Judge for the Superior Court of California in Monterey County
Lydia M. Villarreal was elected to the board in October 2006. Villarreal is a judge for the Superior Court of California in Monterey County. Prior to her appointment by Gov. Gray Davis in 2001, Judge Villarreal was a Deputy District Attorney for Monterey County starting in 1989, and served as the lead attorney for the consumer and environmental protection division. A lawyer since 1980, Villarreal spent eight years with California Rural Legal Assistance representing migrant farm workers and then joined a civil litigation firm for a short time before becoming a prosecutor. She is the founder of the Center for Community Advocacy in Salinas, a nonprofit organization that helps low-income families improve their housing and provides health and educational programs for farmworkers and other families in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. She serves on the boards of the National Steinbeck Center and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and previously served on the board of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Judge Villarreal earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her law degree from Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley.