. Soto served three terms on the Pomona City Council, where she helped establish satellite police stations and an equestrian patrol unit to enhance public safety. She also implemented a youth jobs program that has employed more than 150 youth. She was also instrumental in securing $22.5 million for the Pomona Metrolink and transit station.
One could say public service is a family affair for the Sotos, as Mrs. Soto’s late husband, Philip, served two terms in the State Assembly (1962-66). A sixth-generation resident of Pomona, she enjoys being mom to her six children and the grandmother of 11 and great-grandmother of three.