MEET CHRIS

Supervisor Chris Lopez was elected to represent Monterey County’s 3rd Supervisorial District in 2018. A lifelong resident of South Monterey County, Chris lives in Greenfield with his wife Jazmin and their son Teo.

 

Chris was raised by his parents, Vince and Tina, alongside his four siblings. He grew up in a true "small business" success story, as his parents turned their dreams into reality by working harder than anyone and instilled the same work ethic in Chris.

 

Chris attended Claremont McKenna College and graduated in 2008 with a degree in International Relations with an emphasis on Immigration and Economics. After graduation, Chris returned to Monterey County and began working for then Supervisor Simón Salinas. After several years, Chris was promoted to Chief of Staff. Upon the retirement of Supervisor Salinas, he was elected as Monterey County Supervisor.

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Prior to serving on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors Chris served on the Youth Orchestra Salinas Board, Hartnell College Foundation Board, the Arts Council for Monterey County Board, Gilrs Inc. King City Branch, Echenique Foundation, Lead Me Home Coalition, Integrated Regional Waste Management Task Force, Pinnacles Gateway Partners, Integrated Regional Waste Management Task Force, Community Grants Panel of the Community Foundation of Monterey County.  and the Redevelopment Oversight Boards of the cities of King City, Greenfield, Soledad, and Gonzales. He was also the Rural Residential/Well Owner representative on the Groundwater Sustainability Agency Formation Committee, and the Alternate for Supervisor Salinas on the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.

 

As Supervisor, Chris currently sits on the following boards and committees: Health, Housing and Human Services, Arts Council for Monterey County, Children’s Council of Monterey County, Emergency Communications Policy Advisory Committee, Emergency Medical Services Committee, First 5 Monterey County, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), Monterey County Behavioral Health, Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District  (MBUAPCD), Natividad Medical Center Board Trustee, Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (Salinas Valley Recycles), Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC), Alternative Energy and Environment Committee, Cannabis Standing Committee, Equal Opportunity Committee, Monterey Urban County Standing Committee, and the Water Resources Agency Joint Boards Leadership Committee.

LOCAL PRODUCT

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My parents, Vince and Tina, moved to King City in 1985 to invest in the local car dealership just before I was born. I grew up in a true "small business" success story as my parents turned their dreams into reality by working harder than anyone I have ever known. South Valley Auto Plaza was the place to buy your new cars and used cars too, and my parents were proud of the jobs they were creating and instilled in us the belief that the best investment they ever made was in the community. Mom and Dad have served our community on countless Boards and Committees. I learned to work hard by watching the example they set, and continue to set every day.

I am the fourth of four children and have wonderful relationships with my three siblings, Gaby, Maggie and Chente. My two grandfathers had an immense impact on my life, Frank Starkey was a Lutheran Minister who led congregations all over the West Coast, including at Grace Lutheran in King City. He preached and practiced the belief that friends were the family we found along the way in life. My Abuelo Jose Carmen Lopez was a constant source of joy and continuity in my young life. He sacrificed everything he knew in Mexico to bring his family north to the land of opportunity. He worked for one company as long as I was alive and prided himself on the loyalty he showed family, friends, and his employer. 

 

I grew up playing baseball in the front yard on Second Street in King City with my friends who were more brothers than anything else. Michael, LeeRoy, Rey Rey, Chente and I would play baseball from every possible minute of every day. That passion never waned and I wound up being extremely fortunate to chase that dream through college where I was lucky enough to continue playing baseball with my brother and best friend Chente. We went off to Claremont McKenna College just one year apart and continued to grow and play together. We started new groups on campus to help make our college experience unique, including being two of the founding members of Mariachi Serrano de Claremont. That decision changed my life in more ways than I thought possible. That first year a violin player walked into the rehearsal room and walked out with my heart. 

My summers were spent chasing new opportunities and I found myself working at the Pacific Basin Economic Council in Hong Kong. I worked there to strengthen relationships between member agencies and governments and learned a good deal about myself in the process. I continued to work with the PBEC team through that December when they held a conference on the West Coast and I was invited to participate. 

The next summer I found myself in Guanajuato, Mexico working with the C.A.S.A's de Guanajuato group under the Governor's office. My dad had immigrated from Guanajuato as a young boy and returning to visit his home town of Santa Cruz de Juventino Rosas on the weekends made that experience so much more rewarding. I spent that summer working to help reconnect families and learning first hand about the commonalities and divisions between our governments and nations.  

I graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2008 with a degree in International Relations with an emphasis on Immigration and Economics, and that summer the global economy fell apart. I remember having some very tough conversations with my parents that year, and how it reoriented my path and forever changed my journey. I had been considering some traditional next steps and instead decided to move home. I always knew that I wanted to end up back in the Salinas Valley, I remember feeling that in order to do that I would have to go off and conquer the world in order to "prove" myself. 

My dad and I were talking my first week back home and I remember his words clearly, "If I could do it all over, I would decide what I wanted to do, then I would ask whoever had that job now for the chance to work for them for free, you might find you don't like it, or you might see that you love it and then you will know where you are headed." I called Simon, we had lunch, and I told him I wanted to work for him for free, he told me that it was a hard offer to turn down and the next week I started working for him as an Aide. Here I am, many years later, serving as the Third District Supervisor.