About Cristina Villarreal
Cristina was raised in Wheeling, IL, a northwest suburb of Chicago. She was president of her 8th grade class at Oliver Wendell Holmes middle school and attended St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights. In 1998, she was awarded the Cook County Red Ribbon award for her community service work and efforts as a peer leader at Omni Youth Services.
In 1999, Cristina was awarded a Frederick Douglass Scholarship, and moved to Washington D.C. to attend American University. While pursuing her undergraduate degree Cristina worked for the U.S. General Service Administration. She was also a Hispanic media intern at The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and for Democratic House of Representative Leader Richard Gephardt. After receiving a Bachelors degree in International Relations with a focus on Latin America, she held various positions working for Congresswoman Hilda Solis, who is now the Secretary of the Department of Labor. While working on the Hill in various positions, Cristina focused on international, women, and Latino legislative and policy issues. Before leaving Washington D.C., she also worked at Harold Icke’s The Media Fund, a 527 focusing on Anti-Bush campaign ads.
Cristina then returned to Chicago to attend DePaul College of Law. While in law school, she continued to fulfill her passion for public service as a law clerk for the Cook County Public Defender’s office and Life Span, a non-profit organization providing legal services for victims of domestic violence. Cristina also worked as a research assistant for the DePaul College of Law’s Immigration and Asylum Clinic and spent three semesters on DePaul’s Death Penalty Clinic. After graduating law school, Cristina assisted the Obama for America campaign with their Latino vote efforts. She was also Regional Director of the Meister for Senate campaign and later Regional Director of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund Census 2010 program.
Currently, Cristina works for the Cook County Democratic Party and writes weekly blogs for Being Latino on current issues the Latino community is facing. She is also a guest writer for Latinopoliticsblog.com.