Home City: Tucson
Member Since: 1997-2000, 2011-2015
Representative Sally Ann Gonzales was born in Brawley, California and raised in the Yaqui community of Guadalupe, Arizona with her ten sisters and brothers. She is married to longtime Pascua Yaqui tribal councilman Luis Gonzales with whom she has five daughters and 22 grandchildren. Sally holds a BA in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and a Masters in Multicultural Education from the University of Arizona.
In 1992 she was elected to the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council and served until 1996 when she was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. There she served two terms in the House representing her legislative district where she sat on the Appropriations Committee, the Government Operations Committee, and as the ranking member of the Public Institutions & Universities committee. A strong proponent for quality education, health care and children’s, women’s, and employee rights; Sally sponsored and/or co-sponsor legislation to improve the lives of women and children that made positive improvements in education and health care for all. Her sponsorship specifically included, among other areas, legislation for foreign language instructions, lead poisoning prevention, solar and clean energy incentives, teacher salaries, maternity benefits, postpartum care, diabetes treatment, gang prevention, class size reduction, and environmental justice.
Before staring her political career, Sally was an education professional. After leaving the legislature in 2000, she continued within her profession, serving as the Education Director of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Her professional experience includes teaching, teacher training and administration for Tucson Unified School District, Tempe Elementary Schools, Arizona State University, and University of Arizona.
At Arizona State University’s Center for Indian Education (CIE), Sally served as program manager for a year long professional teacher-training program for twenty indigenous teachers from southern Mexico. She was also served as program manager for the Arizona Tri- Universities for Indian Education (ATUIE), the first and only consortium in the country dedicated to improving the condition of American Indian students in higher education.
At the University of Arizona, Sally served as coordinator for two programs. One was Manos a la Vida, a self- intervention research project that worked with women with breast cancer within the Hispanic community in the southern Arizona and the border of communities in Mexico. She also coordinated the Bedouin-Yaqui Project, a unique educational research project working with the Bedouins of Israel and Yaquis from Tucson, Arizona.
Sally was a board member of the Pima Prevention Partnership, founded through the Center of Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) as a grassroots self-help organization to produce a lasting and significant reduction in substance abuse in the community by incorporating collaborative skill building and leadership training to empower community groups to assume responsibility for understanding and acting on substance abuse issues within their communities.
Sally is currently the president of the board of Guadalupe Affordable Housing Inc. (GAHI), a for-profit corporation incorporated to conduct real estate development, specifically single and multi-family affordable housing developments. Its objectives are to promote the availability of quality and affordable housing for low- to moderate-income individuals and families.
Throughout her adult life, she has been involved in a wide range of civic activities to promote the rights of minority populations, especially Indigenous and Hispanic communities who are the historical and cultural foundation of Arizona.
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