I am Gabriela Mejia, and I am running for the Vice-Presidency of the California Federation of Interpreters, alongside Presidential Candidate Begonya De Salvo. 

Originally from Uruguay, I had always dreamed of living in the US. I studied hard to become fluent in English so that when the dream became a reality, I knew my ideal job – interpreter. I immediately enrolled in an Interpretation Program at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey, and since then, it has been my life.

Fast forward to now, I have been an interpreter for 24 years. As a passionate learner, I have never stopped developing my skills and accreditations. I am a Federally Certified Court Interpreter (FCCI) in Spanish, Certified in the State of California and New Jersey to Master level.

I know the profession intimately and passionately, having worked across a range of positions and various institutions. My long career has included:

– Working at the Superior Court of New Jersey and the Superior Court of California
– An interpreter in numerous fields and specialties, including medical, criminal, forensic, depositions and arbitrations
– A worldwide conference interpreter
– President of the ATISDA (Association of Translators Interpreters in the San Diego Area)

I feel strongly about my role and care about those in my field. Therefore, I constantly strive to improve our status as professionals and an essential part of the workforce. 

I share a similar vision and dreams with Presidential Candidate Begonya De Salvo – to strengthen the union and drive beneficial change for members. 

Being Vice President is the challenge my 24-year career path has been building towards. My integrity, knowledge, and experience are integral parts of my leadership capabilities. 

Begonya and I will strengthen our great Federation, improving working conditions and prospects through communication and strength of purpose.

First campaign letter

Dear Members,
Let’s be family!

Part of the vision that I have for our union is that I would like to lead an outreach effort to have   as many members as possible to make this truly our union.

I envision a strong union that is not an abstract organization, but a real resource that will always be there because of you and for YOU, so that you can reach your fullest potential.

An important part of our #makingthingshappen initiative is the return of our Annual Conference and other events in a new and invigorated way.

  1. An Annual Conference that will be better like ever before! We need a conference from which you will walk out feeling included, with a sense of community, being able to network with other colleagues (staff and independents), with 30 CIMCE credit units presented by top colleagues. It will address important aspects of our career that go beyond knowledge, personal growth, and enrichment. This conference will include workshops on mental health that will help us cope with our daily and sometimes work-related struggles with real applicable methods for achieving the best results in our professional as well as in our personal life.

    I have a proven record of organizing conferences, events and workshops during many years. Attendees always leave with a sense of fulfillment and empowerment. They are a success, but also very affordable.

    I want us to be able to attend a down-to-earth yet meaningful event where you are reuniting with a group of close friends that are like family. A family that you have chosen!

    In order to do that I need your vote. If you trust me with your vote, I will continue making things happen for our profession and our union.

  2. A Mentorship and an Outreach Program to increase membership. I believe in inclusiveness, and the only way to get more members is by creating engaging programs, and events where every voice is counted. Our independent colleagues need to be included as well as our new interpreters, and the best way to do this is by promoting a mentorship and an outreach program to spark their interest. We can also create a Newsletter for the membership so we can all be informed and participate.

    I was invited to the 1st Educational Forum, entitled “Behind the Bench…Learn About Careers in the Courts,” hosted by The Committee to Eliminate Bias and Promote Equal Justice, where students from underprivileged high schools will have the opportunity to hear from different court employees, including interpreters. These young people will learn about the level of education needed, the demands and the many rewards that a court interpreting career brings.

You want more, and together, we can make things happen. Vote for our slate, vote for the New Union: Begonya De Salvo as your President, Gloria Lindemann as your Secretary Treasurer, and yours truly, as your new Vice-President.

Respectfully,

Gabriela Mejia
www.gabrielamejia.org