Former ASMC President runs for Simi Valley Mayor


Mary Poitier stands in front of her campaign banner at the Simi Valley Street Fair on Oct. 29, 2022. Photo Credit: Andres Garcia

By Andres Garcia

Mary Poitier, former president of Associated Students of Moorpark College, is currently in the race for Simi Valley mayor.

The race for mayor is highly competitive this year, with there being five candidates in total: Joe Ayala, Wayne Holland III, Fred Thomas, Robert Clarizio and Mary Poitier.

Poitier currently serves as the regional affairs director for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges. Prior to serving in this position, Poitier was president of ASMC, Moorpark College’s governing student body.

Poitier commented on how her current and prior leadership positions have helped her make the transition into running a mayoral campaign.

“The transition has been easy because of the fact that it’s the same type of situation,” Poitier said. “Trying to bring people together and also thinking about issues in our community and how to solve them. It is similar to ASMC due to the intention being the same.”

Poitier’s leadership experience has helped her prepare for a mayoral run, but she emphasized that her passion for community service is the motivating force behind her campaign.

“I have been the vice president of the PTA, volunteered at the Samaritan Center, at the church and at the pantry,” Poitier said. “I’ve been really involved in this community and fight for my community and make sure the people are getting what they need.”

Poitier has lived in Simi Valley since 1994. She said she adores her community and values her connection to the city.

“We live in a great city,” said Poitier. “I love this city. It gave me a sense of balance to raise my kids. We are a vibrant community and we need to keep our community vibrant.”

The race for mayor hasn’t been a smooth journey for Poitier. She said that at the beginning of the race, many were calling for her to drop out, but she persisted nevertheless.

“When I started to run, people were telling me to get out of the race and [were] being very unkind to me, but because I wanted to serve my community, no one was going to stop me from bringing solutions to the problems in my community”, Poitier said.

“They thought I was an easy target to get rid of but it didn’t work,” she added. “I’m a fighter when it comes to my community of Simi Valley.”

Poitier also relayed her backstory and the obstacles that have arisen from the challenges she faces from outside the race.

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Poitier emigrated to New York City to help support her family after her father’s death, but soon faced severe poverty and homelessness.

She ventured out to California in hopes of a new start and found success. In California, Poitier attained her nursing certificate, earned a degree as a paralegal and raised four kids. However, not too long after overcoming her previous hurdles, Poitier faced and continues to deal with a significant health struggle.

In 2011, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and has been in remission for the last 6 years.

As her mayoral campaign is underway, it is clear that Poitier’s ambition has not been hindered by her life struggles. Poitier said she uses her story as a way to give people faith and show that anything is possible.

“Anything I do in my life, I hope to inspire others,” Poitier said. “I hope my story of my illness can help bring hope and faith to someone who is really going through a tough time.”

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. While the deadline to register to vote for this election has passed, it isn’t too late to pre-register for future elections. Click here for more information about voter registration. To learn more about Poitier’s campaign, click here.