The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians held elections for the seven-member Tribal Council on Saturday, July 17.
The seven-member Tribal Council sets policies, administers government programs and executes the will of the Pechanga General Membership. The tribal chairperson and members of the council are charged with upholding and enforcing the Pechanga Band's Constitution, bylaws and tribal ordinances.
Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro, 46, was elected to his eighth consecutive two-year term as Tribal Chairman.
Macarro has served as Tribal Chairman since 1995 and on the Tribal Council since 1992. A national leader, Chairman Macarro serves on the boards of several prominent Native American rights organizations including the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the Nat ional Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), and the Harvard Project on American Indian Development.
Macarro has served as spokesman for several statewide campaigns to secure the right of Nat ive American tribes to operate gaming facilities on tribal lands.
Chairman Macarro is a UC Santa Barbara graduate with a B.A. in Political Science.
Chairman Macarro believes it is critical to maintain and cultivate the Pechanga tribal culture, language, and traditional life ways so that the Pechanga people can preserve their unique tribal identity.
Macarro himself is a traditional Luiseño singer, singing ceremonial Nukwáanish funeral songs at tribal wakes throughout southern California Indian reservations. He is a practitioner of Cham'téela, the Luiseño native language.
“I am sincerely humbled to have the opportunity to serve the Pechanga people as Tribal Chairman for another two years,” said Chairman Macarro. “Serving our people in elected office is a privilege and an honor.”
Re-elected to the Pechanga Tribal Council were:
Councilman Mark Calac - Mark Calac was elected to his fourth term on the Pechanga Tribal Council, having been first elected in July 2004. Calac’s passion for environmental protection led him to work as an Environmental Engineering Technician for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service. Calac returned to Pechanga and served as Deputy Director of the Pechanga Environmental Affairs Office for six years. He later served on the Pechanga Water System Board where he helped to enhance the tribe’s water systems.
Councilman Calac currently serves as the Tribal Representative to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Councilwoman Corrina R. Garbani - Corrina Garbani was elected to her second term on the Pechanga Tribal Council. She began her service to Pechanga in 2006 when she was elected to the Pechanga Gaming Commission, the regulatory agency charged with protecting the integrity and assets of the Tribe’s gaming operations.
In February 2009, Garbani was elected to the Pechanga Tribal Council in a Special Election.
Garbani has served on several regional and statewide boards on behalf of the American Indian community. Councilwoman Garbani earned her Master of Public Administration from Cal State, Los Angeles, and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University.
Councilman Andrew Masiel, Sr. - Andrew Masiel was elected to his seventh term on the Pechanga Tribal Council. He has devoted more than 25 years of his life to serving California tribal governments, having worked as Tribal Administrator to the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, the Pauma Band of Mission Indians, and the Pechanga Tribe, as Business Manager of the Pala Indian Tribe, and Planning Director for the Reservation Transportation Authority (RTA), a consortium of 22 Southern California Tribes. In 2006, Councilman Masiel was elected by leaders of 16 tribal governments to serve as the first Tribal Representative to SCAG, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization. Mr. Masiel earned a degree in Environmental Planning and Business Development from the University of California, Davis.
Councilman Russel l “Butch” Murphy - Russell “Butch” Murphy was elected to his 10th term on the Pechanga Tribal Council. Murphy served as a corporate officer for the Pechanga Development Corporation for six years. Prior to being a corporate officer, he taught physical education and coached varsity football and basebal l at Murrieta Val ley High School and served as a counselor/ recruiter for the University of California, San Diego.
Councilman Murphy’s teaching background has shaped his fervent advocacy for educational programs on the Pechanga Reservation and throughout the Temecula Valley.
Murphy earned his Bachelor's Degree in sociology from the University of California, Riverside, and holds a standard secondary teaching credential from California State University, San Bernardino.
Councilman Ken Perez - Ken Perez was elected to his third term on the Pechanga Tribal Council, having been first elected in July 2006. Prior to his election, he was Chairman of the Pechanga Gaming Commission for three years and Director of Public Safety for the Pechanga Resort & Casino.
Perez served 19 years in law enforcement, working his way up through the ranks from a Patrol Officer, Detective and Internal Affairs Representative to Chief of Police at law enforcement agencies in Orange, Los Angeles, and Imperial counties. He is an active member of the California Police Chiefs Association. Perez retired in 2000 as Chief of Police for the Calipatria Police Department.
Councilman-Elect Benjamin Vasqez - Benjamin Vasquez previously served 5 years on the Pechanga Tribal Council.
Vasquez, with other members of the council, participated in the design and construction of the Pechanga Tribal Government Center. A resident of the Pechanga Reservation for more than 30 years, Councilman Vasquez is a member of the Tribe’s senior committee, the Silver Feathers. He served several years as a senior monitor for the Cultural Committee. Active in community service, Vasquez was a member of the boards of HEART for Children in Temecula. He is retired from International Rectifier Hexfet America, where he was a facilities mechanic.
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