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Councilmember Hernandez announces run for mayor
R Hernandez
Riverbank City Council Member Rachel Hernandez is surrounded by some of the 150 community members and regional leaders who attended her kickoff event recently. She has announced her candidacy for the office of mayor, running in the fall 2024 election. Photo Contributed

Rachel Hernandez, a council member and former Vice Mayor of Riverbank, has officially launched a campaign for mayor.

She is a Stanislaus County native, and said she has dedicated her career and education to supporting underserved people and promoting her community’s prosperity.

She recently celebrated a kickoff rally she says was attended by nearly 150 regional leaders and other community members, with standing room only. Stanislaus County Supervisors Mani Grewal and Channce Condit, Oakdale Mayor pro tem Christopher Smith are among early supporters in attendance, Hernandez said.

She reports that community leader and former astronaut José M. Hernandez was the keynote speaker, while Stanislaus Union School Board Trustee John Casselberry made closing remarks.

Hernandez now represents Council District Two, described sometimes as the heart of Riverbank, and just completed a term as Vice Mayor.

She says a month after joining the city council, she spearheaded the Love Riverbank initiative, which invested over $170,000 into downtown small businesses, helping revitalize the local economy after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hernandez says she expects to be a leading advocate for local small business and residents from every background, including “the nearly 60 percent Latino community” which she grew up close to.

She says her commitment to the community extends beyond her official role. She serves as a Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Stanislaus County, in addition to leadership roles in the League of California Cities and other local nonprofits.

Hernandez says her work has strengthened local non-profits, neighborhood groups and relationships across aisles throughout Riverbank and Stanislaus County.

She has worked for years supporting families struggling with domestic violence, homelessness and mental illness.

Hernandez earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Stanislaus State, working in local nonprofits for a decade and now, is a professor of US Politics at Modesto Junior College. She also manages communications for a school district in the county, working to bridge communication gaps between diverse local families and their public schools.