Born and raised in Chula Vista, Mary Casillas Salas has dedicated her career and life's work to family and to the community. Mary is a product of local schools, graduating with honors from San Diego State University.
She began her public service on the Chula Vista Civil Service Commission in 1991 and was then elected to the Chula Vista City Council in 1996. In 2006, she was elected to the California State Assembly where she chaired the Committee on Veterans Affairs. She also served on the Jobs, Economic Development and Economy Committee, the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the Health Committee.
She returned to local government and was elected to the city council in 2012 and in 2014, she made history as the first elected Latina mayor in Chula Vista and San Diego County.
During her tenure as mayor, Chula Vista received national and international recognition for the efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses and prevent climate change, smart cities initiatives, and actions to ensure sustainable development. As mayor, Mary paved the way and advanced the development of the Bayfront in partnership with Port of San Diego and in 2022 broke ground on the largest hotel development project on the west coast.