The Soledad City Council is made up of five members including a mayor.  This legislative and policy entity of the City and responsible to the residents of Soledad for all municipal programs and services.  City Council members also serve as the Soledad Successor Agency of the former Redevelopment Agency for the City.  The City Council appoints members of the community to commissions, committees, and boards. The City Council provides policy direction on a broad spectrum of issues.  The Soledad City Council holds regular meetings at 6:00 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. All meetings are open to the public and governed by the rules of the Ralph M. Brown Open Meeting Act.


  • Convene one goal setting session each fiscal year; review and update the City’s Strategic Work Plan for the coming year
  • Conduct an annual review of organizational performance with the City Manager
  • Hold one annual joint study session with the City of Soledad Planning Commission


Anna Velazquez


As a lifelong resident of Soledad, my story begins with being raised in the Salinas Valley by farmworker parents. I attended San Vicente Elementary School, Main Street Middle School and Gonzales High School. I then achieved my Associate Degree from Hartnell Community College. Shortly thereafter, I left home to earn my Bachelor of Science Degree.

My background in criminology from California State University at Fresno laid the foundation for my desire for a high level of ethics, transparency, and accountability in public service. With over 20 years of experience in local government—including four years as a Soledad City Council member and many more in my current position as District Director for a State Senator—I bring a breadth of experience. My expertise includes administration of federal grants and the crafting and knowledge of local and state policies especially in the area of affordable housing. Additionally, I possess strong personnel and project management skills which have proven to be foundational in building civic and regional partnerships and providing fiscal sustainability for the delivery of programs and services.

I will continue to partner with county, state and federal government to ensure our community obtains the resources and funding necessary to thrive and prosper.  I have participated in numerous boards and projects focused on creating lasting and positive impacts in the community.  I currently serve on the following boards.

  • Monterey County Mayors’ Association, Chair, 2021
  • California League of Cities, Monterey Bay Division President, 2021
  • California League of Cities, Monterey Bay Division, 1st Vice-President, 2019 & 2020
  • California League of Cities, Housing, Community and Economic Development Policy Committee, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Board of Directors, Democratic Women of Monterey County (DWMC)-2019 -current
  • Housing Resource Center (HRC), Board Member, 2020-current

My policy goals will continue to focus on smart growth principles and policies. This includes providing residents much needed commercial and retail business, a range of housing opportunity choices, walkable neighborhoods, preservation of open spaces, transportation choices and a strong sense of belonging.

Maria Corralejo

Mayor Pro Tempore

Maria Corralejo was raised in Soledad. She attended local schools San Vicente, Main Street and Gonzales high before attending San Diego State University. She has 20 years’ experience in the housing industry (both private and public and both affordable & market). She is a small business owner and advocate for the Community.

Maria Corralejo worked in the housing industry for 20 years. During that time, she wrote grants, supervised new developments and renovations, ensured compliance to obtain occupancy certificate, made budgets and budget projections, audited files to ensure compliance with government and financial institutions, implemented safety and preventive maintenance plans, oversaw contractors and employees.

Maria Corralejo has implemented, organized, and collaborated in various community engagement events that promote our City, the local economy, physical and emotional health, entertainment, much needed social interactions, youth violence prevention, education, volunteer opportunities, support for businesses, food and clothes drives. She has been involved with various events: Spook Fest, Soledad Merchants Association, Front Street, Soledad Centennial Festivities, Monterey County Fentanyl Town Hall & Narcan Distribution, F&M Coat & Clothes Drives, CHP’s Start Smart Youth Class, National Night Out, F&M Internship Program, 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and many more.

Maria Corralejo enjoys volunteering with her family. Maria and husband Frank Corralejo are proud to call Soledad home. Maria’s three daughters were raised in Soledad. Her two oldest daughters graduated from Soledad High School. Her youngest child currently attends Soledad High School.

Fernando Cabrera

Council Member

Fernando Cabrera was born in a small community named San Jerónimo in Purísima del Rincon, Guanajuato. He is the oldest of seven siblings, two sisters, and five brothers. His family and himself emigrated to the United States in 1986. Since then, Soledad has been his home. He did not attend any local schools but passed the GED in 1991, along with a couple of ESL classes at Hartnell College. He attended Hartnell College as a regular full-time student in 1996 at age 29 and graduated with an AA in Health Education and a Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certificate in 1998. After that, he transferred to San Jose State University, earning a BA and an MA. He also completed the education portion of the Education Leadership Doctoral Program at SCU Stanislaus, and his doctoral thesis is still in progress. 

He currently works in the tax industry, preparing tax returns, teaching in-person and virtual federal and state tax law classes, and managing classes’ virtual tax content. He has 17 years of teaching experience at the community college level. He was an associate professor for San Jose City College, Mission College, and Hartnell College. He also has experience working for nonprofit organizations in adult education and training. His training experience focused on transformational change and conflict resolution.

Fernando offers his dedication, a community-centered mind, and transparency at personal and professional levels. It is his honor to serve as City Council.

Fernando Ansaldo-Sánchez

Council Member

Fernando Ansaldo-Sánchez is a life-long resident of the City of Soledad, with roots in the City that spans generations. His maternal great-grandfather immigrated to the United States as part of the Bracero program. His son, Fernando’s grandfather, who he is named after, soon came to the United States with Fernando’s grandmother, and began working in the fields, settling here in Soledad. After saving enough money, they brought Fernando’s mother and aunts to Soledad from Uriangato, Guanajuato, Mexico in 1980. Fernando’s father also immigrated in the 1980s from Ixtlán del Río, Nayarit, Mexico, where he ended up working the strawberry fields around Soledad. This is where Fernando’s father and mother met, and they soon got married.

Fernando attended elementary school in Soledad, and he graduated from Soledad High School in 2012. He attended UC Santa Cruz and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2015. He also attended San Diego State University, where he received a Master of Arts in Education in 2020. Fernando currently works in higher education at San José State University, where he is an active member of the university.

Before being elected to the City Council, Fernando was the Vice-Chair of the Soledad Advisory Community Districting Committee and Vice-Chair of the Soledad General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC). Fernando’s goals for Soledad include expanding affordable housing opportunities, securing infrastructure funding for well maintained roads and traffic safety, and investing in prevention and intervention services to support safe neighborhoods. Fernando is honored to be entrusted by his community to represent them, and he looks forward to the work ahead.

Evarista Bañuelos

Council Member

Biography incoming

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