Lane Santa Cruz is a second generation Tucsonan born and raised on the Southside. Her father migrated from Eudeve-Opata Sonora to be with the rest of his family in Tucson. He met her mother at the El Rio Neighborhood Center when they were taking GED and ESL classes. Her dad, a pastor at a Latino Church for over 25 years, and her mom, a patient care technician and caretaker, modeled the early teachings of community justice at the Sunday sermons where Lane was called to be of service. Growing up in low-income housing, she felt disconnected from other parts of the city, and she had to learn how to walk and ride the city bus to have access to distant youth employment and sports commitments. As a young person, she did not know about neighborhood associations and much less who my representatives were. When she graduated from Desert View High School, she left to Alabama on a tennis scholarship and then returned home to work her way through courses at the University of Arizona, earning a Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies.
She is a bilingual-bicultural and a testament to the resiliency of the people in the Southwest. At her core, she is an educator and community organizer. Before returning to work as a Council Aide to the Ward 1 Council Office, she spent 12 years in nonprofits and grassroots community efforts working on sexual/gender violence, food justice, migrant rights, DIY bicycle mechanics, and Ethnic Studies. Since obtaining her Ph.D., she teaches courses in Mexican American Studies and Education at the UA and organizes community bike rides on the Southside. She has a loving partner who teaches at Cholla High School, and they share their lives with their 4 children ages 1 to 11.