- Submitter Name: Marilyn Irene Byrne
- How Submitter Knows Applicant: We worked together from 2007 through November 2010.
- Submitted on: 12/09/2010
I am writing as a former colleague and strong supporter of Maria Blanco. As the Assistant Dean for Administration, and Chief of Staff at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, I worked closely with Maria over the last three years during her tenure as Executive Director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at Berkeley Law.
Maria Blanco has had an extraordinary background as an effective civil rights litigator over several decades. She successfully litigated key civil rights cases such as the one that brought women into the San Francisco Fire Department for the first time, a case representing undocumented workers, and other cases which expanded the franchise for African Americans. She has effectively integrated her legal expertise with a strong understanding of the research and policy landscape for each subject domain she occupies.
She understands how to listen, be inclusive and respect the voices and opinions of a variety of different perspectives. But she is also a decisive individual who knows how to make difficult decisions to advance the goals of the larger entity or organization whom she represents. Maria Blanco has the integrity, the professional expertise and the personal judgment to participate in the proceedings of the Citizens Redistricting Commission in a manner that will elevate the proceedings and contribute significantly to the quality of the final product. I wholeheartedly endorse her appointment to the Citizens Redistricting Commission.