Lela Alston is a native Arizonan and a product of our state’s public education system, from kindergarten to graduate school. She has been a champion for public schools, teachers, children and families, protecting women’s health and reproductive choices, advancing opportunities for women, girls, aging Arizonans and our homeless community, throughout her career in the Arizona Legislature.
In 2020, Lela began her 28th year in the Arizona State Legislature. From 1977 through 1995, she served as an Arizona State Senator and was a member of the Appropriations Committee throughout her years in that chamber. She also served on the Education, Rules, Government, Commerce, Labor, Judiciary and Transportation Committees, and was part of the Senate Democratic Leadership team for 14 years. At the encouragement of Arizona legislators and community advocates, Representative Alston ran for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010 and served in the House for 8 years, representing Legislative District 24. In 2019, Lela returned to the Arizona State Senate after winning the election for LD 24’s State Senate seat with 72% of the vote.
Lela is one of Arizona’s most respected advocates of public education. She has been a member of the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board since 2008 and severed as Board President in 2015 and 2016. She also taught in the district for over 34 years. Representative Alston was instrumental in the planning of the ASU West Campus and she spearheaded the efforts to establish Metro Tech High School’s licensed primary care facility in partnership with Banner Health Care, which provided free healthcare to students and their families.
Lela has received numerous awards throughout the years. She is most proud of being honored as the 2019 NASW AZ Chapter Public Elected Official of the Year, 2018 Golden Apple Award from the Sun City Chapter of NOW, the 2015 O’Connor Institute Statesman of the Year Award, being recognized as an Honorary State Firefighter, receiving the Girl Scouts 2002 World of Children Award, being recognized as the 2017 AFL-CIO AZ Elected Official of the Year, and the naming of Lela Alston Elementary School in the Isaac School District.
Lela is the mother of 2 and the grandmother of 6 exceptional young people. She is the proud owner of a 1929 Normandy revival home in downtown Phoenix and a
1956 pink Thunderbird convertible—two projects that keep her busy during her spare time.