2018 - Alma Hernandez

Alma Hernandez was born and raised on the south side of Tucson, and is a proud product of Sunnyside Unified schools. When she was just 14 years old she was the victim of a violent attack, suffering spinal injuries that still affect her today. In the aftermath, Alma witnessed the criminal justice system and school-to-prison pipeline first hand. She saw how the system works against people of color, especially those with little means. It was this experience that spurred her to become active in the fight for social justice. She is an outspoken activist who has worked a variety of issues, from education to women’s rights, criminal justice reform and health care.

Alma attended the University of Arizona, graduating with a B.S. in Care Health and Society, and later with her Masters in Public Health. Her career took her to Powersource Tucson, helping women living with HIV/AIDS as the coordinator of the Bridging the Gap program. Her passion for public service also took her abroad to Ghana and Panama, where she worked at free clinics providing medical and public health services.

Alma is a longtime leader in her southern Arizona community. She served on the Mental Health committee of Interfaith Community Services, and fought for Arizona’s public universities as a member of the Arizona Student Association. She is the former chair of the College Democrats of Arizona, and recently lead the group Arizonans United for Healthcare, organizing protests in Tucson and Washington, D.C. to stop the repeal of the affordable care act. She is an alumna of several prestigious fellowship programs, including Young People For, Courts Matter, Future Women in Government, and the Anti-Defamation League Glass Leadership Institute. In 2016 she was a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

Alma’s passion and experienced leadership led her to run for the Arizona State House. As State Representative, she has fought for quality healthcare for all Arizonans, criminal justice system reforms, and increased investment in our public schools.